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As the days become longer and the weather gets better, we can begin to welcome spring with open arms. What better way to do so than getting your students moving, or even better, jumping?

PLAYBuilder is a digital library that offers 100s of fun games and activities to strengthen your students’ locomotor and non-locomotor skills. Jumping is an important skill for sports like basketball, long jump, high-kick ball and hundreds of others. 

Here are three great ways to build this locomotor skill: 

Jump the Pond 

Grades K-7

Equipment

Hula hoops

Setup

Place hula hoops zig-zagging up the playing area in sections.

Activity

  • Demonstrate the proper form for a two-foot horizontal jump. Have participants practice their two-foot jump in a safe space.
  • Place participants into groups of three and line up behind the first hoop in their section.
  • Instruct participants that these circles are islands and they must jump from island to island to not fall in the “water”.
  • If they fall in the water, participants do five jumps on the spot before getting back on the island they fell off. Emphasize that technique is more important than speed.
  • As soon as the first participant is halfway through, the next participant can begin.
  • When all participants make it to the other side, they turn around and try to make it back without falling in the water.
  • While participants are waiting for their turn, have them balance or perform an exercise to increase movement.
  • Ensure that participants use proper jumping form (knees bent, arms swinging back when crouched and forward when taking off, land softly on the balls of their feet followed by their heels, then the arms come back down).

Jump Tag 

Grades 1-7

Equipment 

  • No equipment necessary!

Setup

  • Leader picks several people to be taggers and gives them a pinnie to wear or a soft object to hold to signify them as taggers.
  • Place several objects around the periphery that are various heights.

Activity

  • If someone is tagged by a tagger they must find three different objects to jump over before they can join back into the game.
  • Switch taggers every couple of minutes.
  • Game continues until the teacher feels it’s appropriate.

Number Jump Race 

Grades 2-3

What you’ll need

  • Number lines, floor tape, cones with numbers on them,  laminated number cards, chalk. 

Set-up 

  • Have a number line for each pair of students.
  • Students stand on each side of the number line, starting at zero.
  • Give each student one dice.

Activity

  • Students roll their dice at the same time.
  • The number shown on their dice is how many jumps forward they make, ensuring to land on each number along the way.
  • They continue this pattern until someone gets to 20 first and wins the game.

There are 100s of more great activities to play in the gym, out in the school-yard, or even in the classroom that you can access on PLAYBuilder. Sign up today for free as a B.C. educator! 

 

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We know movement is essential at a young age, but why? Lots of reasons!

Various types of physical activity help develop fundamental movement skills. And, students who are developing confidence, competence and motivation around fundamental movement skills are more likely to stay active and engage in other physical activities.

Bonus? Physical activity offers various benefits for the bones, heart, muscles and mind, making incorporating different physical games and activities into the school day important!

 

Types of Physical Activity & Their Benefits

  • Running, jumping or hanging from parts of the playground strengthen students bones, heart and muscles.
  • Running, jumping rope or other heart-pumping  activities build stamina and can improve students’ sleep! 
  • Squatting, spinning around and other stationary movements strengthen the brain-body link.
  • Playing with small toys, crayons or other small items help develop fine motor skills.
  • Any type of moderate or vigorous physical activity improves learning, memory and focus!

 

Ways to Support Development During the School Day

Physical activity isn’t just something for gym time—lots of the above activities can be incorporated throughout your school day! Intertwining physical activity and other subjects helps build brain and body development.

Looking for more opportunities to incorporate physical activity in your class? PLAYBuilder, an online platform, has many cross-curricular games and activities to implement into your school schedule! 

 

Students can get restless inside all day. 

What are some ways to release your students’ energy indoors, while also developing physical literacy? 

PLAYBuilder, a digital lesson planning platform, offers access to 700+ games and 100+ lesson plans for K-7 educators— including those that are adaptable or made to take place in a gymnasium or classroom!

Here are some great examples of indoor games found on PLAYBuilder:

Follow the Lines (Grade K-7)

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

  • As students enter the gym ask them to find a spot somewhere on a line and stand still. 

Activity

  • Upon your signal, students can try to move only on the lines. Students can change lines anywhere two lines intersect, but cannot jump between lines.
  • Any time two students meet each other when traveling, they must do a dance move, then turn around and change directions without passing each other. 
  • Emphasize the importance of being able to balance on the lines as they move around the gym.

