Family and Community Activation | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Family and Community Activation

    1. Encourage students to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity with their families and school community. To engage families, students can write content for the monthly newsletter, develop posts for the school social media accounts, or make a presentation or skit for a school-wide event. To engage the community, students can make a poster to hang in the local library, community centre, or grocery store, write a blog post to share through community-based organizations, or develop a pledge that rallies members of the neighbourhood.

    2. Send home active homework that encourages movement and family engagement. For example, ask students to try a new game or activity with their families. It could be a game their parents played when they were younger, or a new game the whole family creates together! Have students present their game or activity to the class and then encourage all students to join in.

    3. Set up a community-based scavenger hunt where families try to find the items on their list while walking through the neighbourhood. Examples include items for every letter of the alphabet (e.g., apple tree, bus, car, dog, etc.), or items of different colours. Distribute non-traditional prizes that support physical activity, such as community swim passes for the most creative item, or water bottles for the most enthusiastic team.

    4. Create activity kits that families can sign out and bring home to use. Include physical activity-based equipment, such as a variety of balls, flying discs, skipping ropes, pylons, and hula hoops. Include suggestions for how the equipment can be used, including sample games with instructions. Encourage students to make up their own games!

    5. Host a “Family Fitness Night” to showcase the ways families can be active together. Demonstrate different games, have equipment available for participants to try out, or even consider a “Question and Answer” panel with parents who have great tips and strategies to share with others. Remember to provide examples of games and equipment that include students of all skill and ability levels.

    6. Organize a health fair for students, their families, and community members. Ask local health and wellness-based organizations, such as the public health unit, community-based gym or fitness studio, or the municipality, to provide handouts, set up displays, or donate door prizes.

    7. Create a physical activity passport or BINGO card with local community amenities. Encourage families to visit the different locations and try out the different ways to move. Examples include parks, playgrounds, walking trails, skating rinks, tennis courts, pools, and splash pads.

    8. Organize a flash mob at school and encourage family and community participation. Spend some time learning and practicing a dance, and provide instructions to families, either through a handout or a demo video on YouTube. Also invite community members, such as public health representatives, local politicians, or sport and recreation providers, to attend the presentation. Take pictures and video to showcase the fun everyone is having! Don’t forget media release forms!

    9. Ask if there are any family members with expertise who would like to share their knowledge with students. For example, a soccer coach, martial arts instructor, or yoga teacher. Invite the physical activity expert to present a workshop to students and offer a demonstration of their activity.

    10. Organize an equipment swap for families and members of the community. Participants can exchange active gear they are no longer using, but is still in good condition and can be used by another child. Examples of equipment include balls, ice skates, cleats, baseball gloves, exercise balls, and yoga mats. Also, encourage equipment donations from those that are unable to attend the event.