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How to Structure

  • Provide ample time and opportunities for children to engage in active unstructured play (creative and exploratory free-play activities). Also, provide opportunities for them to participate in structured active play (adult-led games or sports). 
  • Integrate physical activity with cultural and artistic activities, such as dance, music and drama.
  • Provide access to both outdoor and indoor physical activity spaces. Children who are more active tend to spent more time outdoors. 
  • Make available age-appropriate indoor and outdoor toys and equipment. Such access is also associated with higher activity rates in children.
  • Ensure children have a safe environment in which to be active. For example, it is important to provide appropriate supervision to maximize both physical and emotional benefits of being active while reducing any potential safety hazards (e.g., serious injury, shaming, or bullying). This consideration is especially true if you live in an area with a higher crime rate. Children also need to be dressed appropriately for the activity and weather. They may get their clothes somewhat dirty if playing games outside.
  • Because girls tend to be less active than boys, encourage girls to be regularly active too. Provide them with unique ideas based on their interests. For more information, see
  • Since children and youth tend to be more active on the weekends and in the warm weather seasons, take extra care to plan physical activity opportunities during the weekdays and winter months.