The snowy season has arrived, and your students will be eager to venture out into the cold. For educators, this is a perfect time to encourage different types of activity, as moving in different ways helps build strong bones, muscles, hearts and minds, and helps develop the three fundamental movement skills: locomotor, non-locomotor and manipulative. For more on the importance of different types of activities for your students, download our resources Encouraging Different Types of Physical Activity and Different Activities, Different Beginnings.
Looking for some new ideas for activities to try with your students? Here’s a few ways to keep students engaged and physically active this winter, and encourage those important different types of movement in their day:
- Build a snowperson or snow fort
Students can create their own version of Frosty the Snowman, or construct a snow fortress.
- Go on a winter photo scavenger hunt
Make a list of interesting winter landmarks, then send your students off to draw pictures of what they see at those spots around your playground!
- Have a snowball-throwing contest
Students can compete to see who can throw the farthest, and with the most accuracy.
All you need is a slope and a sled. This will keep students tromping up and down the hill for multiple rides.
- Take a winter hike around the block
Lead your students on a guided tour, pointing out things to discuss later in the classroom.
- The Amazing Race
If you’re looking for something more ambitious and hands-on, you can host your own winter version of The Amazing Race – you can take inspiration from this version on our website, and use the passport as needed! Select as many challenge activities as you would like the teams to complete around your school yard and list them on the passport. We recommend between 6-8 activities. Activities should have students climbing, jumping, running, etc. In all, students should be using different equipment in the schoolyard to use different fundamental movement skills.
Not all students will be keen or able to get outside, and with lots of lessons happening in the classroom it’s a good idea to prepare some activities for the indoors as well. Here are some fun games to play with them, from our Physical Literacy in the Classroom: Activities to Keep Your Students Moving resource.
- Number lines
Create a number line with sidewalk chalk outside or painters tape inside. Have your student say the numbers as they walk (or hop!) over them, as they learn to count. (Example: Ask your students to say their three times table, hopping on each number in the series that is on the number line.)
- True or false
Ask your students a true or false question about a topic they are learning. Have them move differently depending on their answer. (Examples: “The largest organ in the body is the skin.” True = jumping jacks, false = lunges.)
- Whiteboard Workout
Have your students perform several activities one after the other, and time them to see how long it takes to complete the circuit. (Example: 10 toe touches, 10 squats, and 10 jumping jacks)
Looking for more fun activities for your class? PLAYBuilder has 900+ activities to keep your students engaged and having fun while they develop their physical literacy! Even better? PLAYBuilder can even plan your entire term of physical activity with Term Planner — and it’s all free for BC educators! Register today.