8 Best Active Video Games for Kids

If you could tune in for a moment to a guided tour stopping at The Beat Goes On exhibit at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, odds are you would hear the Heart Guide talking about one important aspect of heart health: keeping active. Each group of schoolchildren that gathers in this exhibit learns about how getting enough physical activity every day can help maintain healthy weight, boost mood, improve immunity, and—most relevant to the museum’s mission—prevent heart disease. For a generation that increasingly seems to spend more time in front of screens and less time engaged in active play, this is critical education.

One of the American Heart Association’s Guiding Values is “meeting people where they are.” In the case of physical activity for kids, this can sometimes mean meeting them on the playground and meeting them on a screen. To this end, the Beat Goes On exhibit features three XBox Kinect consoles–(who knew you’d get to play video games at a museum?)—where kids get to play a heart-pumping round of Fruit Ninja.

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The research around exercise-based video games is encouraging! A 2016 study published in Global Pediatric Health showed that children who participated regularly in video games that required physical activity were more likely to take up forms of non-gaming exercise. When paired with other activities, there’s no reason why video games can’t play a part in kids’ 60-minutes-a-day exercise requirement.

There are tons of great video games to choose from to get kids up and moving with their whole bodies (not just their thumbs)! Here are 8 of our favorites.

  1. XBox Kinect Fruit Ninja

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This game featured during the Halle Heart Museum’s school tours turns kids into a whirling dervish of fruit destruction, slicing and dicing with their hands, arms, and even legs. Somewhere there’s got to be a giant smoothie made with all that fruit!

  1. Wii Just Dance Kids

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Just Dance Kids tops all the lists of best exercise games. With over 40 dances and plenty of songs, this one is sure to get kids to bust a move and burn some calories!

  1. XBox Kinect Rush Disney/Pixar

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This inventive game immerses kids in the worlds of their favorite Disney/Pixar movies. Guided by the action on the screen, kids use their bodies to help characters swim, jump, climb, or run through familiar movie scenes.

  1. Wii Sports Resort

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When you think of video games as exercise, Wii Sports Resort is the most “traditional” of the bunch, with golf, cycling, archery, bowling, and other options. This version has been upgraded from the original Wii Sports program to include plenty of new and extra sports challenges.

  1. Guitar Hero (available on multiple video game systems)

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For a bit of a lower-intensity workout, check out Guitar Hero. (Or even for a high-intensity workout—after all, kids can take just about any activity and make it a full-body workout!)

  1. XBox Dance Central

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Much like Just Dance Kids, this highly reviewed game teaches dance moves to fun and funky songs. Bonus: at about $9.00, it’s one of the lowest-priced games around.

  1. Wii Nickelodeon Fit

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Nickelodeon Fit was developed in collaboration with an exercise science expert specifically to improve kids’ heart health! Players perform activities with their favorite Nickelodeon characters, like jumping rope with the Backyardigans, biking with Dora the Explorer, and river rafting with Diego.

  1. XBox Kinect Sports

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Soccer, beach volleyball, track and field, and boxing in your living room? It’s all possible when kids play XBox Kinect Sports.

To get your kids active through video games, join us at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 3:00 P.M. for Video Game Olympics (free with admission)! Click here for all upcoming dates.

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Physical Activity|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on 8 Best Active Video Games for Kids

Get Moving!

It’s a Friday morning at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum and fitness instructor Hilda Young is ready and waiting. In yoga pants and tennis shoes, she moves quickly throughout the 9-1-1 Action Theater exhibit space, setting up exercise circuits. She turns on upbeat music and the scene is set for an hour-long workout.

Her participants? The toddlers of Get Moving!

