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BACK TO SCHOOL 2008
by Carol Goodrow, Photos from the Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kids' Club
Before we know it, the alarms will be set, and the rat race will begin, again. While there is still some leisure time, why not start gathering ideas for how you and your children will fit in exercise? If you are a teacher with high-stake standards, you'll need more ingenuity than ever, and if you are a parent, with other responsibilities, including earning a living, you'll have your work cut out for you and more so.
ntegrate academics and fitness. There's no time to waste, so be clever. In school, eliminate the treasure chest and Fun Friday videos. Use activities as incentives and save the video time for designing and playing activity-based fitness games. Make your own that involve reading and writing and get outside to play.
t home, set the timer to take homework breaks with whole-family jogs, then get right back to work.
ear up to be ready. In school make it a rule that kids ALWAYS have a pair of sneakers on or in their backpack. And you do the same. Then when you have that little bit of down time, you can just head out for a quick sprint.
t home, it's easy. Do homework in your running clothes. This way, there's no procrastinating at break time.
eep a list of games on cards. List the basics, but also make up your own rules for a hands-free tag, academic relay race, and question-answer outdoor hunt. Have materials in boxes, prepared and ready to go.
t home, keep a grab bag of exercise breaks. Ex: Jog the north loop. Play a friendly game of tag. Cycle around the block. Get timed on running sprints.
un to Read and Write. Line your shelves with children's running books. Read, then run. Run, then write. Write, then play. Keep a log of your Run to Read and Write activities and send it to us. We'd love to hear all about them.
t home, keep exercise logs and journals. Set goals, keep track, and reward yourselves with stickers and incentives.
ign up as a class or club for a fun run. Or design your own. Make it a family run. Create the invitations, running bib numbers, and homemade medals. Make them unique and works of art.
t home, choose a family event: a fun run or 5K. Train, plan, and anticipate.
Want more? Here are other back-to-school ideas: Join a club. Start a club. Plan and prepare healthy snacks the night before school. Pack them daily. Post the summer Olympians and their events. Research the Internet or the usatf.org site to find quotes by each. List of 126 track & field athletes going to Beijing. Post them in your classroom or on home bulletin boards.
Start the Log-a-Mile program. Work to earn a ribbon. Draw and write about running. Send your artwork into KR to be posted. What kind of artwork? Anything to do with running, healthy eating, and fitness: Mini-posters, T-shirt designs, fun run fliers, book report covers, and more. We take poems and stories, too!
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If you would like your child's artwork printed on KR, please send signed permission form in with artwork.
Carol Goodrow is the Founding Editor of KidsRunning.Com, full-time teacher, and author of three children's running/fitness books: Happy Feet Healthy Food, The Treasure of Health and Happiness, and Kids Running. Her schoolchildren always have fun when they combine running and literacy.