The EXOTIC FRUIT AND VEGGIE CHALLENGE! Your Students and Parents Will LOVE It!

Discovering creative ways to keep students motivated for fitness is paramount for a physical education teacher.  Mixing up routines throughout the year with a variety of movement challenges and activities to boost students’ strength, endurance, and healthy habits is a must. This year, to complement our PE program, my team and I have implemented take-home challenges where students and their families are encouraged to engage in a list of five exercises each month.  They are given a calendar to log the number of days they complete each of the five exercises (see Fall Family Fitness Challenge).  Each month the list of exercises change.

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Exotic Fruit and Veggie Challenge

Click Exotic Fruit and Veggie Challenge 2017 for an editable copy of the challenge.

Along with fitness challenges, we’ve also presented our students with nutrition challenges.  One of our most successful was the Exotic Fruit and Veggie Challenge. Our goal was to encourage our 1st-6th-grade students to step outside of their nutritional comfort zones.  We encouraged them to explore their grocery stores or farmer’s markets and choose one new, healthy fruit or vegetable.  Maybe they would discover a new staple for their dinner table.

We were immediately inundated with photographs of students of all ages eating exotic fruits and vegetables, many of which were new to us as well.  We received emails from parents thanking us for the challenge.  Students were spending their weekends in the produce aisles of their local supermarkets, frequenting weekend farmer’s markets and international markets encountering the rarest fruits and vegetables.

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Selecting Buddha’s Hand from an International Market

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that students were trying and enjoying the new foods.  They were spending quality time with their families and sharing their new discoveries with their friends.

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Enjoying Dragon Fruit

Even I became obsessed with the Exotic Fruit and Veggie Challenge trying chayote, persimmon, watermelon radish greens, dragon fruit, and many more.

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Me Trying Dragon Fruit

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Many of the Pictures Sent in By Families

I highly recommend take-home challenges for students of all ages.  In particular, the Exotic Fruit and Veggie Challenge has proven to be a fun, motivating challenge enjoyed not only by students but whole families.  I personally enjoyed making connections with my students outside of the gym.  On more than one occasion I would discover on my desk, aidan-smorgasbordexotic fruit or vegetable that one of my students wanted me to try.  It’s a challenge too delicious not to try!


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Scooter Fitness – 11 Exercises Using Scooter Boards

Scooter boards have been around forever.  I was recently discussing with my students how the original scooters were made from wood with casters similar to the ones we use today, only much smaller.   My PE teacher would wheel out several scooter racks, each consisting of a half dozen scooters stacked up one on top of another.  We would explore different pathways while sitting, kneeling, and on our bellies.  Sometimes we would have relay races and play scooter line soccer.  Everyone loved the scooter boards…until the scooter tipped and pinched their fingers.  OUCH!

Today, I still remain a big supporter of scooters in PE class.  I even share many of the activities I learned from my PE teachers.  However, I also like to use scooters as a motivating tool for fitness.  In an effort to keep fitness fresh and exciting, I along with my students, have created several exercises to enhance flexibility, endurance, and strength using scooter boards.  Most, if not all the exercises are “pinch free”, meaning students won’t crush their fingers.  If you’re a PE teacher, you know what I’m talking about.

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Vintage Scooter

Scooter Kayak Tag

I started playing this game when my students kept getting their fingers pinched under the scooter. Instead of holding the handles of the scooter, each student holds a noodle, eliminating the chance of the scooter tipping onto their fingers.  In Scooter Kayak Tag, the noodle represents kayak paddle. I pick one of the colors to be it (purple in the video). All students pretend to paddle their kayak as they flee the purple paddles. If tagged kayakers go the exercise zone to complete any one of the exercises you’ll see below. In this case, the exercise is a knee tuck as seen in the video. Once the exercise is completed, the student re-enters the water and continues the game.

 

Scooter Knee Tucks

If you are having trouble viewing the videos click Scooter Fitness to access a direct link to the scooter playlist on my Youtube channel.

Scooter Crossing

Scooter Push and Pull

Scooter Noodle Spin

Scooter Crab Tuck

Scooter Inch Worm

Scooter Crab Leg Circles

Scooter Plank Exchange

Scooter Pushup and Tuck

Scooter Around the Clock Pushups

Scooter Action with 1st Grade


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Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.

Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

Youtube Channel

Fall Family Fitness Challenge

 

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Click fall-family-fitness-challenge-and-calendar for the official October challenge and calendar.

Below are the 5 video descriptions for  Fall Family Fitness Challenge exercises.

1st and 2nd grade – complete at least ONE round.

3rd-6th grade – complete at least TWO rounds

30 High Knees

 

 

20 High/Low Planks

 

20 Lunges (10 each leg)

 

10 Count-it-Down Negative Pushups

 

10 Squat Jumps

 

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