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As the holiday season approaches, teachers have a crucial role in ensuring that a child’s education and wellbeing continue to thrive during the winter holidays. While the Christmas holidays are a time for celebration and relaxation, it’s also an opportunity to engage children in meaningful activities that promote a child’s learning, mental health, and overall development.
According to UK Active, British school children lose 80% of fitness gained during term time through ‘inactive summer holidays,’ so it stands to reason the same decrease may be seen over the winter holidays too.
But a school can play an instrumental role in supporting families to achieve a balance between letting a child recharge after a busy term and keeping up the necessary levels of activity. Addressing concerns, providing fun children’s activities that can be incorporated into family life, and sharing valuable resources can make all the difference in keeping a child active during the holidays.
In the hubbub of term time, it can be easy for carers to overlook just how much physical activity their child is getting between PE lessons, extracurricular sports and running around on the playground.
Part of being able to help parents in primary school to keep their kids active over the Christmas break is keeping them informed of just how much exercise their child needs. According to the CDC, that’s 60 minutes every day for a child aged six to 17.
Most of that 60 minutes should be aerobic physical activity, something that gets kids’ heart rates up. It should also include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
As part of their 60 minutes of daily physical activity, children should include muscle-strengthening exercises, such as climbing or using playground equipment at least three days a week.
Children should include bone-strengthening physical activity at least three days a week as part of their 60 minutes. This can include running or skipping rope, as well as playing ball games or hopscotch.
An easy way to ensure pupils are getting enough of the physical activity types mentioned above while they’re away from school is to take part in a holiday camp. School holiday camp activities run by professionals will ensure that a child continues to hit all of their activity goals throughout the day, and do so while having fun.
Premier Education’s holiday camp expert coaches put a festive spin on classic team games like netball and volleyball, turning them into Christmas pudding netball and fly the sleigh volleyball, and have a wide range of fun ideas for both outdoor and indoor children’s activities for kids to try.
There’s also a comprehensive list of winter break activities that every family can do to keep their child active at home. Part of the struggle is coming up with the ideas in the first place!
A school can help out by providing some recommended activities for their students to try and enjoy during the winter holidays with a focus on keeping them active.
The good news is there are plenty of activities to suggest. Check out our list of school holiday activities here!
Distributing activity trackers can be a valuable visual tool for schools in helping carers support their child’s physical activity. These trackers not only provide an incentive for children to stay engaged in physical activities but also offer a fun way to monitor their progress.
Whether using a paper tracker or an online one, teachers can make a game out of children tracking their activities. Encourage them to set goals or complete a certain children’s Christmas activity to earn points.
Goals can include; learn three new skills, try a new sport, or reach the recommended number of steps a day, which is between 6,000-15,000 for children.
When they get back to school they can share their trackers with their friends and teachers, and may even be tempted with a reward for achieving their goals.
Sharing local programs and activities is a fantastic way for your school to help keep every child active over the Christmas break as well as engaging them with the local community.
Around Christmas time there are usually lots of things to do in the local community that carers can check out to keep their child active. It could be access to a community sports facility, a local library’s holiday reading program, or special events hosted by local businesses, these activities provide a range of learning opportunities that are both educational and enjoyable.
Inform parents if there are any local events or family activities to take part in with their child, such as a Santa Fun Run, a Christmas Day swim, or outdoor decoration tours.
As well as getting active on the day of the event, it can be a good opportunity for families to work together in the lead-up to prepare for the race or activity.
By fostering a sense of community in the run-up to the Christmas break, teachers can create a platform for sharing ideas, resources, and experiences. These networks can provide a valuable space for every family to exchange tips, advice, and activity suggestions, collectively working towards a common goal of keeping their children active and engaged.
Recommending children meet up with friends during the school holiday can also help improve their experience when they return to attend school in the New Year. Socialising with peers can help with their mental health, school anxiety and give them lots of experiences to share.
Each child and every family will have a different living situation that may impact how they’re able to stay active at home, something that a school can help to support by sharing valuable online resources. SENDIASS– Special Educational Need and Disability Information Services can provide extra support for families of children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs.
Download our festive activity book here for some festive inspirational fun to have at home with your children.
Together, teachers and parents can make the most of the Christmas break for every child, ensuring that it’s not only a time for celebration but also an opportunity for growth, learning, and wellbeing.
Here at Premier Education, we have over 20 years of industry experience in keeping children active all year round and can help get the festive season off to a great start with our exciting Christmas Holiday Camps.
And when it’s time to get back to the classroom, check out our ideas for getting more activity into each school day.
So what are you waiting for? If your school wants to inspire more activity in children both in and out of school, get in touch with us today.
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