Foxes, Trees and Squirrels

Our School Age Child Care program is currently operating in 16 local communities, to more than 660 students, facilitated by more than 80 staff members. The program’s focus is on four core content areas: Art, Literacy, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and Health and Wellness, and consistently recognizes the YMCA’s 9 Dimensions of Well-being: Health, Character, Achievement, Giving, Meaning, Safety, Belonging, Inspiration, and Relationships.

One successful tool utilized by our SACC program is CATCH, which stands for Coordinated Approach to Child Health. CATCH Kids Club is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed for elementary aged children in an after-school setting – how perfect! For us, CATCH is an incredibly valuable resource base for nutrition education materials, snack activities, and physical activity ideas. Some of our students’ favorite CATCH games are Dragon Tails, Sherlock Holmes, Satellites, Up and Over, and Foxes, Trees and Squirrels. Have your children played these games? Which one is their favorite and why?

CATCH games have become so popular at our sites, that when non-CATCH games are played, the children “CATCHify” them – adjusting games so that everyone is included and can play the entire time. Dodge ball, a favorite, becomes dodge ball with re-entry. Knock Out, a basketball game that usually ends up with all but 2 players sitting on the sidelines, becomes a game of double Knock Out, where two games are played simultaneously, and when a child gets out of one game they switch to the other. “CATCHified” games have become a wonderful tool for teaching a few of the YMCA’s 9 Dimensions of Well-being. And best of all, everyone is having fun!