Unit 2 Information for Leaders

To view the individual activities for this unit, click on them in the highlighted orange box to the left

A PDF version of this unit is available here.

Behavior Goal

Children will be more physically active.

Key Messages for Kids

  • Moving your body is fun and helps your body be healthy and strong.
  • All types of physical activities like playing, dancing, and sports are good for you.
  • Do something active every day.

Key Information for Program Staff

It is important to create an afterschool environment where children are able to participate in physical activity every day. When regular activity is not part of a healthy lifestyle, children are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis when they grow up. Physical activity tends to decline as children enter the adolescent years, and inactive children and teens are more likely to grow into sedentary adults.

The goal is to engage all children in regular physical activity, regardless of physical or mental abilities, and for them to have fun being active. Many schools have reduced physical education and recess times so children come to afterschool programs ready to move! Children ages 6-17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. This can occur in 15 minute periods of activity throughout the day. They should participate in vigorous activity on at least 3 days per week. To help children meet this goal, provide all children with at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Offer at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on 3 or more days per week.

In this unit, children will recognize that traditional forms of exercise, like sports, are not the only way to get moving. Free play, like running, jumping and climbing on playground equipment is just as important as organized sports like soccer or softball. Children can also be active in their chores at home. They may walk a dog or help sweep floors. Finally, children and families should be encouraged to find active forms of transportation like walking to school or riding bikes to the park or store. It is important to keep in mind that people hold different values and understanding about exercise, so talking about all these different ways to be physically active is important.

Don't forget proper hydration! Offer water before, during, and after all physical activity.

  • Refer to the Moderate Physical Activity PDF Tip Sheets for ideas on how to engage staff and children in physical activity at your afterschool program every day.
  • The browser version of this tip sheet is located here
  • The fast map for this unit is available here
  • The browser version of this fast map is available here