Beanbag Balance (Grades K-4)

What You’ll Need

Beanbags

Setup

  • Have participants spread out.
  • Give each student a beanbag.

Activity

  • Call out different body parts (e.g., shoulder, back, knee, foot, stomach, thumb, etc.) and have participants balance their beanbag on said body part for five seconds.
  • Try to pick funny/challenging body parts to keep it fun.
  • You may add a rule that if the beanbag falls off (i.e., they must do five jumping jacks or another appropriate exercise).
  • You may also increase the time they have to balance the beanbag.
  • For an extra challenge, have them try to move while balancing the beanbag.

Locomotor Relay Race (Grades 1-7)

What You’ll Need

  • Cones or poly spots

Setup

  • Places participants in groups of three to ensure maximum participation.

Activity

  • Tell them which locomotor skill they will be performing each race.
  • On your signal, the first student goes to the end line and tags the next student in line, until all three have finished.
  • Start off easy and move to more challenging skills each race(e.g., walking, running, hopping, skipping, galloping, sliding, etc.).
  • Stress the importance of technique over winning. If they perform skills wrong, teach them and have them do it over again.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship.

 

Looking for more activities and games like these? Sign up for PLAYBuilder today! 

Winter is here in B.C., and finding ways to keep students active and engaged, without always braving the winter weather, can be challenging particularly with COVID considerations. 

Looking for some indoor-friendly, COVID-safe activities? PLAYBuilder is a great tool to help build lessons that are fun and support the development of physical literacy.

PLAYBuilder is a free digital platform that contains over 700 games and 100 lesson plans for educators teaching K-7! There are even activities with limited equipment and reduced contact to stay COVID-friendly. This online tool is free for B.C. educators! 

Register for an account today!

REGISTER TODAY

Here are some examples of COVID-safe activities accessible on PLAYBuilder:

Freeze It! (Grades K-7)

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

No setup necessary!

Activity

  • Participants travel freely in general space, trying different locomotor movements chosen by the leader being careful to stay apart from one another.
  • Leader will call out a number that indicates how many body parts the participants are to balance on for five seconds. For example: If three is called out, they may balance on two hands and one foot. For five body parts they may balance on two hands, two feet, and their head.
  • Encourage creativity and remind them of the balancing cues. If someone is very creative, highlight them to the rest of the class.

Alphabet Balance (Ages 3-6)

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

No setup necessary!

Activity

  • Leader yells out different letters of the alphabet.
  • Participants try to make their body into the shape of that letter.
  • Encourage the use of different levels. For example, participants may lay on the floor to create the shape or stand up.
  • Leader may ask them to spell a short word, or try guessing their letter for added fun.

If You Like

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

No setup necessary!

Activity

  • Ask participants questions and give them an exercise they must do if it applies to them.
  • Examples below:
    • If you like strawberries do 5 squats
    • If you like swimming do one lap
    • If you have a pet do 5 hops on one foot
    • If you have green eyes balance on one foot for five seconds
  • Ask volunteers to give examples
  • Try to pick things that apply to the majority so they get a good warm-up.

*For all activities, ensure that your students are maintaining proper social distance and are adhering to the current COVID-19 safety guidelines in your region and school. 

These activities, as well as others accessible on PLAYBuilder, can help build on your students physical activity and physical literacy.

Ready to explore more activities like these, for your students? Register for PLAYBuilder today:

REGISTER TODAY

For educators, short movement breaks throughout the day can help develop students’ physical literacy, improve focus and increase learning. But it can be a challenge to find a variety of activities that your students will enjoy that still encourage the development of physical literacy through fundamental movement skills. 

Here, we share five easy and fun movement breaks you can do with your students to give them a reset during the school day and encourage their development of physical literacy. 

Are you looking for more activities? The Movement Activity Cards available for free on our website feature dozens of games to incorporate in your classroom, including those listed below:

Balance Clock 

Students start by balancing on one foot. Next, they swing the raised foot in front and behind them. Once they have mastered that, ask students to swing their foot from side to side across their bodies while standing on one foot. Using their arms as the hands of a clock, can they make 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. 

