The link between physical activity and mental well-being is well established. Physical activity helps students to build mental resilience, manage emotions and develop adaptive coping strategies for the classroom and throughout their lifetime. So, we should always be looking for ways to keep our students engaged and moving for the recommended 60 minutes per day!
Here are five fun ways we can get students physically active in the classroom, in the gym, and outdoors:
- When interest and energy levels start to dip, encourage students to have an active moment (e.g., a big stretch, raising their hands above their head, free movement).
- Play “Rock Paper Scissors Math” when learning new skills. This interactive game brings movement to math class by having students use their whole body to show their selected sign and use their skills to add and subtract numbers. Add and subtract classmates across the room instead of using numbers on paper.
- Go for a walk and take your lesson outside the classroom (e.g., land-based learning, outdoor spaces, vacant rooms, or an open gymnasium) to provide opportunities for developing physical literacy.
- Develop non-competitive scavenger hunts. Encourage students to explore their environment and use it to deepen their understanding of the learning material.
- Give students the option to stand or change positions during lessons, when they’re able and it’s appropriate.
Introducing these simple strategies to classroom schedules will go a long way to keeping our students engaged, healthy and happy!