Physical fitness is important for children. It helps them gain strength in the bones and muscles, which is good for growth. It also can help fight obesity by keeping the body in shape. Kids already get some exercise in gym and PE classes at school, but they still need more. Parents should be actively involved in promoting physical activities in their kids, creating some type of opportunity for exercise every day. One place to start raising awareness is at school.
Public schools are getting more active in promoting physical fitness in children, which is great news. One thing some schools do to get kids moving is to add a rock climbing wall to the school gym or playground. They are accessible during recess, as well as on certain days during gym or physical education class. The kids seem to really enjoy these rock walls and it's a great total body workout.
School playgrounds are actually a good source of exercise as well, offering a range of physical movements. Adding other things to the outdoor play area, such as a tether ball pole, basketball court, and volleyball net add even more fun and exercise. Some schools even allow the children to use bicycles, inline skates, and skateboards in a designated area. With this type of play growing in popularity, some schools have added bicycle and skateboard ramps.
Many museums also have an interactive physical health section where children can visit to learn more. Schools can take a day trip and teachers can center a lesson around this. Some of the museums even offer lesson plans or guided tours of these interactive exhibits.
Another thing many schools do is hold a free play time at least once a week during gym or physical education time. They will have assorted things available to play with, like gym scooters, fitness balls, a rock wall, rope climbing, and many other items. These create physical activities that are disguised as fun to the kids.
Making gym and physical fitness fun is a great idea. Active kids are healthy kids, so also be sure the kids get their dose every day, in addition to what is offered at school. Dancing is a fun and versatile family activity that is also great exercise. Some schools are incorporating dance into the curriculum of the core subjects for added physical and mental benefits.
Many kids also like to play those classic games you used to play as a kid. Children don't seem to play these as much anymore. These include games like "Red Rover", "Freeze Tag", and "Dodge Ball". These games are great at school because of the larger numbers of kids to work with. Bike riding is another regular activity that’s fun and beneficial to the physical health of the children. It's great to do any time of the day, but riding bikes to and from school can help kids stay fit in an enjoyable manner.
While some schools often do a great job at incorporating activities like these, others don’t. Parents can do their part by speaking up. Get together with other parents to discuss what’s happening in your child’s school. As a united front, a group of parents can make all the difference in getting schools to add more sports and fitness options.
I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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