I’m a fan of children hitting each other with pool noodles
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I’m sure parents wonder about my sanity and effectiveness as a teacher when I allow their children to smack each other with pool toys… so by way of explanation, here are some reasons why I find these pool noodle games so valuable.
Pool noodle battles are an incredible tool for physical development, not to mention a great outlet for energy and frustration. We’re working the upper body, strengthening the shoulders, chest, arms and back muscles, improving core strength and stability, helping with spacial awareness, hand-eye co-ordination, reflexes, balance… the list goes on.
When else can children play a contact game where they’re actually allowed to hit each other with a pretend sword or light sabre? The children I teach feel a great sense of freedom and wonder that a grownup is allowing them to do something most parents and teachers would definitely outlaw!
There are important lessons about respect and physical boundaries to be learnt. Hitting above the shoulders is not acceptable, carrying on after someone has said stop will not be tolerated, continuously hitting someone harder than they’re comfortable with is not okay. Children learn by doing, and this little exercise helps them to internalize the effects of not respecting their friends’ boundaries.
And last but almost more importantly, children learn to find their voice and stand up for themselves when they’re not comfortable with the way the game is going. I coach children through using a big voice, persuasive hand actions and strong body language to let the other child know they mean business when they say stop. I let them know it’s ok to tell someone to stop when they’re not comfortable with something, and to say it loud like you mean it. It’s a powerful skill that children need to rehearse so that they have the confidence to immediately call it up when faced with bullies in the playground, and I can’t even begin to tell you how important imparting this skill is to me.
So yes, I’m a fan of children hitting each other with pool noodles. Any questions?
I'm a dad, a teacher and a business owner, doing my best to make every day count. I'm determined to shape the way the next generation feel about exercise, and I'm doing this by showing children the difference between enjoying exercise as part of healthy lifestyle, and participating in exercise as a means to perform in sport. I'm also helping parents learn how to include exercise as a normal part of daily life, and working with schools and teachers to change the way they present exercise to children in the foundation years.