Sometimes kids just need to get their wiggles out, and getting through an entire school day without enough opportunities to do that can leave kids antsy. One school has created a “sensory” hallway to give students another outlet to move throughout the day, outside of gym class and recess.
Roland School in rural Manitoba, Canada, has created a path on the floor of one of their hallways that instructs students to hop, squat, do pushups and crawl. It looks like a colorful hopscotch path and is decorated with images of bugs, flowers and animals. The students follow the path in the morning and again after lunch. When a student seems a bit too fidgety during class, teachers might send them out to the path to recenter themselves.
Check it out in action in the video posted to YouTube by Brandy Chevalier, principal at Roland School, below:
“Some parts are challenging, some parts are easy,” 11-year-old Addison Elias told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“They feel like they burned some energy,” Roland told the outlet of students’ reaction to the path. “They feel ready to sit down and to get down to work. They can focus a little bit better.”
The sensory path was inspired by another Canadian project, in Alberta, called Don’t Walk In The Hallway, which encourages kids to be active at school with existing floor tiles covered in colored adhesive. Kids can jump, skip or hop across the colors, similar to the path at Roland School. One study found that kids took about 1,000 extra steps per day when the program was implemented at their schools.
The schools have found that incorporating more activity into their students’ days has a positive income on both their health and school performance.
“It recognizes the importance that physical activity has on both health and academic outcomes,” said Chris Fenlon-Macdonald, who first developed the program as a physical education specialist at Panorama Hills School in Calgary back in 2015. “It’s about creating awareness of the connection between activity and learning.”