Welcome to Mumsnet!

We’re delighted you’ve found us. Join in the conversation on the UK's busiest site for parents

Get started »

Awesome athletes

HopscotchGet your children to compare the size of different parts of their body and explore the links between the different lengths and whether body differences might give them an advantage in different sports.

Body fact or fiction?

Ask your child, is your armspan about the same as your height? Explore this and other 'body myths' by using our Body Facts or Body Fictions worksheet.

Check your child knows what 'fiction' means and that they can read the 'greater than' symbol (>). Emphasise that some of these might be true and others may be false. Predict which of the diagrams show body facts, and which show body fictions. Circle 'Fact' or 'Fiction' in the Predictions column.

  • Talk about how you could test your predictions.
  • Discuss how measuring one person might not be a 'fair' test and that measuring several people (eg the whole family) would be better.
  • Talk about how to measure accurately and encourage your child to read off the measurements themselves.
  • Will the results be exactly the same or could results which are close count?
Did you know?

Muscle strength is the amount of force the muscles can exert against resistance, e.g. against a heavy shot-put, or against the ground before jumping. It is very important to improving performance in sport. To exert force, the muscle fibres contract.

A person's muscle strength is determined by the type and number of these muscle fibres. Regular exertion of resistance against your muscles, through exercise, causes the number of muscle fibres to increase. This makes your muscles stronger and so your performance can improve.

Different bodies, different sports

As you watch different sports together, discuss how differences might give advantages in different sports, eg people with a wider arm span will have greater reach, and so may be better at rock climbing.

Talk about different kinds of jumps: does your child think that long legs help you jump further?

Try testing this by measuring everyone's legs, then hold a jumping competition called Can the person with the longest legs jump the furthest?

The results can be recorded on Can the longest legs jump the furthest worksheet.

  • Try the Jump! Interactive activity 



These resources have been adapted from Wellcome Trust's In the Zone initiative at www.getinthezone.org.uk

Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 UK: England And Wales License you can copy, share and adapt the materials as much as you like, as long as it is not for commercial use.
In the Zone logo

Last updated: over 3 years ago