Participants will learn that everything they eat and every physical activity they do (or don’t do) affects their health.
- Paper clips
Place a pile of paper clips in the middle of the group. Say, “Every time we eat right, we make good choices. Every time we are physically active, it matters.”
- Hold up a paperclip in your hand and say, “Today, I ate (name a healthy food). That was a good choice.” Raise the paper clip in your left hand and say, “Today, I (name a physical activity that you did). That was also a choice.” Then link the two paper clips together.
- “Let’s see how many good choices we’ve made lately.” Have each child take turns adding a paper clip or two to the chain while naming a healthy food or activity (or both).
- If you have 10 or more participants, form them into smaller groups of 3-5 in order to allow for more opportunities to participate.
- Add paper clips to your chain each time you get together and see how long it gets!
- Be creative and have participants make paper chains instead.
- It’s important to make sure that the environment remains positive, even if a participant names a food or activity that is unhealthy. It’s likely that that their home situation does not render them the opportunity to eat or behave healthily, thus making some of these healthy choices out of their control.
End the activity by hanging up the paper clip chain, “When we make more healthy choices than unhealthy choices, it matters. Sometimes we will eat food that isn’t the healthiest. Sometimes we’ll watch TV instead of exercising. But, if we make more healthy choices than unhealthy choices, it all adds up.”
Adapted from activity #7 of YMCA’s Raising Healthy Kids Activity Guide for Recreation Leaders.