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Having a Successful Physical Activity Event

HELPFUL HINTS

Below are some lessons that we have learned that are worth considering as you plan local events.

  • The best events are ones with a balance between efficiency and effectiveness – such as ones that maximize fewer kids at a time, more time with each kid, and more opportunities for kids to try a variety of activities.
  • More one-on-one interactions require additional staff with the training and experience necessary to deepen that interaction.
  • Adjust the event format and activities so that it is more relevant to tweens' interests and encourages trial of more activities.
  • Be prepared to set up a number of activity stations based on the size of your area.
  • Make sure equipment is durable and safely secured.
  • Use everyday items to make games and activities more unusual and to demonstrate that no special equipment is necessary to play. (See Appendix for Equipment Recommendations)
  • Generally we have seen that these activities have been favorites of tweens.
    • Basketball or a version of it
    • Jump rope, including double-dutch
  • Music moves and motivates tweens – so turn on the radio or CD player. Make sure the music is age appropriate and well liked by tweens.
  • If possible, use a PA system (or microphone) to get the kids in the area moving or to attract tweens walking by the event site.

 

TALKING POINTS

When talking to tweens at physical activity events, it is important to focus on what is fun and cool. Some types of things that staff might say to kids to help motivate them to be active are:

  • Hey! You don't have to be on a sports team to have fun playing. You can play every day. Get moving riding your bike or playing B-ball. Do whatever your favorite activities are.
  • Dude! Dog! (or whatever kids currently like to call each other) It's not about the skill. It's about the fun. Just go out and do it. You've seen the commercials. Do it your way – everyday.
  • Next time you're on-line, check out some of the web sites that have the latest on who is doing what in sports and stuff. It might give you some ideas on what else you can try. Try VERBnow.com and see what cool stuff is there.
  • Show me what you got. Playing hard and having the most fun is the only way to win anything in my zone.

Adults require a different approach. They want to know the facts about how they can help their children grow strong, be healthy, and lead productive lives. For them, the points must be straight forward.

  • This program was developed based on VERB. VERB is about getting kids to want to be active. It encourages kids to pick their verb(s). The successful five year campaign began in 2001 and comes to a close in 2006.
  • VERB offers ideas and recommendations on getting physically active in the community, such as at local YMCAs, National Recreation & Park Association affiliates and more! These programs provide great opportunities for kids to make friends, be active, play sports, and acquire skills.
  • What we are doing today is trying to encourage, but not push, the kids to be active and to do it every day. We are hoping that we can get the parents' support in that as well.
  • We have literature available that provides ideas on how parents can encourage physical activity at home. For example, you can choose physical activity oriented gifts for your child and/or his or her friends. Or choose a physical activity outing as a reward for great accomplishment or exceptional behavior instead of going out to eat.

Contact Us:
  • Division of Adolescent and School Health
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    MS K-29
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
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