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Teacher: Marsha Knight who teaches at Harrisville Elementary School in Harrisville, WV. Marsha Knight can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Family Fun Night

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To provide an educational and fun evening filled with activities in which all of Harrisville Elementary School students and parents can enjoy.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Various - depends on what activities you choose to do after the walk, Digiwalkers, Heart Rate Monitors.

Family Fun Night

We invite the parents and students of Harrisville Elementary School to an event that allows them to exercise and work together. On an evening after school we provide the attending families a nice healthy dinner. Following dinner the families take a fitness walk around our small community. You can do this for as long as you want depending on the time you have available. The walk is led by one of the schools teachers who volunteer for the job. He/she sets the route. It is great to see a strand of people, some pushing baby strollers, walking through the streets of of our community.

While the families are walking, the rest of the volunteers set up a group of activity stations that the participants will partake in. Following the walk the entire family of participants take turns at different activity stations playing games or making a family T-shirt. A family photo is taken at one station as a momento of the night. In the past, we have had local law enforcement officers volunteer to help run the stations, which gives the students the opportunity to meet the law officers.

The entire evening lasts about 2 hours. We usually have 60 families or so participate.

The following are possible stations that can be used. Of course you can come up with your own. Depending on the number of families you will need a fairly large number of them.

Station 1: Mom/Dad Calling

The Mom/Dad stands 30 feet from the child. The parent is blindfolded. The child begins the activity by calling out for Mom/Dad. Then they give directions to their Mom/Dad that allows them to find them. The blindfolded parent must walk forward and find his/her child.

Station 2: T-shirt Design

The children design a T-shirt using acrylic paint and sponges. They also may make a family banner out of construction paper, markers, glitter, glue. Also a Polaroid snapshot is taken at this station of each family. May want to ask them to come up with a theme or slogan that illustrates the positive of participating in physical activity every day.

Station 3: Scavenger Hunt

The families find various items scattered throughout the playing area.

Station 4: Loop Da Hoop

Families are divided into teams and the hula hoop is passed along the team while the entire team holds hands.

At the conclusion, we send home the photos and a participating certificate. The local bank donates frames for the photos.

Editor Notes:

Instead of a potpourri of games you could make this a theme night of cooperative activities, skill practice, or dance activities.

This would also be a good night to share with the parents/families what developmentally appropriate physical education is. Could hand out free Developmentally Appropriate documents from AAHPERD or give them free copies of the condensed version of the Surgeon General's Report. Then the activities done after the walk could be ones that showcase these types of activities.

The walk may be a good time to showcase some of the new technologies that are now available that document how far you walk or how many steps you take. Digiwalkers, pedometers, or heart rate monitors could be donated for a few of the parents to use and then switch after a quarter of a mile.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 65 votes.

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Previous Comments:


is it cool and that it was fun

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