Archives for Month: March 2020

How to…keep busy whilst you’re in lockdown!

We are all in this together and, as we’ve all been told to stay at home, this is an excellent opportunity to learn some new skills to keep busy.

For many of us, uncertainty is lingering. We don’t know how long this will last. Time spent in isolation could lead to mental health problems, which is why it is so important to try your best to keep busy. Many of us have been given an opportunity to rest, so what is the best use of our time?

There are a number of things you could try, but whether it’s occupying just yourself or your loved ones too, here are a few ideas:

  1. Learn a new skill! Whether it be sign language, Makaton, French, German, crafting, or anything you can think of – we have an opportunity to invest our time into something you might have always wanted to do!
  2. Redecorate – have you been putting something off because you didn’t have the time? Painting the bedroom? Moving the furniture around? Cleaning the garage? Well, here’s your chance. Redecorating could give you a sense of achievement – it’s always nice to have a fresh start!
  3. Exercise – don’t let your old fitness DVD gather dust anymore! You have 24 hours in a day, let’s find some time to exercise! There are plenty of workouts you can find online, including Joe Wick’s daily 9am workout on his channel! Remember, you are allowed to go outside for one form of exercise a day, so you could even take up jogging or cycling.
  4. Cook from scratch – no more need for convenience meals. We have the time to create beautiful meals from scratch! Have you ever made your own bread? Your own pizza dough? Your own pasta? (Come to think of it, there is a shortage of pasta so this one might be worth a go…) Let’s get cooking!

Count your blessings. These are tough times for many of us, but remember to be kind to each other and spend time with your loved ones (if they’re in your household, of course!) If you’re fit and healthy you might like to consider volunteering for the NHS in these testing times – but keep safe and stay sane!

5 top tips: Keep your children busy during coronavirus school closures

We’re in the midst of very uncertain times at the moment, with social distancing becoming the utmost of priorities – to the point where school closures are in place (although, not for everyone!).

We’re all in a state of limbo, not knowing how long this will last, or what to do in the meantime. If you’re a parent trying to keep your child busy, or a teacher trying to work out what to do with the time you have with a limited amount of children, why not try some of the following ideas?

  1. Children are used to a routine at school! Why not try and follow this as much as you can? Allow for a morning break time and lunchtime, and try use different slots to allow for children to learn different skills. It might be school work, exercise, chores or free play – children thrive off routine and it can help with a sense of normality.
  • Twinkl are offering one month FREE access to their Ultimate Packages. Enter the code ‘PARENTSTWINKLHELPS’. Try searching ‘KS1 Maths’ or ‘KS2 Science’. Want to organise a whole topic? Try searching ‘Fire of London’, ‘Ancient Greece’ or ‘Olympic Games’! *TOP TIP* Search ‘School Closure Resources Pack’ for some great ideas.
  • Allow children to go outside for breaks and lunch times. Exercise is important too!
  • Want to plan a PE lesson? You could set up your own fitness circuit outside, with a different exercise on each station! Try one minute of jogging on the spot, star jumps, high knees, or hopping!

2.  Social distancing doesn’t mean children can’t go outside. Why not ask children to design their own bug/hedgehog hotel? You could even ask them to search in the garden for Minibeasts! Children can be super inventive, so see what they come up with – whether it’s a drawing, or a shelter made from sticks!

3. Keep your kids active! – Joe Wicks (aka ‘The Body Coach’) has announced that each day (Monday-Friday) he will host a live workout on his Youtube channel called ‘PE with Joe’. Just visit his channel from 9am – it’s a workout specifically designed for kids!

4. Have any unfinished puzzles? It’s the perfect time to crack them out! Puzzles require lots of critical thinking and brain power!

5. Get creative! Try supervised Facetime play dates with friends, painting, colouring, or even gardening! You could try baking healthy treats for your children to have towards their daily snacks! Have you ever tried making homemade Fruit Winders? They’re much lower in sugar, and much tastier!

Remember, we’re all in this together and we can make sure we are doing everything to limit the spread of COVID-19. It can be extremely difficult for young children who don’t understand what is going on, so do your best to keep everything as normal as you can for them – but with extra hand-washing!

Have any of your own ideas? Comment below or tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – we’d love to share them!

Does enjoyment of PE lessons affect exercise as an adult?

