In an effort to reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses later in life, experts recommend that children aged 5-18 years should be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day*. At school, there are endless opportunities to help promote increased activity for children.
Jamie Makopa, Sports Science Specialist at Sovereign Play Equipment shares his top tips:
Promote group exercise
Encourage children to take part in group exercise during playtime. Games like ‘Stuck in the Mud’ and ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ not only gets them active with their peers, but influences teamwork and rule adherence.
Use existing play equipment
Make the most of existing play equipment to encourage vigorous, but simple bone and muscle strengthening activities such as running, jumping, climbing and swinging.
Get active with adventure facilities
Support cognitive growth, balance and hand-eye coordination by installing adventure trail components like the ‘Tyre Step’ and ‘Shimmy Ropes’, which can also be used for football and netball training sessions and other teacher-led activities.
Make the most of break-times
Allow break-time activities where children can use equipment such as tennis balls, skipping ropes and Frisbees.
Consider after-school clubs
Encourage concerted exercise by setting up an after-school mini boot camp that uses existing play facilities as a circuit.
Create fundraising challenges
Organise sponsored challenges such as an assault course or activity trail and raise money for school funds. Get parents involved for added fun!
Praise children when they are exercising and provide achievable challenges to give them the motivation to do it more often.