Jon Rolnik, Head Coach of Game Set & Match Tennis Academy at Pythouse, Wiltshire tells Country Child why he is so keen to keep children active.
Living in Somerset with a young family has helped in his development of the physical element of EYFS and the importance of active lifestyles for children. We all understand the importance of our children being more active. Whether you are a tennis coach like me and just want to pass your love of the game along to your children, we can all help our kids become more active by using what’s around us at home.. “You are your child’s favourite toy, there is nothing in the world your child would rather do than play with you.” A child’s healthy habits start earlier than you think. Active play is a healthy habit to develop, its also fun. Children aged 2 to 5 years should be playing actively for at least one to two hours every day.
As a parent myself I understand it’s hard to find the time to play with your kids, but what you do at home is just as important as sports lessons and after school activities and classes. If you can find 5-10 minutes a day to play actively with your kids – that’s a start. You don’t have to go somewhere, or buy any expensive equipment. Its all at home already.
“The foundation of balls sports, the throwing and catching ability, is missing because they’re not playing the same way as they were before – there’s not enough PE and there’s not enough activity at home.” Judy Murray. There is no time like TODAY to help your kids get more active, decide to ensure your children are getting enough exercise, that they are healthy and more coordinated.
Below are some simple easy to set up games to play at home to help develop your child’s physical development.
Start with one balloon, a stack of cushions as a net the idea of the game is to keep the balloon going over your cushion net until a player bops the balloon into the cushions, to make the game easier or harder, add in challenges eg: The balloon is allowed or not allowed to touch ground, also help your child work out their own scoring system & games. Increase the levels of difficulty and fun by adding more balloons/cushions, you can add rice or ping-pong balls to balloons. This game is good for developing reaction skills also sending and receiving skills.
Find a collection of different types of ball or something round that bounces, for indoors use foam or soft balls. Then find an empty bin, bucket or box, stand away from the desired target, bounce the ball down to see how many times you can get the ball into the correct bin bucket or box.
To make it harder, toss the ball upwards/downwards this time without the bounce, slowly move further away from your target – see how far you can get. Great for sending and targeting skills.
Recycle all your old cereal boxes, and keep them at least for a while. Set up a good distance apart, stand a few of them on their side and use as hurdles for your children to work on jumping and balance skills, later on once they have got confidence on jumping and landing, set up more boxes and try to jump all the boxes without knocking them over, if you have competitive children use your stopwatch on your phone and suggest beat your own time challenge!!
Please feel free to comment on how you keep your kids active. The best idea wins a free group coaching session for your child at one of GSMTA venues in either Somerset Wiltshire & Dorset. Closing Date 1st March 2016.
For information on any of GSMTA coaching courses/venues or more information on Tiny Tennis GSMTA own Pre-School Early Years Foundation Stages classes, please contact Jon on these details 07918 617950. Email email@example.com or visit GSMTA on facebook www.facebook.com/gsmta