Kindergarten children love their parkrun experience
A fun new outdoor play activity at Goodstart Redcliffe – Ashmole Road is teaching young children that trying your best and being physically active means you win every time.
Kindergarten teacher Karena Stanton, an avid parkrun Australia runner, was inspired by the benefits she gained from her parkrun experiences and decided to create a kindergarten parkrun activity for her kindy class.
“As a kindergarten teacher, one aspect of my job is to ensure the young children in my care get some form of physical activity every day. As a parkrunner of more than 100 parkruns, I have always enjoyed running and over the years of teaching have tried to pass on this love by incorporating it into the physically-active play experiences we offer as part of our kindergarten program,” Ms Stanton said.
“Earlier this year, I attended an official parkrun Australia event with two of my kindergarten children and they both loved it. Soon after this, we came up with the idea of introducing a kindergarten parkrun in the centre to get the whole class involved.”
So, how does it work? Ms Stanton explains that a course is set and agreed on in the back yard, and before each kindergarten parkrun the course is cleared of obstacles, a timekeeper is chosen and the start line is organised. Then the number of laps is agreed upon, and the time keeper starts off the runners.
“The children have developed the volunteer positions themselves such as clearing the course, having a timekeeper, cheer squad and a tail runner at the end in case any children want to walk instead of run. Some of our keen runners will run up to 10 laps at a time, before we all rehydrate, have a little break and then set off again,” she said.
“The smiles and looks of joy on the children’s faces shows just how much they enjoy this experience. In fact, it has quickly become their most requested activity.”
Earlier this year, Ms Stanton ran in the Gold Coast Marathon and her kindergarten children helped to her to train by getting her to run around the kindergarten parkrun course.
“They were all so excited to see the medal when I returned back to work. Some of the children wanted to know if I had won, and I explained to them that I received a medal because I tried my hardest and was able to finish the run,” Ms Stanton said.
“This idea of still achieving your best even if you don’t come first, I believe is a core philosophy of parkrun’s and one that I try to instil in every child I teach.”