It’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate physical activities into the daily classroom routine. Besides the fact that almost everyone can afford to lay off the fast food (except for me – I will forever love you chicken nuggets), there truly is an obesity epidemic amongst our youth. According to the American Heart Association, almost one in three children are overweight or obese. With phys ed and extra curricular activities being cut from school budgets left and right, it is important as teachers to bring the physical activities into the classroom. This is something that means a lot to me in particular. My father suffered from a heart attack about six months ago. I am so fortunate that he is still with us today, but it was definitely a wake up call for him and others close to our family. Being overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle is no joke. Although he isn’t a young boy or one of my future students, it still brings awareness to the importance of physical activity and staying in shape.
There are so many ways to do this in the classroom. In one class I observed in last year, the teacher set up a small obstacle course for the students to do. She had a mini trampoline, a jump rope, blocks to jump over, a tunnel to crawl through, etc. The kids LOVED IT and it was a great way for them to get up and get active in a fun way.
I also heard a great idea the other day from one of my classmates. She talked about how in her placement classroom the teacher has a short kids yoga session with the students. She projects the video onto the smartboard and all the kids follow along. Yoga is something that I enjoy doing for so many reasons – it makes you stronger, more flexible, and truly relaxed. This is a great way for kids to get active.
Another great idea is to get outside whenever possible. Taking the lesson outside allows students to be out of the traditional classroom setting and get fresh air. Going on a nature walk or collecting leaves for a project are fun ways to interact with the outdoors and get up on your feet.
How do you incorporate physical activity in your classroom? Let me know!