"The best way to cure springtime bounciness is to take kids outside!” suggests Dena Booze, a preschool teacher and teaching consultant in North Carolina. A few ideas: Toss a ball back and forth as you practice vocab or spelling words; draw chalk letters on the ground and have your child jump from one to another to sound them out; practice counting by twos, fives, and tens as you bounce a ball down the driveway; or stroll around the neighborhood as your child memorizes times tables. Worksheets may be a little trickier if your kid is easily distracted. If that’s the case, third-grade teacher Stephanie Van Horn, of Boulder, CO, suggests short work spurts of 10 to 15 minutes each. When the timer rings, he can run around outside before he settles back to work. And since he’s working more efficiently, he’ll get plenty of playtime.
6 Perks of Exercise
It builds brains. Activity stimulates the growth of new brain cells and connections between them.
It helps kids focus. A study found that kids who exercised for 20 minutes before a quiz blocked out distractions and scored better.
It sharpens thinking. Preschoolers who exercised 35 minutes twice a week for eight weeks processed info faster and reacted more quickly and more accurately during a test, researchers found.
It boosts memory. Kids who are fitter are better at rote memorization and at remembering and connecting different pieces of information — a skill they need to ace tests.
It eases stress. A study found that kids who exercised coped more effectively with everyday school stressors like speaking in front of the class.
It helps heavy kids succeed. Obese kids face unique obstacles: They’re more likely to repeat a grade and be diagnosed with ADHD or learning disabilities. Plus, low self-esteem can make problems worse. More activity during the day helps to lower BMIs and improve performance.