It’s a well-known fact that regular exercise helps us to stay fit and healthy. Maintaining a balanced weight, and getting your heart rate up a few times a week, helps to prevent lifestyle-related diseases like type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity. Cardiovascular exercise also boosts the endorphins in our brains, something that can ease the symptoms of depression and help with mental health issues.

However, even though most of us are aware of the many health benefits of regular exercise, a lot of adults in the UK are still reluctant to get out and get active. According to figures published by The Independent, one in three Brits doesn’t get enough exercise. While in some cases, this could be down to a lack of time, a lack of energy or illness, a lot of these people might be avoiding exercise because of bad childhood memories. Keep reading to find out more.

The impact of PE lessons

All childhood experiences have an impact on the people we become as adults, and PE lessons are no different. According to recent research, a negative experience in school PE lessons can have a lifelong impact, with those who struggled with games at school a lot less likely to be active as adults.

The research showed that people who were regularly picked last in PE are more likely to live sedentary lives when they get older. Those who struggled in team sports and found physical challenges difficult were also a lot less likely to be fit and active as adults.

Many of those who took part in the research reported finding these early experiences of exercise humiliating and difficult. As a result, they began to associate physical activities with negative emotions, something that has prevented or discouraged many from getting involved in sport and activity as adults.

On the other hand, people who responded to the survey saying they had positive experiences of PE at school are a lot more likely to be fit and healthy later in life. People who didn’t feel singled out and who got positive recognition from their teachers associated exercise with fun and enjoyment, something that ensured they were more likely to continue playing sports and visiting the gym as they got older.

In essence, the research showed that if adults associate exercise with negative memories, they won’t expect it to be enjoyable, and so will be less likely to exercise. While adults who believe physical activity is fun will be a lot more inclined to get active.

How to improve PE lessons for today’s children

In order to ensure that the adults of tomorrow aren’t put off exercise by negative experiences in childhood, schools need to improve PE lessons for all participants. For some schools, this may involve a radical rethink of their lesson plans, while all schools should assess the sports they offer to ensure they’re as inclusive, and as fun, as possible.

As one of the main negative memories adults reported was being picked last for team sports, PE teachers should look for alternative ways to make their teams. Giving kids random numbers, or dividing them using other, non-discriminatory means, should help to prevent less able children from feeling left out.

The research showed that positive recognition from a PE teacher went a long way to helping children create a good association with exercise. PE teachers should try to ensure they make positive remarks to all pupils regardless of ability.

Schools, and teachers, also need to work on making their PE lessons as fun as possible. While lessons need to be informative and challenging as well as enjoyable, the research shows that having fun during PE lessons as a child can really help to encourage people to stay fit as they age. This makes the fun factor one of the most important considerations for today’s PE teachers.

Introducing a bit of variety into PE lessons is another good way to get kids excited about exercise. Some children might excel at ball sports while others are better at tactics, speed or stamina. Playing a variety of games will help to ensure children learn a range of skills, and different kids can shine in different areas.

How clubs make sports more enjoyable 

Positive experiences of exercise don’t just have to happen in PE lessons. In fact, taking part regularly in any sport, game or physical activity can help to boost kids’ confidence and set them up for a healthy life.

Adding a variety of active clubs to the after-school timetable can be a great way to boost the number of pupils getting regular exercise. Clubs also allow schools to increase the range of activities they offer, something that may well be crucial to boosting enjoyment and pupil participation.

Schools could consider offering activities like martial arts, netball, rugby and even cheerleading. Ensuring there’s an activity to suit everyone will help to get as many kids as possible taking part and having fun.

Offering a range of after-school activities helps to get kids excited about sport and shows them exercise can be enjoyable. This early positive experience of sport is a great way to set kids up for a healthy life and ensure they stay active and fit as adults.

How to run more school clubs

If you think your school could benefit from boosting the number of clubs it offers, we can help. Our online platform makes club admin quick and easy, and helps to connect schools with experienced, qualified club leaders.

By streamlining the process, Clubbly allows schools to dramatically increase the range of clubs they offer without increasing the workload of teachers and club leaders. This can allow schools to offer their pupils a great range of clubs and ensure that all children are getting out and getting active.

Get in touch with a member of our team, or take a look around our site to find out more.