Interested in learning more about the importance of play for young children? Check out the following research and recommendations!


F as in FatComprehensive report on obesity and childhood obesity in America sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Includes detailed statistics and environmental policy recommendations. June 2010

Solving The Problem of Childhood Obesity Within A Generation. A White House Task Force pdf report to President Obama regarding the state of childhood obesity in America. May 2010

  • Section 5 on page 65 addresses physical activity and provides guidelines for improvements in the built environment and parks and recreation.

California Obesity Prevention Plan, a statewide action plan with goals and strategies to be put into affect by 2015. A document that can help push lawmakers into action and hold them accountable.

  • Page 16 includes plans to increase access to public spaces in order to encourage activity. What changes have you seen in your neighborhood?


“Have Fun, Be Active” dvd is fun and interactive video from physical activity trainer Patricia Kimbrell,  includes lessons on nutrition and physical activity that you can share with your children while at home. The dvd is only $5.50 and along with a pamphlet for $9.95.

Sesame Street: The Get Health Now Show! This is a dvd packet with booklet that encourages kids to eat healthy and to exercise! January 2010

Play: It’s the way young children learn: This online newsletter by the Action Alliance for Children, tells us how play is not only a great way to maintain health, but also helps kids to learn to develop important educational and social skills. Summer 2007

Physical Activity! A one page instruction provided by Healthy South on activities to do with your toddler with specific skills that help with development.

Physical Activity for Everyone: Healthy Pregnant and Postpartum Women. Wondering if physical activity while pregnant is safe for your child? The Center for Disease Control discusses safe activity that is good for your overall health.  May 2010

“Get Moving Today” Activity Calendar. National Center for Physical Activity Development. Need day by day play suggestions to do  with your child at home? Download a free calendar each month in English and Spanish!

Active Movement: Sports and Recreation New Zealand Download a series of brochures with activities to do with your child. Titles include:

  • “Walking, Running and Jumping”
  • “Developing Hands and Fingers”
  • “Massage and Touch”

Be Active Resource Directory- Contra Costa County This free pdf document provided by the Network for Healthy California- Bay Area lists parks, organizations and recreations centers where you can be active with your family.

Child Care Providers

National Policy and Legal Analysis Network (NPLAN): Model Physical Activity Standards for Child Care. Thinking about implementing physical activity at your child care center? This report give some suggestions on what you should include in your play program. September 2009

Active Start Physical Activity Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 5. This webpage lists the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommendations for how much activity kids aged 0-5 should have daily.

UC Cooperative Extension- Alameda County. NETA Physical Activity for Preschoolers: A short one-page guideline, with clear goals and objectives for providers who want to engage in activity with their young students.

Intervening in Early Childhood to Prevent Obesity: UC Berkeley Center for Weight and Health. Recognizing that intervention targeted toward kids 0-5 is important to model future behavior, this report discusses best practices for childhood obesity intervention in child care and at home. 2009

Policies and Characteristics of the Preschool Environment and Physical Activity of Young Children. A study following 299 children from 20 preschools looking at the efficacy of physical activity internvention showed that kids attending schools with policies that promote physical activity were more active during the day. 2009


Evaluation of Obesity Prevention Regulations in Child Care Settings by State. A Duke University evaluation of state regulations in place to prevent childhood obesity. If you were to grade your state’s regulations in regards to obesity prevention, what grade would you give? California’s overall grade is a C. Found out why and make note of what child care centers in your area are doing in comparison. May 2009

Institute of Medicine: Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. The Institute of Medicine believes that the local environment is an avenue towards obesity prevention and provides examples and guidelines towards making important changes.

  • Section 5 includes specific actions that local governments can take to improve physical activity.

Keeping Children Healthy in California’s Child Care Environments. This document describes the CA Department of Education and the Department of Human and Health services plans and recommendations to improve nutrition and how to increase physical activity in the classroom. Goals include strengthen federal food program, establish requirements for child care programs, provide consistent messaging and expand training in nutrition and physical activity. 2009

NPLAN: Model Joint Use Agreement Resources. Are you interested in initiating plans for joint use in your community? The National Policy Legal and Legal Analysis Network (NPLAN) has a comprehensive online resource of guides such as a fact sheets on State Government Rules and School Liability.

Fostering Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Prevention Institute. In collaboration with the Convergence Partnership this document provides policy recommendations to reduce childhood obesity within local communities.

  • On page 11, specific suggestions for child care settings.

Make the Move! – a digital publication of the National Physical Activity Plan provides measurable outcomes and objectives for change, valuable resources, and stories of success to advance physical activity related to the Plan.  Sponsored by General Mills, November 2010.

  • Page 7 addresses Schools, After school, and early child care.

CDC Guide to Strategies for Increasing Physical Activity in the Community– a policy suggestion guide with community examples of successful programs. Including an Active Transport to School intervention designed to make it safe to kids to walk, or bike to school.

Physicians and Medical Personnel

Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity Through Increased Physical Activity. Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to physicians and educators that include encouraging parents to be role models and expanding school physical education and reducing sedentary behavior.