Hosting a Family Fitness Night in Physical Education

We see library nights, movie nights and various other events to promote family engagement at our schools. We understand the importance of physical education when it comes to the development of the whole child so it’s up to us to host events to promote physical education and get the attention it deserves.

I have hosted a Family Fitness Night for many years at various campuses. The following are some ideas that I use at my event to promote family fitness.

Finding Community Partners

I get on the campus master schedule as soon as the school year starts, but I begin serious work on the event at least two months out.  The first thing I do is look for community partners that are willing to support the event. Support comes in many forms- whether donating door prizes or hosting a booth the night of.   Below is a list of some of the community partners I have had throughout the years.

  1. Dentists – Lectures on dental hygiene and free toothbrushes.
  2. ER Facilities – Provide basic health information and blood pressure screenings.
  3. Restaurants – Showcase of healthy food options when eating out.
  4. Vision Clinics – Provide free vision screenings for all family members.
  5. Police/Firefighters – Community engagement.
  6. Cooking Demonstration – Healthy snack options.

The night of the event, I have tables set up for each community partner. Early on, I put out a request for high school students to volunteer for community service hours.  The high school students stand at the entrance and pass out a bingo card with all the locations that the parents need to visit.  The families are encouraged to visit each table and get a stamp on their bingo cards which are the put into a drawing for door prizes. I also have activities outside and in the gym for the families to participate in.

Fitness Activities

My outside activities consist of corn hole, horseshoes and additional games that families can play at their homes. The activities inside the gym are designed to get parents into the gymnasium to showcase what is happening in physical education. Stations are set up throughout the gymnasium that allow students to show what they have learned in class and allow the parents to participate with their child.  Some examples of stations that I have used are:

It’s also important to have student work posted at various stations.  The bowling station includes examples of student’s scoresheets and at the Chinese jump rope station I display student created patterns on the wall for the students to use to teach their parents.

Bonus Activity:

I’m a member of my district’s Physical Education Cadre and we meet throughout the year to plan activities and work on professional development.  During one of our sessions our group created a game that we named Fitolopy.  We modeled it after popular board games and created a fitness game for students and parents to play during our family fitness night. The following are some examples of the spaces you could land on during the game.

  • Active Alley – Hold a plank for 10 seconds
  • Diet Drive – Do 10 squats
  • Cardiac Court – High knee march for a count of 10

Parents always leave the event with comments like, “Physical education wasn’t like this when I was growing up.” Whatever activities or events you plan, we need parents to become allies as we promote the importance of healthy and physical education in developing the whole child.

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas for family fitness night. If you have any additional activities that you’ve tried, please share them in the comment section below!

Chris has been a Physical Educator for 22 years in Texas. He has been recognized as a district finalist for Teacher of the Year and formerly served as the Early Childhood Chair Elect for the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD). Chris has presented at state and national conferences and spent two years writing curriculum, creating and delivering professional development, and supporting physical education teachers as a Health and Physical Education Specialist in a large urban district. Now an elementary Physical Education teacher in Garland ISD, Chris strives to promote a healthy and physically active lifestyle in both his personal and professional life.

Chris has been a Physical Educator for 22 years in Texas. He has been recognized as a district finalist for Teacher of the Year and formerly served as the Early Childhood Chair Elect for the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD). Chris has presented at state and national conferences and spent two years writing curriculum, creating and delivering professional development, and supporting physical education teachers as a Health and Physical Education Specialist in a large urban district. Now an elementary Physical Education teacher in Garland ISD, Chris strives to promote a healthy and physically active lifestyle in both his personal and professional life.

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