Authors as Published

Elena Serrano, Associate Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. (

Age   X Children 7-10X Children 11-14   X  Mixed AgesVirginia Standards of Learning
English 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.2
Health 3.1, 3.2, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.1,
8.2, 8.3, 8.5
Setting   Classroom    CampX  Either
Location   Outside Indoors X    Either

Project Skill: Demonstrating different physical activities and movement

Success Indicators: As a result of this activity, children will be able to:

  • demonstrate different physical activities and movement as part of a group
  • associate physical activity with “fun”
  • describe the importance of physical activity

Life Skills: Coordination, Communication, Learning to learn

Preparation Time: Write different physical activities on small strips of paper before class. See Examples of Activities on next page.

  • Supplies:

  • Kids Activity Pyramid poster
  • Kids Activity handouts (VCE  publication 348-097)
  • Slips of paper with activities written on them
  • Basket/hat/cup to hold strips of paper
  • Space to perform the routines

Optional Handouts:

  • Move It!
  • Move It! Diary
  • Add It Up (VCE publication 348-240)
  • Calorie Chemistry (VCE publication 348-241)


  1. Have one child draw an activity strip out of a hat and pantomime it for the others. As each “audience member” figures out what the activity is, he or she also acts it out until everyone is doing the activity.
  2. Count to 60 seconds while doing that activity, then ask students to identify how that particular activity (e.g. basketball) makes a person more fit. Ask questions like, “Which parts of the body are used for this activity?”
  3. Once you have gone through all of the activities, show the Kids Activity pyramid poster to the class and hand out enough copies for each of the students. Where does each of the activities belong in the pyramid? What are some reasons that some activities are at the bottom of the pyramid and others at the top? What activities do they do most? Least?
  4. Discuss the importance of physical activity for physical and mental health. Talk about how some activities help your heart, others build strong muscles and bones, and others improve stability and flexibility. All are important
  5. Hand out one or more of the different optional handouts available and go over with the class. Encourage them to share them with their families.


  • Have children complete in advance the Action Kid’s Activity Analysis and discuss together.
  • Encourage everyone to participate.
  • Keep it fun.
  • Discuss ways to be active all day.
  • Distribute all or part of 60: Play Everyday Anyway to children to take home to their parents:
  • Using balls available at the school, try some of the yellow ball activities for tweens from VERB: It’s What You Do at

Examples Of Activities:

Jumping jacksSurfingSoccer
StretchingMartial ArtsGardening
SoftballPing PongIce skating
TennisJumping ropeYoga

Other Ideas:

  • Assign a different letter of the alphabet to each child. Ask each student to write down an activity that begins with that letter on a slip of paper. Use those slips for activity charades. Write down the activities that correspond to the alphabet on the chalkboard or a flip chart.
  • Play Guess What? Write physical activities on pieces of paper and tape one activity on each child’s back. The object of the game is for each child to figure out the physical activity he or she has. Everyone goes around and asks the other children “yes” or “no” questions (they can’t ask questions like, “What physical activity am I?”)
  • In place of physical activities, you can also use foods and reinforce MyPlate.
  • Have groups of children create different pieces of equipment, showing different ways to be creatively active. Examples include: lawnmower, car, water faucet, train, and a toaster. Each person is to expected to be a part of the equipment and act out their part.
Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Any physical movement can count as physical activity.


  • What did you like about this game?
  • Which charade was the easiest to do? Why?
  • Which charade was the hardest to do? Why?
  • Are you warm? Is your heart beating faster than before? Can you feel your pulse in your wrist or on your chest?


  • What did you learn from this activity?
  • Why is your heart beating faster? Why did you get warmer?
  • Why is knowing about your heart rate important?
  • In the charades, what was your favorite way of being active?
  • What do you do every day that is a physical activity or exercise?


  • What other activities would you like to do for this lesson?
  • What types of skills did you need for each of the activities?
  • Which activities would you choose to do on your own?
  • What suggestions would you have for someone who wanted to be more physically active?
  • Why is it important for everyone to be physically active?


  • Can you think of a way to be more active at school, at home, or in your community? How can you get your family involved?

This publication was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low incomes. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your local county or city Department of Social Services (phone listed under city/county government).  For help finding a local number, call toll-free: 1-800-552-3431 (M-F 8:15-5:00, except holidays).  By calling your local DSS office, you can get other useful information about services.  
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, disability, or political beliefs.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
This publication was partially funded by the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program, USDA, CSREES.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

December 13, 2011