Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
University of California
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education

Lesson 2.4: Play Together (Part II)

Background: Parents and caregivers can help children be active by providing time, space, and encouragement for active play. Even during bad weather or days when air quality is poor, active games and dancing can be done indoors. For children who resist being active, parents can try playing with them for 10-15 minutes at a time.

Parents can praise children for trying a new game or skill, following the rules, or taking turns. They can also encourage children while they play (“Let’s see how high you can jump.”). Being a positive role model for physical activity helps families be more active and become closer. Making activities fun, mixing up activities, and giving children a choice (i.e. dance, go to park, or ride bikes) also helps encourage physical activity.

Teaching Tip: Children will be more likely to participate actively in a fun, supportive social setting (without bullying from other children). For one of the stations, consider playing twister. Make a twister game by drawing colored circles on an old sheet. Make a spinner from cardboard or simply have a person call out a color and body part (left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot). With one caller, 2 players try to keep from falling or stepping outside the colored circles. Twister and other games are great opportunities to practice other skills, like identifying colors or counting.

Playing twister (NSFS repository)
Playing twister (NSFS repository)

Target Audience: Latino families with children, 3-8 years

Key Message: Parents can use simple and fun games to help children be active

Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

1) Make a simple toy to encourage active play at home with children

2) Identify parenting strategies to encourage children to be active


  • Supplies and recipes for food demonstration (suggested Southwest Tacos);
  • Plain white paper plates;
  • Markers;
  • 5-6 pairs of scissors;
  • 1-2 plastic cones or towel tubes taped to paper plate holder;
  • 6 large plastic bottles;
  • Small rubber ball;
  • 5-10 balloons;
  • Old sheet for parachute;
  • Small stuffed animals;
  • Lightweight foam ball;
  • Poster board with large circle, tape and pie pieces showing different physical activities (alternatively use a white board and markers)

Click here for English lesson plan Lesson 2.4 Playtogetherpart2

Playing ring toss (NSFS repository)


Handouts and Activity Sheets

Southwest Tacos (English) (Spanish)

Child's Physical Activity Log (Spanish)

Child's Physical Activity Log (English)




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