DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS ESSENTIAL IN SCHOOLS FOR MANY REASONS.
Sure, DPA is important (even critical!) to health and learning outcomes, but it is also a lot of fun! How great is it to see students smiling, working and problem solving with others? And hearing all the laughter? So much is being experienced in those moments that it is hard to sum up all the holistic benefits.
But I bet at this point in the school year you are a little tapped out of ideas for quality DPA. Especially after many days of cold temperatures that forced staff and students to stay inside all day!
Let’s take a moment to explore a couple of our favourite activities that you and your students will have fun with. Worthwhile noting, you can do these activities on a ‘shoestring’ budget! Bring along all those moments of cooperation, problem solving and laughter.
Give each participant 3-5 clothespins. Attach these to a piece of their clothing (the Clothesline). Players move around the room using locomotion, such as hopping or galloping, to find a partner. Play rock, paper, scissors! The winner takes a clothespin from their opponent. Each participant completes a given non-locomotive activity before finding a new partner. Once a participant is out of clothespins, they can return to the teacher for more. The activity can continue for any period of time! Try challenging players to get as many clothespins as possible before a song ends.
FITNESS FUN WITH CARDS
With a deck of playing cards, students assign an activity from each component of fitness to each suit. (Cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength). For example, diamonds could equal jumping jacks. After shuffling, draw one card at a time and have students complete the activity. The number of repetitions to complete is the number on the card. ‘Face cards’ are equal to 10 repetitions and Aces are a ‘rest’ card. Check that the number of cards the students are completing is appropriate to their abilities. This ensures a fun and successful experience.
Good physical activity experiences are crucial to physical activity participation later in life. Take the time to find or change activities to meet the needs of your students. Scaling activities to make them more or less challenging will go a long way to enjoying being active.
Embedding physical activity in our ‘everyday’ shows students that movement IS learning. It is a normal behaviour that supports a healthy active life.
Written by Chris Fenlon-MacDonald, Provincial Education Coordinator