School closures, Covid-19 self-isolation and lockdown restrictions have made primary school children appreciate PE lessons and sport more than ever before.
A survey by the Youth Sport Trust found that more than a quarter of youngsters said sport and exercise made them feel better during the pandemic.
With most grassroots sports cancelled and ‘bubbles’ being sent home from school; parents are now being urged to help their children stay active during tiered lockdowns.
PE Planning, a team of experienced PE specialists, have created a free resource of ideas and tips on how primary school children can exercise safely at home, boosting their well-being and mental health.
Yorkshire-based PE Planning has published a series of free resource sheets online for both parents and teachers to keep primary aged children active.
Research by the Youth Sport Trust found that 27% of children said sport and exercise improved their mood. This was particularly true for junior school-age pupils aged eight to 11.
More than a third (37%) said sport and PE was more important in their lives now than before lockdown.
Will Smith, founder of PE Planning, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we have seen just how important PE, sport and exercise is to our children and young people.
“Not being able to burn off that excess energy and let off some steam affects how they feel and their mental health.
“With grassroots sport cancelled and school life being very different now it’s important that children still maintain regular exercise.
“Home-schooling has meant parents have been more closely involved with the education of their children than ever before and physical exercise (or physical literacy) is just as important as academic learning.”
PE Planning are specialists in delivering PE planning for primary school age children which supports National Curriculum requirements.
But the company also publishes free exercise advice for parents. There are lots of ideas for family-friendly exercise and games, all with the accent on fun.
There are indoor games, ball skills, dancing and gymnastics – and even exercises that can be done at the kitchen table. There are also family fitness plans so mum and dad can join in too.
The ideas are all simple and inexpensive so everyone can take part even without sports or other equipment at home.
“Our sessions are active, engaging and fun,” said Will. “We want everybody to have access to high quality exercise plans and much of what we offer can be done without any equipment at all.
“We aim to inspire and motivate our children to get active and that’s more important today than ever before. Parents can really make a difference to their children’s physical and mental well-being with a few simple ideas.”
The free resources can be found at www.peplanning.org.uk