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Having a Successful Physical Activity Event

LOCAL EVENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Community-based organizations are integral to motivating kids to be active. By having local physical activity events, communities can take advantage of the interest that kids have in VERB. A local event could take many shapes and forms, but for it to appeal to tweens, the emphasis must be on fun. Your event might be a stand-alone event in which only your organization participates, or several locations may have simultaneous events throughout town, or your event might even be part of a larger fair or festival. You might even be the planner of your own community-wide physical activity event.

Whatever the scope of your event, keep the following guidelines in mind.

The event should:

  • reach tween audiences
  • offer a choice of fun physical activities and games. (See Appendix for Game And Activity Ideas.)
  • offer one-on-one interactions
  • provide access for kids of low, moderate, and high activity levels; as well as youth that are physically challenged.
  • focus on the fun and social aspects of play and not on obesity, exercise, or nutrition
  • have enough space to allow for trial of a variety of physical activities – ideally an open space of approximately 30' x 30' to 50' x 50'

The goals at VERB-inspired events are to:

  • get tweens to try multiple physical activities and find something they like
  • see tweens leave wanting to do more physical activity - but for fun, not for exercise
  • get tweens thinking of physical activity as something they can do wherever they are

 

CHOOSING A LOCATION

Location is important to the success of a VERB-inspired event. The event should be held in a place that kids frequent and think is fun.

Examples of typical and appropriate locations include:

  • sporting events, including existing "Kids' Days"
  • community events, including those with youth-focused areas
  • community holiday celebrations
  • after-school programs
  • elementary & middle school programs (grades 4-8)
  • county fairs
  • city/street festivals

Some typical venues might include:

  • major league stadiums
  • minor league stadiums
  • amusement & water parks
  • gymnasiums
  • parks & recreation facilities

Event types where this avenue of reaching youth is not as effective and should not be used include:

  • health fairs
  • health screening sites
  • events that promote unhealthy behaviors

 

SUCCESSFUL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY EVENTS

At a successful VERB-inspired physical activity event, there are numerous interactions with tweens who are having fun getting active. These interactions should result in every tween:

Doing the following:

  • playing three or more activities (or 10 minutes of activity)
  • finding a verb they like
  • getting a reward for finding their verb

Hearing the following:

  • Be imaginative about play
  • Play by your rules, your way
  • You don't need certain skills – have fun
  • You can do it anywhere
  • You can do it with any number of people
  • You can do it EVERY DAY

Realizing, feeling, or believing the following:

  • I like to ________, and I can do it anywhere I want whenever I want
  • I want to do _________ every day

Keep in mind that at VERB-inspired physical activity events the focus is on play, not exercise and on letting kids do things their way, not dictating what they do. Focus on the fun of kids playing with friends and just being kids.


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