Are your kids learning fundamental movement skills in gym class? According to an article in The Globe and Mail, practicing these movements, such as throwing, dribbling, kicking, etc., for just 2 to 3 hours a week can reduce the risk of them getting injured during physical activity as adults. If you’ve ever thrown out your back after playing tennis, or sprained an ankle from landing the wrong way after a fall, you know that this is a pretty amazing gift that we can give our children.
The best way to get kids practicing these skills is to make it fun and the article features some great suggestions from AfL contributor Dr. Dean Kriellaars. You may also purchase footwear with the right foot orthotics to help prevent foot injuries.
Journalist Kate Hammer writes: “Instead of teaching kids to throw a baseball, for example, Dr. Kriellaars suggests giving them a pile of bean bags and asking them to fill a barrel as quickly as they can. Instead of coaching them on how to kick a soccer ball, he suggests tying kids together, as in a three-legged race, and having them work together to move a ball through a maze of obstacles.”
Since it’s a challenge for many teachers to make developing these skills fun, why not forward our lesson plan builder to your school’s PE specialist or principal? You’ll be helping them incorporate fun, skill building activities into their PE program (if they aren’t already) and make it easier for them to give your kids a physical education that will make them feel amazing about moving, increase the likelihood that they participate in games and activities, improve their academic performance, and increase their confidence and overall happiness. Plus they’ll be less likely to hurt themselves down the road.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer 2 to 3 hours of PE class a week (not all schools are as great as this one), you can easily supplement what they are learning at school with some short, fun activities at home that don’t require a lot of expertise or skill on your part.
Just a few small tweaks to how our children learn to move today will make a huge difference to their present and to their future. What are we waiting for?