Teachers have a lot of kids (and feelings!) to manage and a curriculum to follow. It’s not always easy to get the class active outside of recess and physical education. But it’s important for their physical health as well as their mental health and well-being. So, if you want to support an active environment during school hours, there are a few things you, as a parent, can do to help.
Give them something to do outdoors
An unfortunate truth is that teachers often have to pay out-of-pocket to get supplies for their class. If you can swing it, head to the dollar store and get inspired by the outdoor play supplies. Something as simple as buying chalk, bubbles, sandpit toys, or (plastic) magnifying glasses in bulk for the class can encourage active play, free play and exploration outdoors. And, for more creative ideas, here are four active games that use school playground equipment.
Volunteer to help take the class on nature walks or park outings
Another resource that’s sometimes lacking is enough support people to help take the class on outings. If you have your vulnerable-sector check and some time to volunteer, consider offering to help take the class on a nature walk or to the park during a time when it might fit into the class schedule. This can make all the difference.
Communicate your interest
Teachers have to follow a curriculum and might be worried that parents won’t appreciate it if they stray from it. Let them know that you’re a firm supporter of their choices to help the kids in their class stay active and get outdoors during the school day. They need to know that parents appreciate them and their efforts to do what’s best for their students.
Attend parent council meetings
Participate in school board meetings and express your support for initiatives that promote physical activity at the school. These meetings are a great place to make suggestions, like starting a nature walk club or encouraging weekly forest exploration. Your engagement can influence school policies and physical activity programs, as well as encourage a more comprehensive approach to active learning.
If feasible, consider donating or fundraising for equipment that facilitates physical activity in the classroom, like resistance bands and yoga mats. Always check with the teacher first to ensure that these items would be a help and not a hindrance.
What other ways can parents provide support to teachers regarding daily physical activity at school? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!