Challenge: Those that have mastered these balances can try them with their eyes closed.

Desk Olympics

On small pieces of paper, write down various Olympic sports (e.g., swimming, canoeing, cycling, sprinting, rowing, etc.) and place them in a bucket or hat. Draw one of the sports out and have students do that sport for 20 seconds while staying at their desks.

Try doing a few desk Olympic sports during the movement break. 

Challenge: Can they do the sport using five or more parts of their bodies?

Skier Jumps 

Have students stand with their feet together. They jump from side to side, swinging their arms up with each jump, and land with their knees bent. 

Challenge: How many Skier Jumps can they do in 30 seconds?

Place Value Movements 

Try this fun way to reinforce place values. Give students an exercise and a number. For example, say “jumping jacks” and “698”. Then, tell them to do the number of jumping jacks in the 10s column. 

Depending on the age of the students, use larger or smaller numbers. Change the exercise frequently.

Ball and Cup Catch 

Give each student a small ball (e.g., table tennis ball, plastic ball, or tennis ball) and a cup. Students throw the ball up and catch it with the cup. This activity works hand-eye coordination. 

Challenge: Ask students to practice this while standing on one foot. Try throwing the ball with the non-dominant hand. Create a large circle of students. Give the ball to one person to toss across the circle to a friend. They are to call out the student’s name, who is to catch the ball in their cup. 

For more activities, download the Movement Activity Card set and look through our Classroom Resources, School Resources and Additional Resources.

Sport and physical activity can bring students of all cultures together. When students share an engaging sport or physical activity experience with classmates from the various cultures and countries represented in the B.C. school system, they have the unique opportunity to make friends with people from all sorts of backgrounds. The more diversity they encounter, the more they will learn to respect all of their peers equally. 

What does diversity look like in physical activity?

In practice, that means:

  • a school physical activity culture that values diversity and response to the diverse social and cultural needs of its community; 
  • a physical activity culture that promotes understanding and respect; 
  • a participation environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence;
  • equitable access and equal opportunities to participate in quality physical activity; and 
  • a recognition that adaptations may need to be made for activities and rules, and more! 

HELPFUL RESOURCE: LASTING IMPACT: THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY

How can you promote diversity through activity? 

There are many ways to support diversity and inclusion of all of your students within physical activity. With the Beijing 2022 Winter Games coming up, here are a few Olympic-themed suggestions: 

Hold mini-Olympic celebrations 

Assign groups of students to represent different nations. Make national flags and learn about assigned countries and their sports and recreational activities in social studies.

March in an opening ceremony and compete in a range of diversity-themed events. Hold a closing ceremony with teams mingled.

Build on the Paralympic Games

Diversity includes celebrating the games and sports played by persons with disabilities. Demonstrate that sport is for all by profiling Paralympians on the class bulletin boards, inviting an athlete with disabilities to visit the class, or teaching a sport like wheelchair rugby or goalball.

For more ideas around promoting diversity through physical activity, and opportunities to learn more about the importance of diversity, download the following resource: Lasting Impact: The Importance of Diversity.

Are you interested in learning more about physical activity and physical literacy and their importance for your students? Check out our other classroom resources and the various professional development opportunities available through the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project.

What equipment does your gym have that you are curious about using more often? Hula hoops are simple pieces of equipment that have a variety of uses beyond just hula hooping! All it takes is a bit of creativity. 

Here are three examples of physical activity and physical literacy games featuring hula hoops, from the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project’s PLAYBuilder—a free digital lesson-planning tool for B.C. K-7 educators. 

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Hula Hoop Tag

Participants practice hopping in this fun game of tag.
Grades K-7

Equipment

  • Hula hoops
  • Pinnies or a soft object to hold

Setup

  • Spread several hula hoops around the playing area.
  • Choose several participants to be taggers. Have them wear a pinnie or hold a soft object to identify them as taggers.

Instructions

  • If a participant is tagged, they must go to three different hoops and perform a hop inside before re-entering the game.
  • Change taggers every few minutes.

Cues

  • Stand on one of your feet,
  • bend your knee on your standing foot,
  • bring your arms back like a superhero cape, and
  • bring your arms forward as you hop, and land softly on the same foot you started with, bending your knee.

