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With inactivity and childhood obesity an ongoing concern in our communities, schools have an increasingly important role in encouraging children to be active. This can be a challenge with students often being required to sit down in class for much of the day. Nevertheless there are things a school can do to encourage children to be as active as possible. Here are some ideas
- Hold activities outside, and encourage movement and physical activity
Thanks to Felton Industries grandstand seating, it’s surprisingly easy to accommodate an entire class outdoors. Take advantage of the option by holding classes outside and encourage students to get up and physically move around as part of the lesson. Not only will this variety in activity help stimulate the kids to be alert and receptive to learning, but getting active will help kickstart the metabolism which can become sluggish with prolonged sitting.
- Lunchtime Special: Allow kids to play Pokemon Go (and other AR game apps) for one day of the week during lunchtimes
Pokemon Go can be a curse if students would rather be hunting Pokemons than paying attention in class to the task at hand! However, if this is permitted as a lunchtime activity on a day of the week it can provide added incentive for children to physically move around to reach particular areas and complete their in-game tasks. With that in mind, allowing kids to play Pokemon Go during a lunch breaks can be alternative solution to other physical activities and promote kids to get active during their lunchtimes.
- Place seating to create activity “hot spots”
If you place undercover seating and other outdoor furniture near play areas such as a soccer field you may encourage students to also participate when they see their friends playing. It is important to also create quiet areas so children don’t feel like they’re being forced into activities that they don’t want to do (nothing discourages activity over the long term quite like children building negative connotations around being “forced” into sport), but the more you can encourage children to be around activity, the more likely they are to naturally want to participate.
- Get celebrities into schools to demonstrate sports
Inviting celebrities or local sports heroes to the school to demonstrate their skills and talk to the children can be an incredibly effective way of inspiring kids to be more active. Organise to have a football team train at the local school field, for example, and make sure the grandstands are set up around the field so children feel encouraged to go and watch. Celebrities have a significant impact on the mindset of children, so simply seeing their heroes playing sport on their field can be a very effective way of getting the child to play the sport as well.
Schools can take a number of approaches to help children be more active. The more children enjoy an activity the more likely they will be to participate again and again. Using furniture and other features in the playground, with a focused strategy behind it, to encourage and inspire children to be active, is where the best success will be found.
Contact Felton Industries for more information on playground furniture options, and how they might benefit the children at your school.