According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese — a number that has tripled since 1980. Another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight.* Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80 percent if one or more parent is overweight or obese.**
These are grim statistics. Who is responsible for this, and more importantly, who is going to turn this tragic ship around? I have one solution. Parents, you can volunteer to help with PE at your childrens schools. I have been a parent volunteer PE teacher since my first kid started kindergarden. The teachers love the break. My children love having me there once a week and have a blast helping me come up with ideas. I love getting to know their classmates throughout the year. And most of all, PE is fun again.
Here’s a fun game we played today, and the fifth graders loved it. I got 10 water noodles from the dollar store and cut them into thirds, so we had thirty 12″ noodles. The kids got into groups of 5-6 and each kid got a noodle. Each group had to setup a station , so we ended up with 6 stations. Then we rotated through them, about every 4 minutes. They had fun creating something fun and challenging for their classmates and for the first time in a long time, no one got their feelings (or their bodies) hurt. Check out the pictures here.
I will be posting more ideas for PE activities on my site, so RSS or check back regularly if you’re interested. I also use PEcentral.org for a lot of ideas.
*”Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002″; Oct. 6, 2004