The benefits to being active and getting in shape go way beyond tackling important challenges such as childhood obesity. A healthy body is also important when it comes to a healthy mind. With school life becoming increasingly desk-bound, it is vital we get children active, physical and moving about in whatever ways they can on a daily basis.
What the children say
I think people in school should be more active and there should be more school trip and more fun runs' - Shifa, age 7
'I like running up the grass hill and tumbling down with my friends'- Joel, age 5
'Being active is playing football all day!' - Archie, age 11
What we say
What the research says
Regular physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits for children. This includes reduced body fat
and the promotion of healthy weight, enhanced bone and cardio-metabolic health, and enhanced psychological well-being.
A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers
Start them thinking
Would you rather be fit or rich?
After exercising, do you feel more happy than before you started?
Can exercise make you sad?
Is it easier to dance for ten minutes than run for ten minutes?
Should parents be fined for having unfit children?
Can anyone never get fit?
Children should be involved in 60 minutes of physical activity each day, yet only 21% of boys and 16% of girls meet achieve this. Research also shows higher levels of what is called ‘sedentary behaviour’ in boys, in older children and at weekends. And that doesn’t include the increasingly sedentary nature of their time at school. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Start each day for a month with a 'Wake 'n' Shake' activity.
Do a 'Daily Mile' each day for a month.
Run a parent and child fitness session with the local GP surgery.
Compare different sorts of activities (dance, aerobics, running, sports...) for health benefits.
Have each teacher try a new activity and report back.
What You've Been Up To So Far:
We working in teams to build dens as a way to learn how to communicate effectively while simultaneously engaged in a task!
We built in an active games session each day - action rhymes, simple running games or circle songs such as ring a ring a roses
We did active story telling - walking to different spaces in our nursery garden and recreating the action and events physically rather than just sitting and listening to a story
We worked on a spring-themed dance piece to help us to learn to move in new and imaginative ways
We played active games involving jumping and throwing at targets which gave us a real life context for practising counting.
We did foot painting on a huge scale, as a follow up to hearing all the different ways the dinosaurs move in the storybook Bumpus, Jumpus, Dinosaurumpus.