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Having a Successful Physical Activity Event

MORE INTERACTIONS WITH TWEENS


Getting Tweens to Check Out the Event

Call out what activities are being executed at the event site and encourage those outside to participate.

  • "Come on over and learn new ways to turn up the fun at home!"
  • "We will be having a ______ contest in 10 minutes where you can win cool prizes and learn new ways to play! Come on over."
  • "We have cool prizes to give away, make sure to stop by our Activity Zone."
  • "Come over and check out the fun activities at the VERB Activity Zone."
Once Tweens Arrive

Keep kids active and interested, make sure everyone is involved and doing some sort of activity. Even if kids are waiting in line – get them moving!

  • "What is your verb?"
  • "Show me your verb."
  • "Who wants to have a touch down dance contest?"
  • "Who can jump rope the longest?"
Upon Tweens Exiting

As kids are leaving, be sure to reinforce the fun they had getting active and that they can keep doing this at home on their own.

  • "Remember you can do this at home on your own or with friends."
  • "Wasn’t this fun? So, are you going to continue to do _____ at home?"
  • "Remember you can do this at home—just get a ball of socks or make a duct tape ball and throw it in a trash can."
  • "Remember you can play any time, anywhere, with anything! Use your imagination!"

PRIZE DISTRIBUTION

If you are providing prizes and giveaways at your event, we suggest the following to keep them appealing and of special significance to your tween audience.

Items should:

  • be used as a draw to the site
  • be used as a reward for activity
  • NOT be given to adults
  • NOT be given out in handfuls
  • NOT be given to passersby who do not come into the activity site

Staff should keep count of the number of items that they give away. Tracking the number of prizes distributed at each event can help you track the number of participants for evaluation purpose. (See Appendix for Prize Ideas).


"KEEP IT FUN" TIPS

DO:
  • Keep a high level of energy to keep children motivated and continue to keep up the energy level when the children are trying out new activities.
  • Practice "energetic outreach" to draw children from all over the event area and encourage them to come over, check out a new activity, get them into the action.
  • Keep music, messages, and activities age-appropriate.
  • Tone should be peer-to-peer, not adult to kid.
  • Embrace all aspects of kids' lives – never tell a child that they should not do things (i.e.: never say "don’t watch video games, don't eat junk food").
  • Pay attention to resources kids may need such as rest rooms where available, first aid areas/procedures, fire/ emergency exits, water, etc.
  • Contact your local health department for guidance on emergency safety protocols and tips on prevention and treatment for conditions such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Keep parent/adult and tween messaging separate.
  • Reward individual/group participation in activity either through prizes, or positive reinforcement.
  • Instill individual or friendly competition. It's about activity, not winning.
Don't:
  • Give prizes to adults. They are specifically for kids.
  • Talk about political/religious issues, current events.
  • Focus on "winning." Everybody's a winner.
  • Talk about health or exercise. It's about fun and play.
  • Talk to parents in front of kids about health, exercise, obesity, or nutrition.

Thank you for recognizing the need to promote increased and sustained physical activity among youth. We hope that you have found this guide helpful. See Appendix for on-line resources that you may find useful in planning and executing your physical activity events.

You are on your way to a successful event with kids leaving happy, thrilled, and ready to continue their play, each saying: "I can’t wait to do that again!"


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