Read this guest blog from Carlo Pandian.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer and blogs about fitness, parenting and teaching covering everything from sports equipment to tennis games for kids. When he’s not online, Carlo enjoys swimming, cycling and travelling around Europe.
Computers apparently are making our children fatter and lazier. But it doesn’t have to be all bad news. Thanks to consoles such as the Wii-Fit and XBOX Kinect kids are getting more active.
Something for everyone
It’s not just at home that these consoles have family and friends all jumping around together. Moving with the times and offering alternative get fit activities to the traditional games in school is proving very popular. It’s not for everyone but it can be the best way to boost some children’s enthusiasm for sport and improve performance in other areas.
Wii-fit is perfect for all ages and fitness levels, boys and girls. There are a variety of games from Sports Games, Mario Cars and Zumba. They offer something for everyone whilst building on key skills as well as fitness including endurance, competitiveness, inclusion and balance. Most kids don’t see it as a chore and for those who usually shy away from physical activity its fun.
Technology vs Traditional PE classes
I am not advocating replacing PE classes with this technology but simply adding this new-age sports equipment into children’s reward schemes or lunchtime/after school clubs to really engage them.
In fact some schools have already reported an increase in those participating in PE by offering pupils the opportunity to go on the consoles only if they promise to spend a proportion of their PE lessons outside playing traditional games.
Others have used the consoles to as reward, at an individual and/or group level by allowing those who perform well in other areas of their studies with access to the computers during their lunch hour.
Encouraging kids to take an interest in sports
And many have seen children with disabilities who perhaps have had difficulty getting involved in normal PE classes pushing themselves with the console.
It can also have a knock on effect, not just engaging them during the allotted time but igniting their interest in sports, with some teachers reporting that many are getting off the sofa and continuing the activity at home.
Buy games consoles from the high street has often meant purchasing outside of the school budget parameters as they are not approved vendors, and claiming the VAT back can be an issue. But this is no longer an issue with sports suppliers now offering these at competitive prices; which means schools can purchase through their preferred suppliers, following the approved purchasing procedure.
It may not be the traditional way to engage kids in sports, and it may not be for everyone but for those who prefer not to over exert themselves, it could be a win-win situation to getting kids active.