National Go Fishing Day is on June 18! Fishing allows you to peacefully enjoy the outdoors while still incorporating physical activity. You can fish in ponds, rivers, lakes, and oceans, which gives you flexibility and variety in where you choose to fish. It’s a great activity for children to learn since it’s low-pressure and leisurely.


When fishing with your children, plan for short nearby trips. Also, make sure that you (or whatever adult is fishing with them) have your fishing license and are up-to-date on all fishing regulations for your state. Wear life jackets if you’re fishing from a boat. Children and beginning fishers should use a light line, bobber, and a barbless hook. For instructional videos and tips, visit


Regulations on fishing in public waters vary by state. In North Carolina, you need a license to fish in public water (this doesn’t apply to private land) if you’re 16 years old or older. Children under 16 years old don’t need a fishing license as long as they’re with a fishing licensed adult. You can purchase a license online, by telephone or in-person. For more information on fishing licenses in North Carolina, visit


Paddling a boat and hiking to your fishing spot are great aerobic activities as they make your heart beat faster. Fishing itself works the muscles in your arms as you cast and reel. Being in the sun while you fish can help increase your vitamin D levels. Since fishing isn’t a fast-paced activity, it can help relieve stress and teach patience (which is especially helpful for children)!


To find a public fishing place near you, visit


Where will you and your family try fishing?

Great Outdoors Month

June is Great Outdoors Month! The outdoors provides endless opportunities for physical activity, such as biking and hiking. Outdoor play for children promotes fitness, can raise vitamin D levels, and can help reduce stress.¹


Here are some ways your children can participate in Great Outdoors Month!

  • Bike riding: Whether you bike through your neighborhood, on a trail, or through a state park, bike riding is a fun activity to do as a family.
  • Swimming: Going to a pool, lake, ocean, or river open to the public for swimming is a great way to cool off and get exercise during the summer months. If you find a public lake, ocean, or river to swim in, be mindful of these safety tips:
  • Parks: Local and state parks provide many options for physical activity, from playgrounds to canoeing. Parks are great places to find activities that all of your children can enjoy, no matter how old they are.
  • Hiking: Hiking trails range in difficulty, from easiest to very strenuous, so it’s easy to find a trail that suits your pace and experience level. Check out this link for hiking and outdoors safety tips!
  • Backyard play: Your own backyard is a great space for a quick game of catch or for getting all 60 minutes of your child’s daily physical activity! Try activities like hula hoop, “Red Light Green Light,” “Mother May I,” jump rope, or even gardening.


Remember to bring water, sunscreen, snacks, and other appropriate safety equipment (such as helmets) for whatever activity you choose. To find outdoor trails near you, visit


Whether you go in your backyard or to a hiking trail, enjoy the Great Outdoors this June!



Exercise as a Family

With the month of June finally here, summer is beginning and Father’s Day is coming soon. Whether you’re enjoying the summer sun or celebrating a holiday like Father’s Day,  there are many ways you can Move More together this summer!


Fitting physical activity into your day can be hard, but trying activities and exercises that your children can also participate in can help ensure that the whole family stays active. With children finishing school and spending more time at home for the summer, consider trying activities like these that you can do with your children!

  • Gardening: There are many vegetables and herbs you can grow at home during the summer. Building garden beds, digging soil, and watering plants can be hard work, especially in the summer sun. Try starting a garden at home with your family–you can assign jobs to each family member and work together to exercise while growing nutritious vegetables!
  • At-Home Workout Exercises: Exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups are appropriate for children in elementary school and older and can be a great workout for both you and your children! You can do these exercises during commercial breaks or set assign time for a workout.
  • Walking or Biking: Instead of driving, try walking or riding bikes when you and your family need to get somewhere this summer. Think about places you go that are within walking distance. Remember to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water when you plan to be outside for awhile.
  • Outdoor Group Games: Games that you need more room to play like relay races, Red Rover, “Red Light, Green Light,” “What Time Is It Mr. Fox,” and other group games are fun to try in the summer when it’s warm outside. Make sure you have an open, safe area to play in and you can enjoy these games as a family.


What other summertime activities can you play with your children this summer?

Summer Safety

Summer break is quickly approaching for school-aged children and teens. For many students, this means a break from school and extracurricular commitments and time to have fun and recover from the school year. Summer’s a great time for children to spend more time being physically active. With more freedom during this season comes more opportunities to practice safe play!


Here are some ways you and your children can ensure their safety this summer:

  • Make sure children wear appropriate clothing for their activity. For example, if they attend a day-camp or overnight camp, ask about a packing list. Also, give them safety gear to wear like a Coast Guard approved life jacket and helmet appropriate for the activity they’re participating in.
  • Teach children how to be safe around a campfire, such as not playing with matches or lighters.
  • Have your children keep a water bottle with them and drink it regularly to stay hydrated. Make sure they take breaks from the outdoors to come inside and cool off. Also, have them wear and regularly re-apply sunscreen with SPF and UVA/UVB protection.
  • For especially hot days, have children play outside in the morning or evening hours when it’s light outside but cooler than the hot afternoon.
  • For teen drivers, remind them of the importance of wearing a seatbelt, not using their cellphone while driving, and obeying laws of the road as they drive to meet friends and attend activities.


