Tuesday, 09 March 2021

Fun activities keep children physically and mentally fit

Fun activities keep children physically and mentally fit

CHILDREN in Sonning Common are being helped to keep active during the third coronavirus lockdown.

Active Leaders, a leadership course for young people, has devised walking routes, challenges and games, which it has uploaded to its Facebook page to help children stay occupied and fit while abiding by the government guidelines.

The lockdown restrictions allow people to leave their homes once a day for exercise.

Penny Snowden, who founded Active Leaders, said: “The current situation has had a dramatic effect on our business because many of our planned courses and programmes due to start this term have been delayed or may not take place, jeopardising income.

“We are, however, very aware that this lockdown is perhaps more challenging for people than the first one, especially from a health and wellbeing standpoint, and want to help as much as we can.”

The first of the weekly challenges included a “find the alphabet in your village” test in which children had to identify places beginning with different letters of the alphabet, such as Abbeycare Home in Kennylands Road and Brambles Floristry and the Co-op in Wood Lane. There are also mapped walking routes called Sonning Common Explorers and Chiltern Explorers, which are changed every Friday and an online booklet with 60 pages of activities, things to make, recipes and games to play.

Mrs Snowden said: “The booklets have been acclaimed by teachers, parents, grandparents and, of course, the children. The activities are aimed at primary school age but can be adapted for older children.”

Hard copies of the booklets have been included in craft packs for families in particular need. These can be collected from 24 Kennylands Road or accessed online at www.activeleaders.co.uk

For a PDF of the winter fun book, email penny@activeleaders.co.uk or amanda@activeleaders.co.uk

Active Leaders is also working with schools, councils, charities and training groups to provide a virtual version of its leadership course, which teaches teenagers how to run activities and events for younger children.

The course is certified by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

Mrs Snowden said: “The course provides trainees not only with valuable life skills but also a personal reference for future employment and volunteering.

“We are also re-scheduling our junior active leader courses for when the schools return and we will be encouraging primary schools to contact us so we can address their specific needs.”

Active Leaders also stages fun programmes for children in the school holidays.

Mrs Snowden said: “These provide trails, challenges and games for the whole family to enjoy.

“Our virtual pumpkin trail during the October half term and our gingerbread trail at Christmas went round the country with villages using our materials.

“Our aim is to provide something which is accessible, cheap (or free) and fun.

“We are acutely aware of the need to promote health and fitness at this critical time.”

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