If your son or daughter excels at sport, make sure they begin their sports day practise in the garden.

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It’s that time of year when children are suddenly shying away from their trusty toast with marmalade and demanding hard boiled eggs for breakfast. The rush into the garden armed with a wooden spoon is enough to imply that sports day is on the horizon.  The season of outdoor sports is upon us and no one wants to let their school house down with a bad score.

Your child might be shy in drama lessons, muddle the wives of Henry the 8th and find algebra anonymous. However, sports day might be a time for them to outshine the rest of the class.

Here are some sports day practise ideas you can try at home:

The sack race
Hop your way to victory by practising in the garden in an old-fashioned potato sack or a king-sized pillow case. Step into your bag of choice pulling the top edges up around the waist and improve your hopping fitness. Time yourself from one end the garden to the other and make sure you keep note of your time!

Egg and spoon race
Find a hard-boiled egg that you didn’t manage to finish for your breakfast or perhaps a golf ball from the garage. Place your egg on a wooden spoon and see how quickly you can pace from one side of the garden and back without dropping your egg.  You can practise in a group to generate a relay style race, or just practise in pairs. If you’re feeling extra competitive, time yourself alone and speed ahead of the game.

Long jump:
Traditionally speaking, a large sandpit is what you need to fulfil the proper long jumping experience. However, an old duvet or dog blanket will also do the trick and be kind enough to small ankles. Find a bright piece of rope, tape or even a dressing gown tie and place it a metre in front of your homemade landing pit. Take a three metre step back from the rope and asses the amount of running space you think you’ll need to perform best. Run as fast as you can as speed is the secret to a lengthy jump. Don’t look at the board just concentrate on looking as far as you can into the distance. Throw your arms up as high as you can bringing your legs forward as soon as you hit the landing pit. Try to throw yourself into the jump so that you achieve full motion to jump without falling backwards or putting your hands behind you. Ensure that you land with your legs firmly bent and in front of you and reaching for your toes. You will need to make sure somebody is with your child to judge the jump fairly. The judge should measure to the furthest point in back of the landing, made in the pit. If you don’t have sand it can be tricky to judge – so watch carefully. Take a note of where you land and try to improve your distance each day.

Make sure you mix up the activities to make it entertaining – after all sport and exercise should be enjoyed!

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