Classroom parties are an important part of the overall school wellness environment. Incorporating physical activity into celebrations offers an opportunity to maintain a consistent message and get students excited about healthy choices and lifestyles.
Check out these tips to make active classroom celebrations come alive in your school:
- Classic games like Twister and beanbag toss are great for younger students, and newer trends such as Wii Fit and Just Dance are popular with all ages. Set up stations so students can rotate through a variety of activities.
- Have a dance party! Select music appropriate to the theme, from the Monster Mash in October, to Frosty the Snowman in December, to Love Train in February.
- Give extra recess or playground time.
- Go outdoors for a seasonal activity the class may not always have time to enjoy. Think sledding in winter, field day activities in spring, and nature walks anytime. The physical education department or recess monitors may have equipment available for loan.
- Hold a themed scavenger hunt. Hide miniature pumpkins in fall, pinecones in winter and colored eggs in spring.
- Make use of school and community resources and celebrate at a pool, climbing wall or bowling alley. Ask the PTO or other groups for assistance if funding is a concern.
- Ask students or families to share their favorite active party idea.
- For birthday celebrations, compile a list of celebration activities and allow the birthday child(ren) to select one or more.
- If food is served, be sure it aligns with the school wellness policy and includes healthy choices. Develop a sign-up system for parent donations, requiring a certain number of healthy food and beverage options and limiting or eliminating less healthy options. See a list of healthy food ideas for celebrations here.
Active, healthy classroom celebrations keep kids moving and help establish healthy behaviors as the norm. Healthier students are more likely to succeed in school and establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. Party healthy, party on!
For more healthy celebration resources, click here!
Sarah Bentley Garfinkel, Healthy Schools New York, Health Initiative Inc.