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[National Physical Fitness & Sports Month] Free Classroom Resources & Activities

[National Physical Fitness & Sports Month] Free Classroom Resources & Activities

The sun is finally shining again, and students are starting to get that “almost summer vacation” itch! Thankfully, it’s May, which means it’s National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Each year, the month of May helps educate young Americans on the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as encourages them to get up and play for at least an hour each day.

Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in your pre-k to 6th grade classroom with a FREE downloadable resource packet from EducationCity. In this packet, you’ll find fact sheets, ThinkIts, and activities to help get your class up and moving all May long!

Looking for more ways to encourage your students to stay moving for the rest of the summer? Check out these five tips on how you can motivate your students to live active and healthy lifestyles before you send them off for summer break:

1) Talk About How Great Being Active Is

You know that your students are smart, so be real with them. Having an informative and open discussion with your students about the benefits of living and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can really help them understand the why when it comes to eating right and getting exercise. Discuss with them how building healthy habits now makes them more likely to be active and healthy grown-ups. Let them know how research has shown that just 60 minutes of physical activity per day can help them earn better grades; develop time-management skills; boost concentration, memory, and self-esteem; and reduce anxiety and stress. It’s a lot easier to be motivated to do something when you know why you should be doing it. So, let your students in on it!

2) Encourage Students to Unplug

During the summer, days can be unstructured compared to during the school year. This means that children will spend a lot of their free time plopped down in front of electronic devices, staring at screens, and ultimately being inactive. While you can’t enforce a limit on screen time for your students over the summer, you can at least encourage them to set one for themselves. Have a class discussion with your students on how much screen time they feel is appropriate during the day and how they can hold themselves accountable to that limit. Brainstorm different physical activities your students can do with friends or independently that don’t involve electronics, like putting on a backyard play, planting a mini garden, or trying out a new sport. Have your students write up summer tech-free bucket lists so that they have plenty of ideas about how to entertain themselves when they are bored.

3) Teach a Lesson on Outdoor Games

Odds are that your students don’t have the same playground equipment they have access to at recess in their own backyards. But, that shouldn’t stop them from playing outside! Spend some time teaching your students a lesson on how to play different outdoor games, like hopscotch, freeze dance, or four square. A few of your students might already be familiar with these games, in which case you might ask them to share with their classmates some of the rules for play or even demonstrate for the class. It may seem like a silly thing to teach a lesson on, but you never know which one of your students will go home and spend the summer playing freeze tag with their friends or siblings because you helped teach them how to play before the school year ended. 

4) Get Loose and Have Fun

Summer is around the corner, and everyone just wants to have fun, so why try to fight it? Fold in some time throughout the day to play dance-along songs for the class, and let everyone get goofy for a few minutes. If you start to notice more and more of your students are getting distracted during one of your lessons, have everyone stand up and get the wiggles out of their systems. During the last few weeks of class, as your start to pack up your classroom, push the desks aside and let one of your students lead group yoga, a game of musical chairs, or a few rounds of freeze dance. While your students may think you’re just having some fun before school is out, what you’re really doing is modeling for your students how they can incorporate movement and light exercise into their day in ways that are fun and playful. 

5) Encourage Parents to Get Involved

It’s no secret that parent involvement does wonders, especially when it comes to your students’ success in the classroom. But over summer break, parent involvement is just as important when it comes to keeping children active. Encourage your students to talk to their families about getting involved in group physical activities. Start by asking them to think of a few activities they think their family members might enjoy, such as going for a walk with the family dog, spending a day at the pool, or even helping out with a big household project, like cleaning out the garage. Not only are group activities a great way to get the whole family active, but they’re also the perfect opportunity for building lasting summer memories.

You can’t spend the summer with your students, but you can send them off with some ideas on how to have a happy, healthy, and active summer vacation. And, don’t forget, there’s more to celebrate this May! Check out EducationCity’s FREE Memorial Day resource packet!

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