Back to our Roots: Re-Discovering the BOKS Physical Activity Plans

Although the BOKS program has evolved TREMENDOUSLY since its inception, its original physical activity plans (both Elementary and Middle School versions) have remained some of the most popular and utilized resources available to Trainers. These plans, grounded in functional fitness skills, offer about 35-45 minutes of activities and a sigh of relief to individuals, schools, and communities across the country looking for ways to keep kids active throughout the day AND keep them engaged. No easy ask…

If you haven’t checked these beauties out in a while, you may want to consider having a peek! The Elementary and Middle School Physical Activity Plans provide 35-45 minutes of age and stage-appropriate options for kids to keep moving and having a great time. Each activity plan contains three plans/week, over 12 weeks, for two separate sessions (72 plans total!). When kids come to BOKS programming, they can expect to work through everything from a warm-up to a running activity, learning new functional fitness skills each week, fun games, and finally move through a cool down and nutrition discussion. These plans include everything you need to provide engaging and comprehensive activity programming with any group and any experience level.

We know that kids need to move at a moderate to vigorous level for about 60 minutes each day, and post-pandemic we can expect to see a lot of kids’ activity levels have taken a bit of a dive. Depending on scheduling with your group, these physical activity plans will cover about HALF of that crucial movement time. The Elementary and Middle School plans also can be used super flexibly and add great versatility to support programming or curriculums. Kids will experience predictable, consistent activities that keep them engaged week by week, and it takes the planning out of the equation! It can provide structure for new Trainers to build from, and a strong foundation for experienced Trainers to use their creativity, so it’s perfect for all levels and backgrounds. And for the first time ever, these physical activity plans are now compatible with mobile devices and can be accessed and viewed easily from a phone.

The physical activity plans were originally set up as a before-school program and have now successfully been run in tons of different ways across the United States and Canada. Here are a few suggestions to make the most out of using these activity plans:

  • If before school isn’t a possibility for your group, consider running a lunch or after-school BOKS program to get kids moving. One of our Trainers, Eduardo, shared that his group was “hindered by the fact that the gym had to be cleaned after lunch and this left us with around 20-25 minutes to ‘play.’”, so they utilized what space and time they had available and successfully ran programming once a week with Grade 5 and 6 kids (Eduardo is a BOKS Trainer and Elementary PE teacher in Toronto).
  • The physical activity plans can also be super useful tools to integrate as part of your PE or classroom learning. Jillian, a Trainer in Cochrane, said “The BOKS Program is absolutely AMAZING! It has without a doubt become my #1 go-to when planning for my K-9 phys ed classes.” The turn-key plans make physical activity simple to implement, or as Jillian describes them, “…ready made, ready to use…”.
  • Encourage kids to get involved and invested in the program and use the physical activity plans to provide some guided opportunities to nurture leadership skills. You’ll be amazed to see the impact of peer-to-peer mentorship on your group participation…seriously…

Get creative and use the plans as a base for what you know will ultimately benefit your group the most- modify as you see fit, create new versions of games, really make it your own- you know your kids best!

Program Endorsement

We’re very pleased to announce that along with the BOKS Burst resource, the Elementary and Middle School Physical Activity Plans are now PHE Endorsed programs. We are incredibly proud to offer inclusive resources that provide all kids with an opportunity to receive quality movement and play time in their day. Check out the announcement from PHE here:

Accessing The Resources

If you haven’t already seen, BOKS has a brand new Trainer Hub platform- a digital library that houses all the free resources BOKS has to offer. If you are looking for the activity plans, you will find them there! If you are already a BOKS Trainer, you can log in via the website to access your Trainer Hub. New to BOKS? No problem! You can sign up to gain access here:

Once you’re into the Trainer Hub, the plans can be located through the “BOKS Programs” dropdown menu at the top of the Home screen. You will find both versions under “Physical Activity” plans and can select the option that fits best with the age you’re working with and the type of activity you’re looking for. To find some more specialized physical activity plans, make sure to check out Celebrate the Games, BOKS Plans at a Distance, and Lessons On-Demand.

We highly recommend you give these physical activity plans a look while planning for the upcoming year and re-introduce kids to the amazing benefits of functional fitness! They’re a phenomenal tool to move everyone towards happier and healthier days and positively build up kids’ confidence and competence. If you have any questions about getting a program up and running, or how to receive free training on physical activity plans, please reach out to your Regional Coordinator:

Lauren Hutchison

BOKS Canada