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Having a Successful Physical Activity Event


  • 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.


  • 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 D 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!"

Page last reviewed: August 1, 2007
Page last modified: August 1, 2007
Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health 

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