The World Health Organization recommends that children receive at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. It’s important to look beyond general physical activity to understand the benefits of structured play.
Structured physical play has been proven to offer benefits beyond the body. Students who participate in sports or other organized activities perform better in school and receive social and emotional benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways kids play, but with a little forethought and creative thinking, students can still get outside and be active with their friends.
Keep reading for a few ideas of structured sports activities that keep kids safe and socially distanced while still building helpful skills, like teamwork, patience and empathy.
A ‘Knockout’ way to build sportsmanship with basketball
Knockout is a popular basketball game that can be played while socially distanced. Have students space out around the court, and ask two kids to step up to a designated line with a basketball. Player One attempts to shoot a basket. If they miss, Player Two can start trying to “knock” the other out by making a basket first while Player One rebounds and tries again.
The first player to make a shot rebounds the ball, hands it off to the next waiting player and returns to the back of the line. The other player is knocked out. This continues until there is a winner.
The game of knockout is fun and competitive, but also teaches several life skills. Students learn good sportsmanship — even as they are knocked out, they are encouraged to continue cheering for others still in the game. The game also teaches students to perform well under pressure.
Giving students the ‘Green Light’ to improve themselves through soccer
Playing games like “Red Light, Green Light” can help students learn to follow instructions and improve reaction time. Students should line up on the starting line, standing at least six feet apart with a soccer ball. The coach stands across the field and yells, “Green Light!” to direct students to start dribbling. The coach turns their back on the students, waits a moment and yells, “Red Light!” The coach should quickly turn around to see if any students (or balls) are still moving. Anyone caught in motion goes back to the starting line, and the first student across the finish line wins the round.
Teaching students how to respond when someone ‘Drops the Ball’ through a tennis game
Partner Ball Toss is a simple drill that builds teamwork, balance, coordination and patience. Separate your players in pairs and give each a tennis ball (bean bags work well for younger players who still need practice with coordination). Pairs will try to make a lap around the tennis court while lightly tossing the ball back and forth with their racket. Players will learn that they are only as strong as their team, and coaches can remind players to encourage each other when a ball is dropped.
KidzToPros Park Pods offer it all!
KidzToPros, a leading enrichment provider with a mission to make enrichment accessible to every child in Grades K-12, has introduced a new program that allows kids to participate in various activities, including basketball, soccer, tennis — and so much more!
Park Pods were created in response to the pandemic and how COVID-19 has changed the landscape of education and enrichment. With students spending hours every day in front of a computer screen, the Zoom fatigue sets in quickly.
KidzToPros Park Pods have quickly gained popularity among both kids and parents because the classes give kids an opportunity to be outdoors, stay active and safely socialize with after the school day ends.
Designed for kids in Grades K-5, Park Pods are coached by passionate and highly trained teachers. Kids learn the fundamentals of various sports and activities, but they also take away lessons in leadership, teamwork, perseverance and good sportsmanship.
KidzToPros’ top priority is ensuring the health and safety of all kids, staff and families involved with Park Pods. As pods meet in neighborhood parks, kids will have plenty of space to spread out and maintain social distancing. KidzToPros follows the county guidelines and has safety measures in place, including daily temperature checks, mask wearing and activities that are designed to accommodate social distancing.
How to get involved
Park Pods are offered in more than 20 neighborhood parks across the country, including sites in California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts. The groups meet from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Signing up is easy:
- Visit kidztopros.com to find a Park Pod near you.
- Enroll in the next available cohort.
- Get ready for your kid to be active and have fun!
A special version of Park Pods for the Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are just around the corner. While school is on break, KidzToPros on-campus Holiday Camps can fill the gap with fun and enriching activities at parks throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The 3-day camps extend the curriculum of Park Pods with STEM and Arts activities.
KidzToPros also offers online Holiday Camps, our most popular live, interactive classes to students anywhere in the world! Registration opens soon for all KidzToPros Holiday Camps!