Students at Roland School can also squat, do pushups or crawl down the main corridor to stay active

In many Canadian schools, recess and phys-ed class may be the only activity students get in their day, but a school in rural Manitoba is trying to change that.

“This is our Sensory Path,” says Roland School principal Brandy Chevalier, as she points to a colourful activity map on the floor of the school’s main corridor.

“We are very focused on making sure our kids are learning both numeracy and literacy but also being mindful of their whole bodies and wellness, and wellness as a whole being.”

The path instructs them to hop, squat, do pushups and crawl.

They follow the path every morning and after lunch, on their way to class in this community about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

Kindergarten student Elizah Wall likes stomping on the bugs. Classmate Everly Semograd likes crawling on the flowers.

“Some parts are challenging, some parts are easy,” says 11-year-old Addison Elias.

If teachers notice students fidgeting, they will send them to the path for a couple of rounds.

Students Ethan Dyck and Caleb Mitchell say it’s making a difference.

“Really helps me calm down when I’m in a very active position … It’s just helps me burn some energy,” Caleb says, adding his favourite activity is the frog jump.

“Helps me focus,” Ethan ​adds.

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