The covid-19 pandemic has brought about a complete change in the life of adults and children alike. To contain the spread of the virus, most governments around the world had announced temporary closure of schools. According to UNESCO, close to 300 million learners have been affected. The routine of children is tremendously disturbed as there is no distinction between school time and playtime.
In the current scenario, children's fitness is expected to dramatically worsen as they would be indoors for a longer duration of time with no adequate physical activities. The only solution to the problem is making home a child's new playground.
Several research studies have shown that students tend to retain 25 percent to 60 percent more content while learning digitally. While a quick shift has been noticed from offline to online space as far as academics are concerned, the transition has been slow for physical education or play. Pandemic or no pandemic, children still need to play for their health, immunity as well as happiness.
One may argue that there are numerous videos on YouTube and other digital media. However, expecting all children to proactively access these videos every day, is easier said than done.
Guiding children through the apt physical activity, correcting them as and when necessary and motivating them to do the activities and exercises are also important, and require the (virtual) supervision of a physical education trainer. The distinction between adults and children is figuring out the age-appropriate activities and personalizing them for children.
Krish Iyengar, Head of Sportz Village Schools, says "The digital medium can also incorporate a points system such as a leader board that can be used to foster competitiveness. The competitiveness in turn can serve as a motivation for children to do the activities. With the ability to shoot quick videos, we are seeing innovative ideas from children shared in various forums."
Several innovative digital programs have been developed to ensure that children are fit during school closures. Online physical education programs of such nature are gradually gaining momentum, with 79 percent of parents being comfortable in letting their child participate in home-based sports events.
World Health Organization recommends at least 60 minutes of reasonably rigorous playtime every day for a growing child to be healthier and fitter. Therefore, let us keep our children fit, healthy and happy.