When we think of physical education classes, we imagine children participating in various outdoor and group activities. The coronavirus has rapidly changed the way we learn. Physical education teachers have had to adapt to the new normal, taking their classes online while ensuring their students maintain an adequate physical activity level.
Although things have changed drastically since physical education classes began going online in March of 2020, teachers have discovered a wealth of resources on the internet that has allowed them to connect with their students. Virtual classes will never substitute in-person physical education, but students can benefit from productive virtual physical education classes with the right tools.
In this article, we’ll look at seven must-have tools for effective virtual physical education.
Playing at-home PE games is a great way to encourage students to move while stuck at home. You’ll have to be creative when implementing these games into your at-home learning curriculum. Some games require students to imagine various scenarios, while others simply require students to follow basic instructions.
Games are a great way to motivate students. With these games, kids will always look forward to indoor PE activities. For classes with smaller children, you’ll need their parents to help set up these at home PE games.
Hot lava is a classic at-home game that teachers can adapt to online learning. The teacher shouts, “the floor is lava,” and students have five seconds to get their feet off the ground. If, after five seconds, their feet are still on the floor, they lose. If everyone gets their feet off the ground, everything returns to normal until the next time the teacher shouts, “the floor is lava.”
You can incorporate this game into your regular classes to add a bit of excitement. Students won’t know when to expect the hot lava game to begin.
This at-home PE game focuses on developing kids’ hand-eye coordination. Students need a balloon, a large spoon, and a basket to play the game. Students will guide the balloon around their house on the spoon.
Furniture and other household items are obstacles they need to avoid. Once they’ve made it through the entire house, they return to the starting point and guide the balloon into the basket.
Simon Says is one of the great PE activities for kids. You can adapt it to your classes, and it works great for online learning. Decide what physical activities you want students to work on, and adjust your Simon says game to the learning objectives.
Students follow your instructions when you say Simon Says. If you don’t say Simon Says, they ignore you. You can include jogging, stretching, jumping up and down, crunches, and other activities to ensure students get a full-body workout.
Other possible at-home PE games include:
Videos that get kids moving are excellent online PE activities. One of the best ways to move is dancing. Just Dance 2020 is available on YouTube with enough videos to keep kids to keep kids moving for hours. Kids just need to follow the dance moves, and they’ll get an excellent cardio workout while having fun.
Another popular YouTube channel to help kids stay in shape is The Body Coach TV. This channel features easy to follow workouts designed for kids. The entertaining videos are between five and ten minutes and will ensure kids break a sweat.
Here are a few more YouTube channels worth checking out for virtual physical education:
Skillastics offers comprehensive PE activities for kids stuck at home during the pandemic. There are activities for kids of all ages. Experts designed all of Skillastics’ virtual programs, including martial arts, yoga, pilates, and much more. The programs are compatible with online platforms such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
Designed for elementary and middle school students, Sworkit is a great app to get kids moving in PE home learning classes. Within the app, you can customize workouts to your child’s age, ability, and fitness level. The app features interval-style exercises that build children’s strength and agility. It’s also an excellent app for PE challenges at home. Sworkit makes indoor PE activities more fun.
The app engages kids from the start, making physical exercise seem more like a game than a chore. The activities are easy to learn, and older students will enjoy tailoring workouts based on their preferences. The workouts last from 5 to 60 minutes.
Coach Josh specializes in fitness activities for toddlers and preschoolers. These virtual education videos use adventure, music, and animation to encourage kids to get moving. Some of the activities include surfing, growing a tree, dancing like a monkey, flying an airplane, and much more.
Helping improve gross motor skills development, balance, and coordination are a few of the things Coach Josh’s videos offer. It’s not just fitness with Coach Josh. Kids will also practice colors, numbers, letters, and animals.
Challenges are a great virtual physical education tool for motivating students at home. Combining technology and virtual group activities will help students feel less isolated while participating in at-home PE activities. The Phys Ed Express has many challenges for students, such as a virtual mileage challenge to see how far a group can travel together.
PE Universe also offers various PE at-home challenges for kids to do in their house. Their videos will keep kids entertained and moving. PE Universe uses celebrities and other cultural icons to draw kids into challenges. Some challenges include Eminem’s My Name Is Fitness Challenge and Superfun Marvel Vs. DC Heros Workout.
Here are a few more fitness challenges:
This virtual PE app is ideal for middle school and high school students. Designed by expert trainers, the Nike Training Club app offers 15, 30, and 45-minute workouts. The app includes more than 185 free activities, including bodyweight, yoga, and full-equipment workouts. There are on-demand and studio-style classes.
Nike Master trainers lead the workouts, which range from between 5 and 60 minutes. It includes multi-week programs, so students know what workouts they’ll be doing several weeks in advance. Student-athletes will love the challenge the Nike Training Club provides.
Virtual physical education can be educational and challenging with the right tools. Students can maintain their physical fitness while safely learning at home through play, fitness videos, and apps. When designing an online physical education curriculum, be sure to explore the various resources available online and adapt them to meet your students’ needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made online learning mainstream. Although children aren’t attending in-person physical education classes, teachers need to ensure they’re engaged in physical activity daily. Whether a virtual after school program or a Just Dance challenge, kids can do a range of physical activities at home.
Take advantage of online resources to develop at-home PE ideas that will keep your students moving throughout the pandemic.
Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes. The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits. These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.
The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.
Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.