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Children need a solid amount of time to participate in active play each day, whatever the weather. Physical activity is proven to both improve behaviour and sharpen focus, making it beneficial for inside the classroom as well as outside of it.
With this in mind, it’s important to keep kids moving all year round, building activity into daily life and developing different skills along the way.
Spring is a great time to get kids back outdoors after a winter of being cooped up indoors. The good news is there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities as the weather starts to improve. Here are just a few:
Athletics is one of the most versatile sporting activities to provide children with across all age groups. With activities that involve sprinting, jumping, throwing and more, there really is something for everyone.
You don’t always need a lot of equipment to train the next generation of little Olympians, all you need is lots of wide open space.
Work on reflexes by having children practice their sprint starts. To develop their reaction times, create a game of varying the length of time between calling “get set” and “go!”
Baseball has been a staple in American culture for over a century, but did you know that it’s also growing in popularity in the UK?
It’s a game where every player has a unique role on the pitch, and with nine to choose from, every child is given the chance to find which they are best at. All while improving coordination, reflex and teamwork skills.
Think of softball as baseball’s child-friendly cousin played with a larger ball on a smaller field and only allowing underhand throws.
It’s an activity that has a whole host of benefits from improving hand-eye coordination as children attempt to hit the ball with the bat, to building muscle, strength and endurance as players try to get from base to base.
The object of softball is to hit the ball with a bat before the player tries to run around an infield with four bases. The team with the most runs at the end of the game is deemed the winner.
Softball is also a great way to introduce children to strategic thinking as they have to calculate not just their own ability, but that of the other team too as they decide whether to make their run or not.
During the summer most children will be off from school for a long period and eager to expend extra energy. Here are some activities to try at home or to partake in with their peers at a holiday camp.
The great thing about frisbee as an activity is that it’s so versatile. It can involve any number of participants and can be moved indoors without fuss if the children need a break from the sun.
To start off with children can practice throwing and catching in teams of upwards of two people, working on hand-eye coordination.
To up the ante, try adding in a team element by playing ultimate frisbee. You’ll need two end zones, one at either end of the field and the aim is for your team to catch the frisbee in the opposite end zone before your rival team. Once you have hold of the frisbee you cannot move, forcing children to communicate with one another in order to win.
Typically, there are no referees in ultimate frisbee. Teams are tasked with governing their own games, making it a great leadership opportunity for children.
Unlike bigger team sports, tennis is much more individually focused meaning children can take the game at their own pace – perfect for summer when children may also be battling the heat.
Tennis is a sport that requires the cooperation of the entire body as well as the mind.
As kids run they will need to manoeuvre their feet into the right position, hold their arms correctly to hit the ball along with hand-eye coordination and use their core to provide the balance and power needed to hit the ball over the net.
Sporting activities don’t have to require lots of equipment or complex rules. A game of green light red light is an activity that provides simple fun and is something children of all ages can get involved with, while developing skills like reaction time and listening carefully to instructions.
When you shout “green light” the children must all run towards you, but when you shout “red light” they must stop and freeze. Anyone who moves has to go back to the starting line and start again. The object of the game is to cross the finish line as quickly as possible.
For children who are less inclined to partake in sport, a timed scavenger hunt can provide competitive physical exercise under the guise of a more adventurous challenge.
Hide various items around the location you’re playing in and put a timer on. The countdown will make kids move quicker and depending on whether the items are hidden, the activity may involve climbing too, not to mention strategic thinking as they figure out which items to find first.
Autumn is a time when kids are getting back into the swing of the school year. An after-school club can be an excellent way to help them settle back in as they have fun with their friends.
Autumn is a great time to reintroduce kids to team activities and sports. Having spent the summer away from school friends, playing as part of a team re-establishes both a sense of individual and team responsibility in aid of a common goal.
Tag-rugby is a gentle but fun alternative to rugby, suitable for younger years to introduce them to the sport or to build confidence in older children. They are able to reap the benefits of the game, namely cardio and teamwork without the fear that can come with contact sport.
There’s no better activity to spark a child’s imagination with sport than archery. It’s ideal for children who are less keen on team sports and is fantastic at developing accuracy, concentration and patience.
With dry and cloudy conditions being optimal for this activity, the autumn season is the ideal time to get started in their training to be the next Robin Hood.
Gymnastics is one of the most comprehensive sports available to children and an activity that’s perfect to transition children back indoors as the weather cools. It incorporates a number of different skills including balance, flexibility, coordination, speed and power.
Gymnastics uses the whole body and teaches kids the functionality of their own limbs, testing their capability and building confidence as they learn to develop control through tumbling, using a balance beam or climbing a frame.
It also teaches children about following instructions, turn-taking, listening and respecting their fellow classmates.
An after-school club provides a safe environment for kids to explore this kind of physical exercise so that they can take risks and build confidence with a team of professionals to guide them.
In colder weather kids may be spending more time indoors than out, but that doesn’t mean they can’t maintain an active lifestyle in the chilly winter season.
Winter is a time for festivity and family for lots of children, so what better way to spend that festive energy than with dance?
It’s a fun activity that can be done by any age group that can improve posture, flexibility and overall mobility. Dancing helps children’s musical skills as well, as they have to pair movement with music.
Challenge the kids to come up with their own choreography to give them some ownership over the activity, play some festive music and have them put on a performance. It will be a special moment for both kids and parents as they can showcase what they’ve been working on.
Obstacle courses are a fun way to test cardio and agility while indoors. Using whatever equipment you have on hand such as cones, ladders, skipping ropes and more, set out a series of challenges.
By adding a bench, you can also test their balance, and by making the race a relay you can encourage kids to support other members of a team and think tactically about the order they race in.
Winter is a great time to put a twist on regular activities for kids which are so much fun.
This activity is a fun and festive take on netball and something that children will love. Coaches split the group into three teams with two teams per court and nets at each end (the oven). Both teams on the court compete to score a point by getting the ball (pudding) into the oven. The team who puts the most puddings in the oven wins the game.
Basketball is the UK’s fastest-growing sport, and is one best played indoors, making it ideal for the colder winter months.
Dribbling activities are a great way to improve fine motor skills while practising manoeuvring encourages children to work on their spatial awareness in regards to themselves and others.
You can also make these training exercises festive with a game called ‘The Jingle Bell Grab’. Utilise the same flags used in tag rugby, with the fun addition of a jingle bell at the bottom.
Players will dribble their balls around the court while trying to grab other players’ jingle bells. They have to remove the flag while maintaining control of their own ball. Once a player loses their flag, they are out of that round of the game. The last player left with their jingle bell wins!
We know it’s important for children to maintain an active lifestyle for both their physical and mental wellbeing, but it’s not always easy for adults to provide a variety of fun and engaging activities to build the skills children need to thrive.
Designed to help your kids get active and create a fun-filled experience they will remember forever, we provide a bucket load of fun activities, after school and during every school holiday. There are plenty of activities for kids to get stuck into.
Find your kids’ perfect sport or activity at your nearest location today!