Have you ever considered creating active play boxes for the school or home to encourage physical activity time for children? Sometime playground equipment is not always available at a school during recess times. Or perhaps it is available, but the children are tired of climbing on it. Provide the teachers with play boxes or ideas to include in an active play box. These active play boxes can then be taken outdoors during recess or any time of the day. You can also create a lending library of active play boxes for the elementary school teachers. As an additional benefit, research has indicated children increase moderate to vigorous physical activity time when there is more portable playground equipment. Here are some suggestions for different themed active play boxes:
Ball box - include various sizes and textures of different playground balls
Bubble box - include bubbles, different bubble wands and bubble trays
Jump rope box - add traditional jump ropes, chinese jump ropes and double dutch ropes
Sidewalk chalk box - have an art contest, create new black top games, hopscotch, etc.
Activity card box - write one playground game on each, i.e. freeze tag, hide and go seek, obstacle course, etc. The children can pick out one card at a time to choose a game.
With the amount of recess time dwindling, physical and occupational therapists can play a crucial role in educating school staff and parents on the benefits of physical activity for ALL children.
Reference: Dowda, Marsha, Brown, William H., McIver, Kerry L., Pfeiffer, Karin A., O'Neill, Jennifer R., Addy, Cheryl L., Pate, Russell R. Policies and Characteristics of the Preschool Environment and Physical Activity of Young Children Pediatrics 2009 123: e261-e266