Unit 9 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 "play hard" at least 3 times each week at afterschool.

Key Messages for Kids

  • Doing activities that make you sweat or breathe hard will make you strong and keep your bones and heart healthy.
  • Playing hard is fun when it's something you like to do.
  • Do an activity that makes you sweat or breathe hard at least 3 times per week.

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

In this unit, children will learn what it means to "play hard". Vigorous activities are games and sports that are more intense than fast walking. They make you sweat and your heart beat faster. This unit also encourages children to identify vigorous physical activities that are fun for them. Take time to learn about students' cultures to be sure you offer meaningful and interesting activities for all the kids in your program. Kids will be more likely to take part!

  • Refer to the 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