I’ve never been a big fan of equipment as a coach or teacher. Here is why:
1. It takes up a lot of space. I live in a small apartment and don’t have any place to conveniently store it. My schools don’t have anywhere for me to store it. And I hate filling up my car with stuff. It already has way to much sport and APE equipment already.
2. It’s expensive. While I do get a budget to get enough equipment for all the kids in a class gets crazy expensive. There never seems to be enough money as it is.
3. It’s a pain to put away. I know…the kids should do it. But it’s tough to get it out to the field. And after practice they are usually gone with their parents faster than New York minute.
But recently, I’ve been thinking about using more equipment. I’m not sure where I’m going to store it but there are some great games and activities that teams and classes can do with equipment.
With that said, I’ve got three criteria that the equipment I use has to have.
1. Is it on the field already? Benches, bleachers, curbs, lines on a field…all can be used to supplement a practice or a class. Look around with a creative eye.
2. Do I need one piece of equipment for every kid or can I share? If I need thirty Hula Hoops that can be difficult to purchase, carry and store. But if six kids can share then I only need five (I’m good with math!). The more ways they can share a piece of equipment the better.
3. Is it fairly lightweight and store-able? It will take up less room in my car, in my apartment and less trips getting it out to the field. Bulky, heavy stuff isn’t fun to carry.
4. Is it well made and how long will it last? That’s one of the problems with using noodles. They can be a blast and give a boost of creative play experience to a team or class but they fall apart and don’t last long. (Some of my special needs students love to bite them and tear pieces off).
5. Can I use it for multiple uses and activities. One specialized piece of equipment might not be worth it. But if something can be used for a lot of activities then it’s more likely to be a good purchase.
6. Is it possible to make it? Or can the kids make it? PVC pipe is cheap and easy to use. There’s lots of ways that it can be used to build PE and sports equipment. It might be a lot cheaper than buying.
8. Are there multiple benefits from using the equipment. For instance, jump ropes build endurance and coordination.
There’s my top eight thoughts about what equipment to buy and use. I’ll be staying with this thread for a while so stay tuned.