Did you know P.E. classes originally began to train children to be soldiers?
In ancient Greece, Plato offered P.E. classes at his school. Typically seven-year-olds began physical training to prepare for future careers as warriors or athletes. In the mid-19th century, the U.S. started offering similar training to prepare soldiers for war. After the Civil War, laws were instituted mandating physical education programs in public schools. Since the early days of P.E., time and research have proven the benefits of P.E. extend far beyond only preparing soldiers for battle.
A habit of regular physical activity benefits children and adults alike -mentally, socially, and emotionally. Physical activity increases overall health, enhances brain function, improves the quality of sleep, and reduces anxiety. With summer fast approaching, sadly P.E. classes for our children will also come to an end. Parents might feel like they need to physically train to get ready for the battle of summer! Here are a few ideas to keep the family active this summer break:
- Play active games like Twister, Simon Says, Freeze Dance, or Balloon Volleyball. For the more adventurous parents, you can play the Floor is Lava using the living room and kitchen furniture.
- Play active video games like Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo Switch), Just Dance (Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Playstation), Arms (Nintendo Switch), BOXVR (Playstation VR), or Zumba (Nintendo Switch).
- Ride bikes to the park for a family picnic.
- Invite another family for a game of friendly soccer, baseball, kickball, or flag football.
- Beat the heat with water fun at the local water park, in your swimming pool, or yard with a water sprinkler or garden hose. Add water balloons and water guns for extra excitement.
- Create a bucket list with all the neighborhood parks and visit all of them before the end of the summer.
- Create scavenger hunts. An indoor hunt might include finding a red ball, a brown teddy bear, and a glue stick. An outdoor nature hunt on a trail or in a park could include gathering leaves, stones, and flowers. Get creative and let each family member take a turn.
- Plan a weekly family hike.
- Enroll your kids in summer camps.