The American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of activity a day for children age 2 and older, and the children arriving for Get Moving!are here to do just that. If you’ve ever wondered what a group fitness class for toddlers looks like, this is it: a safe, open, supervised space for little ones to work out their wiggles. During their time in the class, kids who are expert walkers up through age seven can move from station to station doing activities like:

Tumbling

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Bunny Hopping Through Hula Hoops

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Stepping Through Tires

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Crawling Under a Parachute

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Walking Across a Mini Balance Beam

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And of course, for children seven and under, there’s plenty of caregiver involvement, too. Parents and grandparents cheer their little ones on as they perform various activities—and can even join in themselves. In fact, there may have been one mom getting funky with a light-up hula hoop during Friday’s class, and a grandma who showed she’s still got it by doing a somersault on the tumbling mats.

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Every week of Get Moving!looks a little different. In addition to the circuit-style workout, kids can expect to spend some sessions playing interactive games or learning dance steps. Many of the activities are the kind that can be done anywhere, so the fun can continue at home!

This all plays into Hilda’s ultimate goal for the class. As she explains, “The mission of Get Moving!is to help children from a young age to develop a healthy lifestyle, and incorporate fitness as a natural part of their lives by making fitness fun.” If children can learn that physical activity is something to look forward to, their future will be in a good shape—literally!

Join us for Get Moving!every other Friday at 10:00am at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum for $5 per child. See the museum’s event calendar for all upcoming dates.

CPR and First Aid Training at HHCM

When Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees wrote “Stain’ Alive,” they probably never imagined that their disco hit would become an anthem used in CPR classes around the world. But at 104 beats per minute, the high tenor ballad we all know from Saturday Night Fever matches the tempo range of the American Heart Association’s recommended 100-200 chest compressions per minute in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR. With its catchy, memorable melody and chorus that reflects the mission of CPR, the song is a helpful teaching tool.

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But CPR is about a lot more than busting out our disco moves. It’s about saving lives.

In the event of a heart attack, CPR can double or triple a victim’s survival rate. For every minute without CPR post-heart attack, the victim’s survival rate drops 7-10%. But 70% of Americans report feeling helpless to act during a cardiac emergency, in most cases because they have not been trained on this potentially lifesaving procedure. Have you?

If you’ve never been CPR trained, your reasons for not doing so may be varied. Maybe you’ve worried you would have to perform mouth-to-mouth on a total stranger. Maybe you’ve wanted to but just never made the time, or maybe you’ve never imagined the necessity of CPR arising in your own life.

If you’ve had these objections, there’s good news—and some sobering news. Studies have shown that hands-only CPR is as effective as mouth-to-mouth, and in 2008 the mouth-to-mouth requirement was done away with. (So no kissing strangers!)

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And while we all hope to never have to use CPR, the reality is that heart disease remains the leading cause of death for Americans, with 715,000 heart attacks and 610,000 heart disease-related deaths occurring annually. We likely know someone who has had to use CPR on a loved one at some point. After all, around 80% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home. Taking a couple of hours on a Saturday to educate ourselves on something so simple yet so beneficial begins to seem a small sacrifice when we realize its life-saving potential.

So why not sign up to get CPR certified today? The American Heart Association offers CPR and First Aid training right here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe! Register online here for our upcoming class Saturday, March 25th–or if you are registering seven days or fewer before this event, please call the museum’s front desk at (602) 414-2800 to reserve your spot. You can also check out our calendar for all other training opportunities. Attendance is free for the first portion, which covers the techniques used in CPR. If you would like to be also trained in First Aid and receive CPR certification, a cost of $35 covers materials and certification. Please note that you will receive an email with instructions for some pre-class work if you choose to become certified.

(And finally, if it’s a secret disco phobia that’s kept you has kept you away from CPR training, never fear! These days, instructors are updating their CPR anthems from “Stayin’ Alive” to newer, faster-tempo pop songs. Perhaps your instructor will incorporate the latest Justin Timberlake, Shakira, or Katy Perry tune into your session. CPR is for everyone, old and young, experienced and inexperienced, disco lovers and top 40 rockers!)

