Homeschool PE: 5 Tips for when it’s Cold or Rainy Outside

A discussion on Homeschool PE and our recent onslaught of cold weather has spurred a discussion about indoor PE options for homeshoolers on several email groups.

PE really isn’t very difficult. Kids were built for movement, at least mine were. What PE allows them to do is focus their physical energy into something productive, in theory anyway. But when you choose to spend all day with high energy kids, it’s a good idea to have an arsenal of ideas on how to expend some of that energy. Here’s a few of the things we do:

  • Invest in a small indoor trampoline. They are usually about 38 inches diameter and can be stored upright out of the way if needed. My kids wore one out at our last location, where it rained a lot! We had all kinds of games we made up with it – who could jump the longest, the highest, the furthest off of it (and all the discussions of safety that went with it!).

  • Keep a jump rope or two on hand. Jump ropes are nifty devices. While my kids still haven’t mastered jump roping like their friends who use it as a primary means of indoor exercise, they did come up with all kinds of other things to do with it: tug a war, an improvised bar to jump over and crawl under (imagine the jump rope tied to the legs of two dining room chairs), and of course trying to jump rope properly.

  • Allow the use of pillows, blankets, and cushions. Forts, obstacles courses, and landing pads are all great uses for these soft items. Sheets and blankets make for great parachute play. Even the tweens love putting a stuffed animal or ball on it and shaking it around.

  • Put on high energy music or video and dance! A friend of mine’s girls used to put on Riverdance and dance along. My youngest loves her Crazy songs cd. My boys even get into the act if there’s a contest or show involved. Find what works for your kids and get out there and get silly!

  • Invest in some exercise videos that the kids enjoy or turn on FitTV and make it fun. We have YogaKids, Vol. 3: Silly to Calm, which the younger kids have enjoyed, but right now they like doing Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile walks with me. They get silly with it, but they like it. Go figure.

If you have a big house, just allow the normal games of tag and hide-n-seek, and all the natural games kids play, within the bounds of safety and sanity of course. But in smaller spaces, these tools have proven useful for us.

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2 Responses to Homeschool PE: 5 Tips for when it’s Cold or Rainy Outside

  1. Thanks for these great tips! PE has been the most challenging subject in homeschooling my five-year old, especially when the weather’s bad. She does love to run circles around the house and dance. I like the idea of using the pillows and blankets. We’ll try these ideas. Thank you!

  2. While we’re discussing the matter of Living Life at Home » Homeschool PE: 5 Tips for when it’s Cold or Rainy Outside, There can be no greater advantage of HS than the family bonds that are built and strengthened. Just think of the sibling and parental bonding that can be built in an atmosphere of constructive education.

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