This article, ‘Staying Safe on Holiday‘ is a reminder from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) that we should exercise the same caution with holiday accommodation as we would at home. This update gives a few checks and precautions to ensure parents and carers are not caught off guard on holiday. Also links to CAPT’s definitive guide to summer safety.
In the digital age, it is easy to replace mobility with mobile phones. With convenience on our side, it is tempting to be less active.
Physical activity is an important part of a child’s mental and physical development along with overall health, so how can we merge our children’s love of technology while also helping them get in the exercise they need in order to be happy and healthy?
It is difficult to combine the two and create a middle ground. Action for Children have provided some tips and tricks on how you can use technology to encourage your children to stay active during those hot summer days, or rainy winter skies.
1. Active Video Games
It’s now possible to interact with video games in a new way. Video games, such as Wii Sports, enable you to play ‘sports’ using similar physical actions that you would if you were actually on the field or court. Research has been focusing on how active video games can be used to increase energy output and improve different elements of fitness.
Active video games are being compared to the intensity of walking, skipping or jogging. Not only are active video games a good way to inspire your child to be more active, they’re a perfect way for family to bond and play together – as they are often team, or multiplayer games!
2. Fun Apps For Smartphones And Tablets
With smartphones and tablets becoming a part of everyday life, we are able to find ways to use them to incorporate physical activities into our children’s everyday lifestyle via apps.
The App Store and Google Play have lots of apps that encourage children to exercise, and have fun! Here are some apps that Action for Children have found:
- Walkr – A Gamified Fitness App (13+) : A space-themed adventure game in which players earn energy points for their spaceship by walking in real life.
- Sing Song Yoga App (4+): A musical kids’ yoga program in which song lyrics instruct children how to get into poses.
- Sworkit Kids App (7+): A kid version of an adult workout tool that provides video and verbal instructions in how to complete age-appropriate exercises. The directives are provided in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
- Super Stretch Yoga App (4+): Move, play and breathe as Super Stretch introduces you to his friends and their yoga poses.
- The Walk App (12+): Created with the NHS and the UK’s Department of Health, The Walk helps you walk more every single day as you try to save the world.
Just because your children love their time behind the screen does not mean that they can’t be active while doing so. With these tips, children can find fun approaches to daily exercise in ways in which they really enjoy.
Band Runner: new Thinkuknow game and website for 8-10 year olds
The CEOP Education Team are delighted to say that Band Runner – a fun new runner-style game for 8-10 year olds – is now live on the Thinkuknow website.
The game features some familiar faces: Sam, Alfie and Ellie from the Play Like Share animations are continuing their adventures and helping children to build their knowledge, confidence and skills to stay safe from sexual abuse and other risks they might encounter online.
Band Runner is hosted on an all-new Thinkuknow website for 8-10 year olds.
A key area of the new site is the ‘Stay Safe’ zone where Sam, Ellie and Alfie share child-friendly advice based upon their adventures in the films. The zone is divided into six topic areas: Play, Like, Share, Chat , Lock, and Explore.
Children can visit the ‘Worried About Something?’ page which provides advice and support on how to get help if something worrying has happened online.
You can download the guidance for professionals, which includes a lesson plan on using Band Runner with children and young people here. The game and website can also be accessed by parents and carers with their children at home, and you can find information to share with parents and carers here.
Band Runner replaces their older 8-10s resource the Cyber Café. The Cyber Café will stay live here until 21st December 2018 to give time to wrap up any work in which it features, at which point it will be retired for good.
At a time when young people’s physical activity levels are at a depressingly low level and childhood obesity continues to rise, there has never been a better time to hear of a desire to get young people more active. There is, of course, considerable evidence that young children who adopt an active lifestyle early in life have better health, education and social outcomes, so supporting all young Londoners to develop physical activity habits offers a clear pathway to greater health equality.
In order to create the systemic change required to change the attitudes and behaviours of young people, London Sport worked with 19 schools from across 10 different London boroughs to see if adding one evidence based intervention would have a positive impact on reducing inactivity and increasing activity.
London Sport invited primary schools to benefit from one of four initiatives that could provide evidence of the impact they could have on reducing levels of inactivity. Twenty schools were selected from the list of schools that London Sport had previously supported in their Primary School Support role and were all based in boroughs with high levels of inactivity, deprivation and childhood obesity.
London Sport selected four interventions that research had shown could evidence the positive impact that they could have on reducing inactivity.
- 67% of schools surveyed had seen an increase of pupil’s participation in PE, sport and physical activity.
- 96% of children said they were more determined to improve their fitness.
- Teachers noted an increase in confidence with children being so enthusiastic that they are actively asking to go running and reminding their teachers if they forget to take them out.
- Some teachers are more active with their children: more active teachers create more active children.
- Behaviour in class has improved and pupils are ready to learn for longer.
To read more about this study, click on the link: London Sport Case Study
The THINK! child road safety campaign includes more than 50 free resources to make it easier for parents, teachers and road safety officers to teach children aged 3 – 16 to be safer on our roads.
Children are being urged to ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Think’ in our new road safety campaign which featured CiTV presenter Sam Homewood assisting a road safety lesson with Holy Family School in Walthamstow.
Children may benefit from interactive ways of learning – so a range of resources which include lesson plans, games and educational films with photographs and illustrations created by students from Farnborough Sixth Form College have been produced: www.think.gov.uk/education
British Cycling and HSBC UK, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, have launched a new programme in schools with the aim of ensuring that every child in the UK is given the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.
The launch of HSBC UK Ready Set Ride follows research conducted by the three organisations which found that 43% of teachers say they do not have the skills or confidence to support children learning to ride.
It also revealed that children aged four to seven years are falling behind when it comes to developing physical literacy and fundamental movement skills, which has a knock-on effect on their likelihood to continue being active in later years.
HSBC UK Ready Set Ride breaks down learning to ride a bike into three easy to follow steps which can be done at school or at home with parents.
It is delivered through a series of online videos, an easy to understand, bite size resource pack, and is supported by fun games and activities to develop a child’s skills both on and off the bike. All digital resources are available to download for free: