By Patty Dokken & Karina Bond, Physical Education Teachers at The Langley School
Children need a balance of structured and unstructured physical activity time in order to sustain habits which lead to lifetime fitness. And since our physical health and our mental health are closely connected, it’s especially important to keep kids active during this time of COVID-19 restrictions and isolation. So what can you do at home to encourage your child to get moving and stay active? Balance activity times with your child by including moments of:
- active play (parent participation is a huge motivator!)
- unstructured active time (preferably outdoors)
- relaxation through calming music or stretching poses
Children are adaptable and can quickly relearn routines, so if they’ve been more sedentary than usual or are feeling over-stimulated by technology, they will enjoy the rhythm of activity breaks during the day.
At The Langley School, we are committed to providing a balance of structured and unstructured movement through recess and physical education classes. Here are a few activities our students are doing during their P.E. classes that allow them to have fun, learn new skills, and build fitness while practicing safety measures like social distancing. Have your child try these activities at home.
We also believe students benefit from exploring the connection between their physical, mental, and emotional health, as described in The Langley School’s health and wellness prong of our unique social and emotional learning program. Our P.E. curriculum, in particular, reflects the Believe In You Social and Emotional Empowerment Program through OPEN PhysED. For example, our older students are journaling each week about the activities they did to stay active for at least 60 minutes per day, as well as what they did for their mental and emotional health. Encourage your child to keep a fitness journal at home – it’s an easy way to empower kids to take charge of their fitness and inspire them to remain active in ways they find meaningful.
Whether in school or at home, lifetime fitness is best supported by finding enjoyable activities to keep active and then enjoying them regularly. So let’s get moving!