Hoop Serve

Participants practice serving a ball into hoops.
Grades 3-7

Equipment

  • Hula hoops
  • Balls suited to your students’ ages and abilities

Setup

  • Place participants into groups of five or six.
  • Place hoops on either side of the net/line.
  • Participants must try to serve the ball and land it inside the hoop. They can keep track of points and challenge other teams. Hoops that are further away can be worth more points.
  • Ask them what strategies they used to place the ball in the hoop? Did they move closer to the net, use more power with their striking hand, align their body toward the target, etc.?

Hoop Challenge

Participants must work together to move the hoop around the circle.
Grades 5-7

Equipment

  • Hula hoops

Setup

  • Place participants into groups of six to eight.

Instructions

  • The groups join hands, forming a circle with a hula-hoop hanging between two participants’ hands.
  • The challenge is to pass the hula-hoop around the circle without anyone letting go of hands.
  • The leader can add more hoops to the circle or make a race to see which group finishes first. 

Interested in accessing more activities like these? Sign up today for PLAYBuilder! It’s free to use for B.C. K-7 educators, and features 700+ activities and 100+ lesson plans aligned with the B.C. Physical and Health Education curriculum. 

REGISTER FOR PLAYBUILDER

As the winter weather starts, you might be looking for ways to keep physical activity a part of your daily class’ routine without needing to go outside between your gym blocks.

Physical activity and physical literacy aren’t just things you can work on when outside or in the gym. Here are four activities to encourage physical activity and physical literacy while in the classroom, from the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project‘s PLAYBuilder (a free, digital lesson-planning tool for B.C. K-7 educators, aligned with the B.C. Physical and Health Education Curriculum):

Animal Stretches

Participants stretch like various animals.
Grades K-3

Equipment
No equipment is necessary!

Setup
Students form a semi-circle around the leader; alternatively, have students stand behind their desks.

Instructions

  • Reach up to the ceiling like a giraffe. Stand on your tippy-toes, and reach with your arms. Pick some leaves off the trees, and place them at your feet to eat later. Reach from side to side.
  • Stand on one leg like a flamingo and hold your foot with your hand. Try the other foot.
  • Clasp hands behind your back and puff out your chest like an angry bear. Can you make a bear sound?
  • Sit on the floor, bend knees, open legs, and touch soles of feet together like a butterfly. Flap your butterfly wings by moving thighs up and down.
  • Pretend you are a turtle on its back. Clasp hands around the back of knees and bring knees to chest. Rock back and forth, and side to side.
  • Lie on your back like a sleeping snake. Close your eyes and breathe softly

Move to 10

Students practice their fundamental movement skills while counting to 10.
Grades K-3

Equipment

No equipment is necessary!

Setup

The educator places the names of some fundamental movement skills (e.g., jumps, hops, balance) in a hat or in a website that randomly picks a movement (https://wheelofnames.com/).

Instructions

  • The educator picks a skill.
  • The students and educator perform the skill while counting to 10 (e.g., 10 hops on the left, 10-second balance on one foot, 10 jumps, etc.).

Variations

  • Try counting backward.
  • Try counting by twos.
  • Add two numbers together and perform the skill to the sum.

Math True or False

Students perform a movement activity for true and false math questions.
Grades 4-7

Equipment
No equipment is necessary!

Setup

  • The educator writes on the board, “True = Squats, False = High knees.”
  • Students stand up.

Instructions

  • The educator states various math questions and provides an answer.
  • If students think the solution provided is true, they do squats; if they believe it is false, they do high knees.

Variations

  • Have students provide the math questions and answers.
  • Change up the movement activities (e.g., lunges, balance on one foot, jumping jacks).

Word Puzzles

Students work together to put a word puzzle together.
Grades 4-7

Equipment

No equipment is necessary!

Setup

  • The educator prints out a word at their grade level and cuts it into pieces that can fit back together.
  • The educator places students into groups of three and lines them up on the end line.
    Each group has the same puzzle, which is on the opposite side of the play space.

Instructions

  • When the educator says “Go,” the first person in line runs to the other side, grabs a piece of the puzzle, and runs back to tag the next person in line.
  • When groups have collected all puzzle pieces, they must work together to put the puzzle together and tell the educator the word.

