May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month – Let’s Celebrate!

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As the calendar flips to May, we’re enjoying more sunlight, greener grass, and the sounds of birds chirping – the perfect time to get outside and celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

From immediate benefits such as improved sleep quality and reduced symptoms of anxiety to long-term benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight and cancer prevention, physical activity can have significant benefits for our physical and mental health – and overall quality of life. Physical activity also improves attention and memory - benefiting the academic performance of students.

Schools and classrooms are ideal places for promoting and fostering lifelong healthy lifestyles. Continue reading for ideas and resources you can use to celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports this month and beyond.

From mindfulness and mental health practices to music and dance routines, GoNoodle seems to be a favorite for many students and teachers! GoNoodle provides a wide variety of engaging videos designed for students in Pre-K through 6th grade. GoNoodle is often used to give students the opportunity to move their bodies for brief amounts of time throughout the school day.

Cosmic Kids Yoga is another go-to resource for many teachers. Cosmic Kids Yoga promises (and delivers) “yoga, stories, and fun” in each episode. Students can choose themes of interest such as classic stories like Little Red Riding Hood to more recent movies like Encanto then go on “interactive adventures which build strength, balance, and confidence.” (My son loves this Minecraft episode – check it out!)

For older students, a sixth-grade English language arts teacher implements a program called Literary Yoga (which connects movement and stretching to the reading curriculum). For example, after completing a long reading passage, students might be asked to stand up and get into “eagle pose” to discuss the point-of-view of the story. (I love this concept!) 

Kids Health in the Classroom provides free lessons focused on fitness, sports safety, and sportsmanship designed for students in K-12. Lessons include a teacher’s guide, quizzes, handouts, and posters/infographics. Linked below are lessons categorized by grade levels.

Another way to get students moving is to take them outside for a lesson. (Check out this blog post from our archives about teaching with mother nature.) Many students enjoy the fresh air and the change of scenery.

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Turn active games like Twister into learning opportunities by placing sight words or math facts on the different colors. This article includes 17 interactive games for students from elementary school to high school. 

Finally, from mastering the “yoga pose of the day” to jogging in place while waiting in line, this helpful We are Teachers article includes 11 creative and practical ways to get students moving every day in the classroom. 

Whether inside or outside, get your students moving and enjoy the numerous benefits of physical activity this month and beyond! Are you interested in learning more ways to bring a focus on health and fitness to your school or classroom? Please join us in our new course Strategies to Improve Schoolwide Health and Wellness.



Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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