You already know the benefits of keeping kids active during the school day. But are the students, administrators, and parents in your community as well-versed as you are? Use the tips below to showcase your physical education program and help everyone understand its importance.
Ideas for highlighting your physical education program
1. Hold a family P.E. night
Your PTO/PTA probably already helps organize events like book fairs, STEM Night, or game nights to get families involved in their student’s education. Now it’s time to lobby for Health and Fitness Fest!
Hold your event outside if the weather allows and display fun facts for students and caregivers to read as they explore the different stations. Get ideas in this blog post: 10 interesting P.E. facts.
Stations could include some of the following:
- Trail mix: Have healthy trail mix available with labels that talk about how the ingredients give you energy and supports heart health and brain function (that includes chocolate!). Note: Check for nut allergies in your student body when planning ingredients and post a sign at this station warning about nut allergies for attendees.
- Yoga: Team up with a local yoga instructor or recruit some older students to demonstrate stretching and strengthening exercises. You can even make it a fun collaborative game with the Yoga Spinner® Game Kit and challenge attendees to hold their poses as long as they can.
- Cooperative tug of war: Instead of having attendees face off against each other, have them work together to move a heavy object across the grass, such as a plastic bin filled with sand that you’ve tied a rope around. You can start with just one participant and continue adding people until they can get the bin to move to show students how the job is easier when they all work together. Or, you can have two teams compete to see who can drag their object across the finish line first.
- Obstacle course: Set up an obstacle course with field cones, balance beams, hoops, etc. Challenge students and caregivers to complete it in the shortest time.
- Heart health: Collaborate with a local health organization to set up a station focused on heart health. Offer blood pressure screenings and have the station leader test each participant’s resting pulse and then have them choose an exercise to do, such as 20 jumping jacks, two laps around the gym, or three minutes of jumping rope and then test it again. Have the leader talk about the importance of cardio fitness and strengthening your heart muscle through exercise.
- Quiz challenge: Set up a game-show-style board that has an array of answers to P.E. and health trivia questions on it. Write the corresponding questions on pieces of construction paper and tape them over the answers. As students and parents come to the station, challenge them to choose a question and decide together on the answer (base your questions on the fun facts you’ve placed around the area). Can they get three in a row correct?
- Why I love gym class: Provide colorful sheets of paper for students, staff, and caregivers to share their favorite memories of gym class. Display during your event and around your school afterward.
2. Teachers vs. students!
There’s nothing students love more than getting to face off against their favorite teachers. Organize a friendly sports tournament for basketball, soccer, track, or volleyball. Staff and students can form teams and compete against each other in a fun and supportive environment.
Come up with a prize if students win, such as a teacher or the principal having to enact a stunt, letting the students have a water balloon fight, or providing a pizza party. If the staff wins, students must serve them during the pizza party.
Make sure you drum up plenty of press before the big game, getting students exciting during school, sending info home to parents and caregivers, hyping it up on social media, and even giving the community newspaper a heads up to cover the game and put your school in the spotlight.
This is also the perfect time to talk about good sportsmanship, such as respecting opponents, following fair play, encouraging teammates, keeping a positive attitude, and being a graceful winner or loser.
3. Hold a fitness fundraiser
Want to raise funds for your P.E. program, keep kids moving, and gain some visibility for the important work you do? Hold a Fitness Fundraiser! Provide students with pledge forms and have them secure pledges from family and friends to be donated if the student reaches a certain number of hours of jumping rope or doing a walk/run.
Recruit local businesses to sponsor your school and pledge a donation if students reach a designated number of hours of collective jump roping. Be sure to provide a visual tracker you can share on social media and with your students so everyone can see how close they are to reaching their goal.
Share your plan with local new outlets to get the community excited and involved and be sure to thank sponsors in your local newspaper on social media.
Keep up the great work!
Being a teacher doesn’t always come with a lot of accolades or fanfare. But the work you do every day has a positive impact on students’ lives.
Continue to find ways to celebrate your physical education program, bring visibility to its importance, and help students develop healthy habits for life.