Variations

  • Make it a race, and whoever finishes first wins.
  • Use different locomotor movements (e.g., skipping, jumping, hopping) instead of just running.
  • Use phrases instead of words.

For more activities like the above that align with the B.C. Physical and Health Education Curriculum, register for PLAYBuilder today: https://schoolpapl.ca/resources-home/playbuilder/

 

 

Physical literacy is a competency in the B.C. Physical and Health Education (PHE) Curriculum. Students are expected to develop and demonstrate a wide variety of fundamental movement skills in various settings, using proper techniques.

But how can we as educators assess those fundamental movement skills to support our students’ development? The answer: Physical literacy assessment.

Why Is Physical Literacy Assessment Important?

By observing how your students move, you can plan your physical literacy activities and support your students’ learning over time. Assessment highlights gaps, directs instruction and builds a case long-term for physical literacy development.

Among other things, assessment of physical literacy gives you an idea of the broader picture of your students’ movement capabilities. It shows you where they are and where they need to go to be confident, competent and motivated to be active for life. In turn, this contributes to better self-esteem, self-awareness, self-regulation and social connectedness.

How Do We Assess Physical Literacy?

PLAYbasic for Educators is a resource available through the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project that allows educators to assess students based on a: run there and back, ball kick, overhand throw, hop and walk backward heel-to-toe.  While it is effective, it is not comprehensive in assessing other fundamental movement skills, components of physical literacy, or fitness levels.

It is, however, a quick and easy tool that requires minimal space and assesses your students’ competence, confidence and comprehension of those five fundamental movement skills mentioned earlier.

To support capacity building around PLAYbasic for Educators and assessment of students, the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project offers a Physical Literacy Assessment workshop and eLearning course available for free for B.C. K-7 educators.

 

 

In a classroom setting, you will likely have students at varying levels of ability. It’s important to provide them with opportunities to try an activity and challenge themselves, without the activity being too difficult for them. 

How can you support different levels of ability, while still focusing on one game or activity? Consider modifications and variations. The free, digital lesson-planning tool PLAYBuilder, offers over 700+ games and activities that are aligned with the B.C. Physical and Health Education Curriculum—many of which also provide modifications to suit each of your students abilities. 

Here are two activities you can try with your class, that feature some easy variations to change the level of difficulty: 

Lions and Leopards (Grade 3-7)

Setup 

  • Leader divides the class into two teams and names one team the Lions and one team the Leopards.
  • Two teams face each other with two meters between them (marked by pylons/objects) and the leader marks a safety zone about 20 meters behind each team.

Instructions & Cues

  • Leader yells either Lions or Leopards.
  • The team name that is called must chase the other team until they reach their safety zone.
  • Any participants that have been tagged must now join the other team.
  • Leader should roll the “L” sounds before yelling the team name to increase anticipation.

Variations

  • Participants must hop on one leg, two foot hop, dribble a soccer ball, dribble a basketball instead of running
  • Leaders can change the animals and add variations to the call

Destroyers & Construction Workers (Grades 1-7)

Equipment

  • 15-20 pylons/markers

Setup

  • Scatter 15-20 pylons/markers on the field throughout a 20 x 20 yard area (cans of food or drink, or plastic pop bottles and milk cartons filled partially with water or sand). These items should be standing up straight. 
  • Divide the group into two equal teams. One group is designated the Destroyers and the other group the Construction Workers and they start on opposite lines.

Instructions & Cues

  • On leader’s “GO”, the Destroyers attempt to tip over the pylons with their hands, while the Construction Workers attempt to repair the pylons by standing them back up. 
  • Set a time for this activity and at the end count the number of pylons that the destroyers have knocked down, then allow the teams to switch roles. 
  • After each group has had an opportunity being both a Construction Worker and a Destroyer, reverse their roles again.  

Variations 

  • Participants must dribble a soccer ball and have their foot on top of the ball when they tip over/build up a pylon either as a Construction Worker or a Destroyer. Repeat so the participants have a chance at being a Construction Worker and a Destroyer.
  • Vary the body part that has to knock over the cone.

For more activities with variations to challenge all of your students, register for PLAYBuilder today!