By |March 1st, 2017|Categories: Events|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on CPR and First Aid Training at HHCM

Toddler Test Kitchen

When you first hear the words “Toddler Test Kitchen,” it might reasonably conjure up images of chaos. After all, any parent can attest that usually when you mix toddlers and food, you can expect spaghetti sauce on the walls, maple syrup as hair gel, and itty bitty grains of rice embedded in your kitchen grout. Many of us shy away from cooking with our kids for fear of culinary disaster.

At the Halle Heart Children’s Museum’s weekly Toddler Test Kitchen, however, it’s a different story. This one-of-a-kind healthy cooking class invites children 6 and under to spend an hour in a toddler-friendly environment making healthy recipes with their parents or caregivers, from prepping ingredients to enjoying the finished product. By taking part in the class, kids learn that cooking can be creative and fun—and parents go home with recipes that even a toddler can safely help with!

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Last Monday, eight children and their parents arrived at the heart museum’s professional-grade kitchen, where ingredient stations awaited them on high-top tables. The tables were spread with a colorful array of ingredients to make a Southwestern-Style Baked Spaghetti Squash, including green peppers, bright red tomatoes, black beans, corn, spices, and (of course) squash. Guiding the session was Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Yaffi Lvova of Baby Bloom Nutrition. With her own little one in tow, Yaffi took the class through the simple steps of taking the raw materials of the ingredients and turning them into an appealing, tasty dish that could serve as a healthy dinner any night of the week.

Working at their own pace throughout the session, children participated in:

– Chopping and dicing ingredients using toddler-safe cutlery, helping develop fine motor skills

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– Measuring spices, for a bit autonomy and basic mathematical concepts

– Scraping the inside of the squash to find—surprise!—it looks just like spaghetti!

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– Mixing ingredients together in a large bowl to create the filling

– Piling the filling into the hollowed-out squash “boats”

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Once everyone finished scooping the filling into their boats, the whole creation went into the oven with a sprinkle of cheese on top. While everyone waited for their yummy lunch to emerge from cooking, Yaffi gathered the children around for storytime. One Big Salad, a picture book with whimsical pictures of fruits and vegetables reimagined as animals, was the perfect choice to accompany a healthy cooking session!

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Finally, it was time for the little chefs (and their grown-up helpers) to test their finished products. For a Mexican-inspired dish with a dose of spice, this spaghetti squash went over extremely well with its toddler taste panel. Every child at least tried it, most had a substantial helping, and at there was least one exclamation of “Mom…it’s soooo good!”

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And in the end, no one ended up with squash in their hair!

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Join the fun of Toddler Test Kitchen at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum every other Monday and the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM. With a Halle Heart Children’s Museum membership, pricing is $15 per class or $45 for a 4-class series. Non-member rates are $18 per class or $59 for a 4-class series.

Click here to register for this fun family activity today!

Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Session Announced

Are you a medical professional or someone interested in cardiovascular health? This year, the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Session is happening in sunny Phoenix, AZ, July 18 – July 21. There’s a lot planned this year, please take a look at the Program Schedule to see which Session may be right for you.

We also have some of the many wonderful presenters** lined up that you don’t want to miss:
Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Brian Kobilka, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
Sean M Davidson, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, London, UK
Julio C.V. Ferriera, PhD, University of Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil
**speakers are confirmed but subject to change

There’s still time to get great rates to enjoy the Sessions and you fellow colleagues. Please spread the word to get registered.

Tap the hyperlink for more information about the BCVS Council

By |June 27th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |Comments Off on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Session Announced

Heart Warriors Speaker Series Launched

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Michael is a CHD survivor and our first Halle Heart Children’s Museum Heart Warrior to be featured.

With the help of Mended Little Hearts of Phoenix, the Halle Heart Children’s Museum is pleased to announce the launch of a very special speaker series. The Halle Heart Children’s Museum Heart Warriors speaker series will feature kids talking to kids about heart disease, congenital heart defects and telling their story of heroism.

Our first Heart Warrior being featured is Michael. He was born in June 2003 with a congenital heart defect (CHD) known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), Pulmonary Atresia, Intact Septal Defect and now wears a pacemaker.

