Healthy, Active Kids are Better Learners!

Wellness for the Oregon Community
Our early spring weather has been a little more like winter than spring so far this month, but we believe that Spring will be here soon!  Spring days are a great time to get outdoors and explore nature with your family! Need some 
ideas or inspirations?  

LOOK! Pick your favorite color and find five things in nature that color. Are some darker and some lighter? How many different shades can you find?  
TOUCH! Find 5 things that are: wet/dry, hard/soft, rough/smooth. In what other ways are they different? How are they the same?
SMELL! Snoop around and find 5 different smells. What do you think made them? Are some pleasant and others not? What other smells can you find?
LISTEN! Listen to the sounds around you and write about five of them. Which are natural? Which man-made? Can you figure out who is making the sounds... and why?

Visit some of the Nature Net members in South Central Wisconsin  including the AldoLeopold Nature center, Dane County Parks, MacKenzie Environmental Center and many more!  

Celebrate John Muir's Birthday Day! John Muir was a pioneering naturalist, founder of the Sierra Club and advocate for the creation of National Parks. Born in Scotland, he move do Wisconsin a a child and studied at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In honor of his 180th birthday, Wisconsin Friends of John Muir present John Muir B'Earthday/Arbor Day Fest Saturday, April 28 1-4pm at the Whitehorse MS Playground, 218 Schenk St, Madison. Climb a tree, plant a tree, learn about John Muir, enjoy some birthday cake and much more!

There's lots going on at the Arboretum in the Spring, too! Join an Ecological Restoration Work Party and learn about prairies and savannas on April 21 9 am -noon, or take a class and learn about bluebirds (April 21, 9 am to 11am). The Arboretum also has tours and walks you'll enjoy! Most tours and walks are free. Classes may have a fee and require registration.

Looking for something a little less organized and spur of the moment? C heck out this web site for outdoor games, crafts and nature activities for kids! Even if it's a little chilly or damp, you can hunt for spring seeds, look for animal shapes in the clouds or create leaf art. Get crafty and create rock designs or paint using natural items. Go on a scavenger hunt or create a Spring Bucket List!

The Annual Kids Get Fit Event was a great success lots of active fun!  Kids got some great safety tips, tried new foods and did activities like Tug o War and Zumba!  

Recipe of the Month:  Fiesta Chicken Salad
Spring makes us think of salads, and what better way to get ready for Cinco de Mayo than with this easy, tasty Fiesta Chicken Salad!  Did you know that Cinco de Mayo celebrates the unlikely victory of the Mexican Army over the French Empire in 1862?  

1 head Bibb or other green leaf lettuce
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 pound cooked chicken (canned or rotisserie chicken works well!)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
2 whole-wheat pita pockets, cut into wedges
8 tablespoons fat-free ranch dressing

Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and mix together in a large bowl.  Add tomato, green onion and red pepper.  Top with carrots and corn.
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with chili powder in a small bowl.  Gently lay on top of the salad.
Sprinkle the salad with cheese.  
Just before serving, add the salad dressing and toss.
Serve cold with pita pocket wedges.

Makes 4 servings.  Prep time:  45 minutes

Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Kids Cookbook,  published by Da Capo Lifelong Books and available wherever books are sold.
It's that time of year!  Print this colorful reminder and post it on your refrigerator or put somewhere you'll see it on your way out the door!  Share your random acts of kindness on the Pay It Forward Facebook page!

Pay It Forward Brooklyn/Oregon is sponsored by the Oregon Area Wellness Coalition.