Nebraska Extension is a nationally respected educational leader. Extension delivers research-based knowledge to people through direct teaching, experiential learning opportunities and publications. One of the program areas offered by Nebraska Extension is Food, Nutrition, and Health. My job as an Extension Educator of Food, Nutrition, and Health is to take research and evidence based curriculum and increase the nutritional and physical literacy of the children and families in Nebraska. Nebraska Extension’s Food, Nutrition, and Health Department identified a need to select a comprehensive and researched based curriculum to use as our direct education tool. Following the selection of our research and evidence based curriculum, we discovered a need for supplemental physical activity supplies.
More than 80 percent of the games in our curriculum required some sort of equipment. With the help of an internal grant, I obtained $5,000 dollars to spend on physical activity equipment that would supplement our new curriculum. I have used S&S Worldwide for years as my destination for physical activity supplies. Upon receiving the funds, I knew exactly where I was going to purchase my equipment. With the help of the friendly S&S staff and amazing prices, we were able to put together 27 full physical activity kits for each of the curriculum sets that were distributed across the state.
Each of the kits included:
- 6 Playground Balls
- 6 of the 12 Sided Agility Rings
- 12 Super Sensory Tactile Bean Bags
- 18 Juggling Scarves
- 6 Jump Ropes
- 18 Dome Cones
- 1 Giant Blue Equipment Bag
The fun and bright colors of the equipment add to the enjoyment of the kids that are working towards the 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity.
One of my favorite games to play is Fitness Tic-Tac-Toe.
- Super Sensory Tactile Bean Bags
- Painters Tape
- Fitness cards (you can make your own if you want specific exercises)
Before the activity starts, you will need to make 2 giant tic-tac-toe boards. Make sure that you buy painters tape that will not take the varnish off of the gym floor. This will make the custodial staff at your school very happy. I suggest a tic-tac-toe board to be about 4 ft. by 4 ft. Inside of each of the tic-tac-toe squares, place a different fitness card. The fitness cards should include a wide variety of stationary physical activities (5 push-ups, 5 curl-ups, 10 jumping jacks, 5 body weight squats, 10 second wall sits, 5 jump rope jumps, etc.)
Place the kids into 4 equal teams (red, yellow, blue, and green). Two teams will compete in a game of tic-tac-toe (ex. red vs. blue and yellow vs. green). When the instructor says go, the first student in each group grabs one of their bean bags, and runs towards the tic-tac-toe boards, placing the bean bag in one of the squares and grabbing one of the fitness cards. The kid then takes the fitness card back to his group, where each member of the group completes the fitness task. Once the fitness task is complete, the next kid in line grabs a bean bag and repeats the action of placing the bean bag in a square and grabbing a fitness task card. This continues until a team has three in a row, or both teams finish with a “Cats” game.
Make sure to have the teams switch playing boards after two games to increase the variety of fitness tasks that they complete.
This game may best suit grades 3-5 with an understanding of strategic tic-tac-toe moves.
— Bradley Averill (@bradaverill85) July 19, 2017
About the Author:
Brad Averill attended Grand Valley State University to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and attended the University of South Florida for his Master’s Degree in Physical Education. His goal is to improve the quality of life for the people in Nebraska through improved nutrition and physical activity education. Prior to his work with the University of Nebraska, he taught Physical Education and coached Varsity baseball in Orlando, Florida for two years.
To find out more about the work that Nebraska Extension does please check out www.extension.unl.edu