Learning about exercise – while being active!
A strange dog-like monster named Chicken Dawg just might be the best friend a kid could have. At least one who wants to be smart about being active – and likes to play cool video games. Floating about under the sea in the Playnormous game, Bubble Rubble, Chicken Dawg must be directed by the cursor to pop only the bubbles that contain the name of an aerobic activity. Sounds straight-forward – and fun!
At first the students who were playing it with me got tripped up by exercise that built muscles (strength) but wasn’t aerobic. Ohhhhh, they chimed and got busy on round two. None were confused by the sedentary activities bubbles but, ooops, sometimes old Chicken Dawg bumped in to one of those bubbles on the way to “gymnastics” or “tennis.”
The unusual thing about the students that were playing the game with me was that they were moving the cursor with their feet! Yes, they had a FootPOWR computer mouse on the floor. As they moved left and right, up and down on the FootPOWR the cursor moved as well. Sometimes they did move Chicken Dawg less than accurately – at first. It was a bit more challenging to get to the right bubbles in the alotted time when they were FootGaming so we threw in a little math.
The students played Bubble Rubble with the regular mouse and then played the same level game with the FootPOWR. After ten students did this we started averaging. The average score with the conventional mouse (usually the higher score) minus the FootGaming score left us the bonus score. We totaled all of the differences(bonus scores) and then averaged the total. We then simply gave that number (105 that day) as a bonus to the students who used the FootPOWR.
It was lots of fun watching the students hunt down examples of aerobic exercise while doing aerobic exercise. The fun doesn’t stop there. The newly designed and extremely valuable website dives into nutrition with just as much creativity. When the kids play “Lunch Crunch” they will be racing to find fruits and vegetables. For all the mac ‘n cheese fans out there, no, that is not a vegetable – and you will soon understand why.
No one is too old for the lessons to be found here. When we think of wellness it’s great to discover something that combines great information with an active “mouse” controller. Go ahead, click the link and give it a try.
Teachers – best of all there is a full complement of lessons plans on the Playnormous website just for you. Send us photos if you’d like or add your comments or questions.