Winter Fun in schools
Last year, about 700 elementary schools and childcare services encouraged their children to take part in Winter Fun. They promoted activities offered by municipalities, organized outings with homeroom teachers and daycare staff, gave outdoor physical education classes; assigned students “active homework;” gave introductory snowshoeing, skating and cross-country skiing classes; held special activities in the schoolyard conducted by Physical Education and Health teachers and daycare staff; organized theme days such as the “Snow Ball,” etc. Here are some ideas for other activities that could be held in schools:
- Hold a Winter Olympics or sports challenge.
- Offer extended recess periods.
- Encourage Winter Fun projects carried out jointly by homeroom teachers and specialists (e.g. speech therapists) that incorporate drawing, arts and crafts, quiz games or writing compositions related to the activities that have been organized.
- Incorporate activities around the theme of Winter Fun into Physical Education and Health classes, for example:
- by using the skating rink, trails or park near the school to introduce the children to certain physical and sports activities
- by recognizing children who have invited other children or adults to join them in playing outside (participation certificate template)
- Let children and their families know about the Winter Fun activities organized by the municipality and its partners.
- Organize an active outing to a regional park, ski area, etc.
- Set up a safe environment in the schoolyard, have the activity run by young leaders and supply the equipment needed for various games and activities, such as mini-soccer in the snow, iceball, dodgeball, street hockey, ice tag, scarf chase, making snowmen, snow sculptures, etc.
- Organize family activities outside school hours and incorporate a system for lending sports and outdoor equipment.
- Partner with the municipality to take advantage of existing facilities or to set up new ones that appeal to children or shine the spotlight on the students’ artistic talents (e.g. skating on the rink to music recorded by the school orchestra).
Useful services and tools offered by Kino-Québec:
- eye-catching promotional material
- examples of activities that can be organized
- “Active Homework” for students
- spreading the word about Winter Fun events and free or inexpensive activities taking place in Québec municipalities
Keys to success
- Promote activities organized by your school and winter activity sites in your municipality using various communication tools such as posters, promotional leaflets, invitation cards, school radio, Web site, etc. Promotion often makes all the difference in the level of participation.
- Make sure that safety is an integral part of the organization and supervision of activities as well as the set-up of the facilities.
- Plan back-up activities in case the weather does not cooperate.
Invitations to Winter Fun activities
- Organize a Winter Fun activity in your school and send out invitations to students and their families, co-workers and school administrators in order to get the entire school and community to rally around Winter Fun activities!
- The footpath’s a mile, let’s walk for a while!
- The rink is now snow-free, let’s go and play hockey!
- We can rent skates at these places then tie up our laces!
- Through the forest was fine, let’s hike that way again!
- No need to stay inside. There’s a new toboggan slide!
- Get in shape for May and the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie. You can’t sit through the winter and expect to be a winner!
- When the sun’s shining bright, snowshoeing’s just right!
- Perfect weather for skiing together!
- Hockey, ringette and figure eights: it’s time to lace up your skates!
- Dress warmly, button up tight, and you’ll see the cold won’t bite!
- The town has planned some family fun. Let’s go see what’s going on!
- Let’s get ready for the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie in May! If we keep moving this winter, we might be top winner!