Pencil, Tepee, Starfish, Ball

Posted by Shante Brown Major on January 09, 2017

I just observed a friendly competition during gym time in the basement/cafeteria area of our Fairmount elementary campus. The game is pretty simple and is really a total body workout disguised as a competition. When Ms. Bongiorni said “Go!,” the students ran around in circles for about 15 seconds, getting their heart rates up. Then she called out various shapes. It took on a “Simon Says” feel at that point, as players were eliminated from the game based on their ability to follow her commands.

Here are the components of the game:

  • Starfish – The kids lay down on the ground, spreading their arms and legs and lifting them up and down in a flopping kind of motion. I remember doing leg lifts in football practice and can imagine their little abs getting pretty tired at this.
  • Pencil – The kids stand up as straight and narrow as possible, hands at their side. Just the act of getting up off the ground is a good workout.
  • Tepee – This is pretty simple, but good for catching someone not paying attention. The kids put their arms over their head, bringing their hands together to make a tepee shape.
  • Ball – Shrinking back down to the ground, the kids curl into a ball.
  • Bridge – This is basically a plank. The kids put their hands and feet on the ground and try to make their backs straight like a bridge. Holding this for too long will definitely burn.
  • Super Bridge – Each kid has to find a partner and join hands. I think this is pretty much a way to even up the two teams by creating a “musical chairs” type of situation that eliminates one of the players if there is an odd number.

Making workouts fun

If you have made a fitness related New Year’s resolution, remember that keeping it fun will help you keep it going. I was just down there to run an errand, but I had to stay and watch the whole game play out. The kids were having so much fun and Ms. Bongiorni was doing such an excellent job creating an environment of excitement and competition that they had no idea how much work they were really doing.

Little things like this happen all day every day at The City School. It makes our kids strong and healthy and better equipped to bring light to the city.

Hi Five

A big hi-five goes out to Ms. Bongiorni and all of our incredible teachers for their hard work!

ONE CHILD AT A TIME — The City School is a Pre-K to Grade 12 Christian school in the heart of Philadelphia. We believe an excellent education should be accessible for families in the city.