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Movement, Wellness and Personal Fitness in Cold Weather
By: P.E. Teachers Larry Huusko and Jenna Lucas
Watching Junior Kindergarten run and play during free time in P.E. is one of my favorite moments. The furthest thing from their minds is personal fitness. They are just enjoying themselves. Through their creative movement, they exercise almost every muscle in their body. Every class has exciting and active free time prior to class actually beginning.
During the warm months it is easy for anyone to “just go outside and play,” or if you’re an adult, to do some gardening or lawn work or walk the dog to get active. But what do you do when the weather turns cold and nasty?
I say, turn to your children. Let their creativity shine! Give them parameters: Don’t break anything, don’t hurt yourself or others, and be aware of others around you who may not want to “play” your game or participate in your activity. To get the whole family involved, let each member of the family be in charge of one day’s game or activity. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Here are some simple suggestions to spark your creativity:
- Go up and down the steps 10 times.
- Try to touch each wall in your house in the shortest period of time.
- See how many times you can touch all four walls in one room (cleared of furniture or in the basement).
- Stuffed animal bowling: Set any collection of items up in a room with hard floors (carpet doesn’t work very well), and using bowling techniques and stuffed animals try to “bowl down” all the items.
- Finally, put multiple ideas together and form your own Family Olympic Games. Form teams, if your family is large enough, and individual challenges. You could even hold an “opening ceremony parade, special “gold medal” ceremonies, and a “closing parade of athletes” ceremony.
The bottom line is: be creative in your activities to keep them fun and exciting. Letting your children lead gives them ownership of their play and also of their fitness. If you don’t have any timing equipment such as a stopwatch, I like using “ONE MISS-IS-SIPPI, TWO MISS-IS-SIPPI” so the winner (if that is important) can be spread around.
Another way to keep the exercising going is to make your activities goal-oriented. “After 10 push-ups you can play the video game you desire for a half hour. After walking the dog you can watch the T.V. program you wanted to watch.” Do your CHORES, get your REWARDS.
Have fun, stay active.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in St. Louis, is a private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.