As schools are announcing their reopening plans, and we are all getting a better picture of what the fall will look like. For some it means learning from home via live streaming online, and for others it means face to face instruction in schools with social distancing. We know with either option, the level and amount of physical activity will be drastically reduced and our children will be spending more and more time in front of a screen, or sitting in their desks. Neither are good for learning.
We know that children learn by doing, by playing, exploring, collaborating, and sharing, and touching and engaging with the materials. The fall will be challenging and parents and teachers will need to seek out some creative solutions to help keep our children active and moving.
As a parent, this issue was on my mind and I was really excited when I came across a creative product called the HandeeBand, created by occupational therapist Francesca Avalli. Handee Band is an independent way for kids to exercise all by themselves at home or with the whole family. It's also a great way for teachers to get students exercising in the classroom!!
The HandeeBand Starter Kit is the perfect combination of physical exercise and fun. It comes with:
1 Handee Band (4 Feet long, 6 lb Resistance Band with Hand Prints printed on the band)
15 Handee Illustrated exercise cards with easy to follow 5-step directions
Reusable Dry Erase Handee Checklist, to track progress
1 Dry Erase Handee Marker with an eraser
1 Handee Band Spinner Board Game When you are not having fun exercising, you can put everything back perfectly in the box for safe keeping.
I tested this out with my son and he loved it! Each exercise has a matching character to go with it and to help explain how to do it. He loved the characters and giving himself a sticker when he completed an exercise. What's so great is each exercise was designed by Francesca to help provide the needed sensory (proprioceptive) input so children gain a better understanding of where their bodies are in space and the amount of pressure required when pushing or pulling. Proprioceptive feedback can be calming for a child who needs to move constantly or is very active. And especially with our kiddos spending increased time in front of a screen or in their seat, these bands are the perfect way to get in quick 15 minutes of activity to re-energize our students throughout the day!
As a former teacher, I was always looking for brain break opportunities for my students and now as a parent these past six months I have been on the lookout for movement activities to break up screen time. What I love about these is that's it's purposeful movement that will give my son the input he needs. It's doubly effective! What I also love to do is pair a movement exercises with something related to learning.
I can see us counting to 20 each or naming words that begin with certain letters with each pull and stretch. Singing songs would be great, too!
I can't say enough about this product and all it's possibilities for movement, engagement, and learning. Check it out for yourself on the Two Sparrows Marketplace.
Till next time,