At just three days old, Michael had his first open-heart surgery called a BT Shunt and had his first pacemaker in before he started kindergarten. Visit us on Saturday, October 24th at 11:30am and listen to Michael and his family share their story of heroism and warrior spirit.

 

Entrance to the series is included in museum general admission. Find out more here.

Special thanks to the Mended Little Hearts Phoenix Chapter for this series.

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By |October 19th, 2015|Categories: Events|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Heart Warriors Speaker Series Launched

Lub Dub’s Family-Friendly Challenge

Logo-300x284 Lub Dub's Family-Friendly ChallengeFall is here and outdoor temperatures are taking a welcomed decline. Every year, as the weather cools, families get excited as outdoor activities resume. This November 7th, we invite you and your family, your neighbors, churches and community groups to come together to enjoy a fun and FREE event.

Lub Dub’s Healthy Heart Challenge is a friendly competition among teams consisting of both children and adults. Teams of 2-6 members will “race” between 10 activity stations located around the museum’s Tempe neighborhood where they will complete a task that emphasizes a key learning from the museum, such as making smart food choices, exercising, not using tobacco and more. The challenge will be followed by a festival in and around the museum. Teams will compete for exciting prizes all while learning to be heart healthy.

The event is FREE! Learn more and sign up at www.heart.org/lubdubchallenge

By |September 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Lub Dub’s Family-Friendly Challenge

Where in the world is Lub Dub?

Whole-Foods-Kids-Club-231x300 Where in the world is Lub Dub?Our cute and cuddly mascot is going to be out and about in the community this upcoming Saturday, September 19th at the Whole Foods Market Kids Club event.

Sign up today for this special edition of Kids Club. Songs and stories with the Tempe Public Library and a special guest appearance from Lub Dub from the Halle Heart Children’s Museum! FREE to attend please RSVP to sp.tem.marketing@wholefoods.com.

When: Saturday, September 19th, 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Address: Whole Foods Market | 5120 S. Rural Road, Tempe AZ 85282

For more information download this flyer.

By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Events, Where in the world is Lub Dub?|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Where in the world is Lub Dub?

Barrow’s Self-Empowerment Education Day for Stroke Survivors & Caregivers

Are you a stroke survivor? Are you a caregiver or family member to someone who is a stroke survivor? The Barrow welcomes all stroke survivors and their families to join this conference on Saturday, September 12th from 8:30am to 3:30pm.  This educational event is specially designed for stroke survivors and caregivers who are looking for community resources to help with post-stroke care.  Presentations will cover topics for both survivors and caregivers, together and separately.  Highlights include: Home Modifications, Technology, Intimacy, Finances, etc.  For a $10 entry fee, each attendee will receive breakfast, lunch, entry to all presentations, and a goody bag. Click here for the full event schedule. 

RSVP to 602-406-3067 or click this link to register: http://www.thebarrow.org/Conferences_And_Symposia/index.htm

By |July 29th, 2015|Categories: Events, News|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Barrow’s Self-Empowerment Education Day for Stroke Survivors & Caregivers

Volunteers Needed!

The Halle Heart Children’s Museum is beautifying our Group Entrance and we need your help! We need three to five volunteers to help us from 9am to 4pm for two separate days. The first day will be cleaning and preparing the area for painting on the second day. If you love to paint rooms in your house or just want to help us make the Group Entrance beautiful and inviting, we would love your help!

When: Monday, June 8th
Time: 9am – 4pm
Where: Halle Heart Children’s Museum | 2929 S. 48th Street, Tempe, AZ 85282
Note: Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.

Need: 3-5 volunteers for the full day or half day

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When: Tuesday, June 9th
Time: 9am – 4pm
Where: Halle Heart Children’s Museum | 2929 S. 48th Street, Tempe, AZ 85282
Note: Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.

Need: 3-5 volunteers for the full day or half day

Please send an e-mail to hhcm@heart.org or call 602.414.2800 if you are interested in volunteering.

By |May 29th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |Comments Off on Volunteers Needed!