Health and Wellness

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Healthy behaviors are best taught through familiar everyday activities. Teaching wellness through familiar everyday routines allows children to practice a positive behavior or habit, naturally establishing it as part of the child’s daily rhythm. For example, washing hands before eating is a natural part of the daily routine that is familiar in early childhood settings. Once children have been oriented to this routine, they participate willingly because it is predictable step before meals. Teaching wellness concepts is managed differently in each approach. During child-selective play, wellness activities are offered as part of the various options. For e3xample, placing a large plastic model of teeth beside a large toothbrush invites children to “practice” brushing teeth. Planning wellness activities across centers and learning areas is an important way to ensure that the concepts are practiced and reinforced. When teaching safety concepts, appropriate first aid props and etc... Sharing the wellness topics with families encourages a partnership and extends the messages of the curriculum plan to the home environment. Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization [WHO], 2003a). Health is influenced by aspects such as genetic makeup, family history of disease, and age. Health is established through positive growth development, and well-being in two major component areas: physical health and mental health. In young children, physical and mental health is essential to overall health and wellness. Each of these components influences the other.
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