Just for parents and caregivers
Participate in the physical activity beat in Ontario!
1. Action Heroes... That’s you!
2. Ideas and Resources to Share
3. Did you know?
4. Learn more... Resources and links for Parents/Caregivers

1. Action Heroes... That’s you!

Your child is your number one fan, including when it comes to physical activity.
Help your child to be active:

Encourage your child to be active
Encourage your child to play outside, reduce TV time, and ask him to help you with an active job around the house. Read active books and have your child act out the words. Watch when your child shouts “Watch me”! Use encouraging words and positive comments when your child is being active. Post pictures of your child being active on the fridge.

Get involved
Try some of the activities listed in the Parent Resource Activity Cards and on in the websites provided. Introduce your child to games that you used to love when you were a child. Your involvement will not only encourage your child to play, but will let them know that you think physical activity is important.

Make it easy for your child to be active
Take your child to indoor and outdoor play areas and programs, ask your day-care provider to provide physical activity opportunities for your child, buy or borrow play equipment for your child to use. Make sure your child is safe and dressed properly for the weather. Provide at least one hour a day of structured active play (particularly for children three and older) and at least one hour, and up to several hours a day of unstructured physical activity. Keep in mind that active play shouldn’t seem like “exercise”, but rather something that is fun and natural. Limit your child’s screen time

Be a role model
If your child sees you being active, they will learn that physical activity is an important family value. In addition to structured sport and exercise programs, be sure to get active during your day including walking to the mail box, doing yard work, parking in the furthest parking spot and just putting on some music and dancing!

2. Ideas and Resources to Share

Have a Ball Together! Resources material
Creative ideas on how to be physically active with 2-5 year olds
Parent Resource Card
Aboriginal Version
Aboriginal Version
Aboriginal Version

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Early Years Programs and Organizations
Check out local organizations such as Ontario Early Years Centres, CAPC and CPNP programs and participate in their physical activities programs or events.

Ontario Early Years Centres
Ontario Early Years Centres are places where parents and caregivers can take part with their children in a range of programs and activities.

CAPC/CPNP and AHS programs
The Community Action Program for Children (CAPC)
Offers a variety of parent, child and family (parent and child) focused programs and activities such as drop-in play, parenting programs, toy lending libraries, and community kitchens.

The Canadian Prenatal and Nutrition Program (CPNP)
Aims to lower the number of unhealthy birth weight babies born and improve the health of both infant and mother. Mothers are also encouraged to breastfeed their babies.

The Aboriginal Head Start (AHS programs)
AHS projects typically provide half-day preschool experiences that prepare young Aboriginal children for their school years by meeting their spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs.
Ontario Provincial Parks
Locate the nearest provincial park. Choose between recreational, historical, natural environment, nature reserve, waterway or wilderness parks!

Community Festivals/ Ontario Fairs
Which Ontario fairs offer your favorite activities? Using the "Search a fair" find fairs that offer games for children, races for children, activities for the whole family or even lumberjack games!

Offers a wealth of programs and services tailored to meet the unique needs of the communities. Find your local YMCA and check the Children and Youth program that will help your child to stay active

3. Did you know?

What unstructured physical activity means?

Supervised free time for children to play actively on their own, with parents/caregivers or with other children. For example, playing inside or outside on play structures, building forts, running and jumping, etc. In comparison, structured physical activity time means activities that you direct or do with your toddler/preschooler to keep them moving such as walking, exercising, bike riding, skating, gymnastics, dancing, active games, etc. These also include activities that you might take your toddler/preschooler to.


Being active at age 5 helps kids stay healthy as they grow!

This is true even if they don't remain as active later in childhood
“The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, indicates that kids who are active at age 5 end up with less fat at age 8 and 11, even when controlling for their accumulated level of activity. The average 5-year-old in the study got 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day. For every 10 minutes on top of that, kids had one-third of a pound less fat tissue at ages 8 and 11.”

Safety comes first...

Keep children under the age of 5 safe while they climb, run, chase balls or bike.
For safety tips, visit Safe Kids Canada.

Increase your awareness about the risk factors associated with injury in children and youth with information from the
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre

4. Learn more... Resources and links for Parents/Caregivers


Have a Ball Handouts

Other resources on physical activity Best Start Resource Centre
Physical Activity Resources
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
Download or order on line your copy of the guidelines

Busy Bodies Nutrition Resource Centre
64 pages

How to Feed Your Growing Child
A low-literacy resource, adapted from Vancouver Coastal Health, that provides information on feeding children from age two to five.

Fun and Physical Activity Toronto Public Health
22 pages

How to Build a Healthy Preschooler
Nutristep (Nutrition Screening Tool for Every Preschooler)
2 pages

Little Steps go a Long Way
Physical Activity and Children with a disability
How do I help my child who has a disability get active?
Healthy Screen Use websites
Media Awareness Network


Centre for Screen Time Awareness

Promoting Good Television Habits. Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids

The Association for Media Literacy