Wednesday, March 19

Active School Sports Competition

Video games get active and so do the kids

Repeat after me "Active games don't replace physical education". Write that out 100 times and you won't make the easiest mistake of active gaming. It's so easy to get kids involved with active gaming, even easier with Gamercize equipment, but use it as an extra and give children more opportunities to be active instead of replacing the ones they already have.

A really fun way of getting the whole class involved is to set up a competition. Remember that Gamercize is a level playing field because it lets the game work so long as you are exercising; so there's no penalty if you are not the fastest or strongest. As the exercise is secondary to the game you won't have to keep motivating the kids either, the game play will do that.

Here's how you set it all up. Split the class into four teams, and have a ratio of about 3 kids for each exercise place. Using four player games helps cut down the number of video game consoles needed, but two player games are just fine.

The important bit is to let the kids choose the games themselves. It is this that will give them the most enjoyment and keeps things varied. Keep any eye on the age ratings but as any game will work with Gamercize equipment that's just one thing to check out.

Give each team a color or a name, and a captain. Let each team play each other while teammates watch on and support. With four player games score each of the wins as 4 points, second 3 and so on down to 1 point for fourth place.

Straight away you will see the kids that normally do well at sport no longer have an advantage, but everyone is getting active and working hard!

Girls also get the level playing field with boys as physical fitness and strength alone will not win the points.

At the end of the session add up the scores and you'll have a winner, in the event of a tie the captains can compete in a play-off.

For extra variety you can not only score the gaming, but the exercise as well by adding up the totals from the calorie counters after each play! It's not major league yet, but with the addition of fitness to video games it does count more towards being real sport; but don't get caught up in the kids enthusiasm - "Active games don't replace physical education"!

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