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Physical Activity Resources for Elementary Educators

Research shows that in addition to physical health benefits, daily physical activity improves concentration and academic achievement. Schools are an ideal place to promote health by creating daily opportunities to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. School-based physical activity initiatives can reach every student regardless of age, ability, gender, culture and socio-economic background. Both structured and unstructured activity is important and daily activity can be obtained through classes, sports, intramurals, dance, but as well as through play time and walking or biking for transportation.

  • Into Nature: A Guide to Teaching in Nearby Nature – A unique educator’s guide that enables the teaching of all Ontario school curriculum subjects outdoors in nature. Includes logistics, resources and learning experiences for teaching in nature. All learning experiences are linked to Ontario curriculum documents.
  • Passport For Life - Physical Literacy Resource (PHE Canada) – This resource for educators, students and parents includes information, guidelines, resources and assessment tools covering the four components of physical literacy: Active Participation, Living Skills, Fitness Skills and Movement Skills. Includes resources to help students set goals and work towards continued improvement of physical literacy. 
  • The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth – An integration of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep and the first evidence-based guidelines to address the whole day. School Educators can download the guidelines and view related resources.
  • The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (aged 5-17)  – Downloadable poster for use by schools and in classrooms.
  • Canadian Intramural Recreation Association (CIRA) – Resources including games, videos and books with ideas for activities, field day games, and active playground ideas. Some resources are available at a cost.
  • Physical Health & Education Canada - Programs – Includes physical activity and physical and health education programming. Resources are available at a cost.
  • PlaySport – This activity-based resource from Ophea helps children and youth develop skills and strategies associated with physical activities and a wide range of sports. The activities build physical literacy, health literacy and the skills for healthy active living.
  • School Travel Planning – School Travel Planning is a comprehensive process designed to increase physical activity of students by encouraging active forms of transportation for their school journey. Active School Travel engages school boards, school staff, parents, and students, as well as municipal staff, public health, community groups, and police. Stakeholders undertake an assessment of barriers and enablers to active school travel and use this knowledge to develop and implement school action plans. Public health staff are available to work with school communities to support each step in the STP process. Take a look at our STP flyer and contact.
  • Outdoor Naturalized Play Areas: Public health staff can provide information and support for implementation of play and learning environments that include a variety of natural and built elements. Take a look at a rapid evidence review completed by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on Naturalized Outdoor Play Areas at Schools to Support Physical Activity and Health and contact us for support.
  • The Healthy P.A.L.S. program: a peer-led playground leadership program that encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, age, or ability. Dedicated school staff are trained to supervise the program and junior and intermediate students are trained to act as playground activity leaders for younger students.The Healthy P.A.L.S. program is currently on pause, due to COVID-19.
  • Visit HealthStats for current statistics on physical activity across Simcoe and Muskoka.
  • Raise the Bar – For educators involved in intramural/house league programs in Ontario, Raise the Bar provides easy to use resources with a focus on inclusion and effective student leadership models.

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