Circular 1037-23
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By Kathryn Tarulli, Dr. Diane Bales and Dr. Charlotte Wallinga — Department of Human Development and Family Science

Be Physically Active: Keep your family fit by encouraging them to be physically active.

Many children enjoy being active, but some may need more encouragement. Young children should be physically active many times during the day. Here are some tips to help motivate your child to be active.

Incorporate Activity into Routines
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk instead of driving when possible.

Model an Active Lifestyle
Be a positive role model for your family by participating in physical activity yourself.

Establish a Regular Schedule
Give your child regular opportunities for active play. Schedule physical activity as a part of your family's lifestyle.

Encourage Age-Appropriate Activities
Help your child build skills by playing simple games. Throw a ball, play tag, ride bikes, or play freeze dance.

Make it Fun!
When your child enjoys an activity, he or she will want to do it more. Encourage active play by making it a game.

*The Nemours Foundation. (2012). KidsHealth: Raising a Fit Preschooler. Retrieved from

Family Fun Activity: Treasure Hunt

Use this easy activity to help your child learn.

What You Need:

  • Familiar objects to hide

What To Do:

  • Hide miscellaneous objects around the house or yard
  • Try to hide objects in places that require different motions to find them. For example:
    • Reach up
    • Reach down
    • Squat
  • Invite your child to go on a treasure hunt to find the items you have hidden
  • Provide clues to your child as needed
  • Take this activity outside for even more active movement

This is publication 23 out of 24 in the Eat Healthy, Be Active: Keeping Children Healthy at Home and School series. For more information visit

Status and Revision History
Published on May 13, 2014
Published with Full Review on Mar 28, 2017

Diane W Bales Assoc Professor & Human Dev Spec, Family & Consumer Sciences
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