For more safety tips, visit, and


Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend with your family!

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Swimming and water sports are great ways for children to be active once they’ve had swimming lessons and feel comfortable in the water. Swimming is an aerobic activity, which helps keep the heart strong and reduces chronic disease risk. It’s also a fun way to be active and stay cool outside during the heat of summer. Or, you can swim in an indoor pool regardless of the season! With any physical activity, safety needs to be a top priority to avoid accidents. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week is May 21-27 and exists to promote swimming and reduce its risks.


Here are some ways you and your family can say safe in the water:

  • Make sure the pool is safe before swimming (trained staff present, safety equipment, posted inspection results, visible drains, proper pH). Use pH test strips to check the pool’s pH.
  • If your child has diarrhea, make sure they stay out of the water. Cover open wounds with waterproof bandages.
  • Shower before using the pool. Make sure children in diapers are wearing appropriate swim diapers and swim pants. For children that are not able to swim independently, use properly-fitting Cost Guard approved life jackets.
  • Remind children not to put pool water in their mouths.
  • Do not swim in natural bodies of water like oceans and lakes that are off-limits.


Most importantly, supervise your children while they’re in the water to prevent accidents! For more safety tips, visit


Safe Swimming!

Strength Training for Children

Strength training is a vital type of physical activity that helps our muscles and bones grow stronger. Bone mass builds tremendously during childhood, and strength training is a great way to ensure children’s bones grow strong. Once children are old enough to play organized sports (usually around 7-8 years old), they can start participating in strength training. Children should participate in bone and muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days per week on nonconsecutive days for 20-30 minutes each session. And this time counts towards their 60 minutes of daily physical activity! Whether children use free weights, resistance bands, or their own body weight, they can safely strength train with appropriate adult supervision.


Since everyone’s body is different, there is no one strength training program that works for everyone. Typically, completing 1-3 sets (groups of repetitions with short rest periods in between) of 6-15 repetitions (the number of times you complete an exercise during a set) is appropriate for each exercise. Learn the proper form for each exercise and teach it to your children before they perform an exercise. Try and incorporate exercises for all major muscle groups: front and back of arms, shoulders, chest and upper back, abdominals, sides of torso (obliques), lower back, front and back of thighs, calf muscles, and buttocks.


Warm-up and cool-down stretches help prevent injury, so don’t forget to stretch for about 10 minutes before and after exercising. Also, have children rest 1-3 minutes in between sets. Children can aim to complete 6-8 exercises per training session. Try exercises from the following list to get started!

Body Weight Exercises

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Planks
  • Squats
  • Lunges

Resistance Band Exercises

  • Pec fly
  • Lat pull down
  • Single arm shoulder press
  • Side bend
  • Upright row

To learn how to perform these exercises, visit

Free Weight Exercises

  • Bent-over row
  • Bicep curl
  • Calf raise
  • Chest press
  • Reverse fly

For more exercises and how-to videos, check out this link:


So how can children too young for strength training build muscles? Infants’ time spent in bouncy seats and other items that restrict movement should be limited. Instead, they should have toys that encourage them to move and have “tummy” time. Once children can crawl & walk, dedicate time every day for active play. Also, swinging and climbing on appropriate playground equipment, hopscotch, skipping, and jumping are great for children to build strength.


May is National Osteoporosis Month. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones are weak and break easily (1). While osteoporosis usually affects older adults, it’s important for children to build strong bones when they’re young to prevent osteoporosis when they get older. In fact, most people’s bone growth peaks between ages 20 and 30, so childhood is a critical time to make sure children are building strong bones by playing, strength training, and getting enough calcium and vitamin D. To learn more about how to help your children build strong bones, visit


Talk to your child’s pediatrician about getting started with strength training!



National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening exercise. Regular physical activity can improve muscle, bone, and heart health, especially for growing children.¹


It can be difficult to meet physical activity recommendations, for both children and adults. Start with small physical activity goals for your children and as they increase their activity, they’ll get into healthy physical activity habits more easily. There are many ways you can help your children get more physical activity everyday. Here are a few ideas!

  • Encourage school-aged children and adolescents to get involved in after-school sports. If they aren’t interested in playing organized sports, they may enjoy individual activities such as walking or running, yoga, and swimming. They can also play casual games with their friends like tennis, a pick-up basketball game (or other sport), and frisbee. The opportunities are endless!
  • Get active as a family! Plan family outings to the park or other places where you can be active together. Also, you can try squeezing in a family walk after dinner to wind down together after a long day. This is a great time for your family to grow closer while fitting in physical activity!
  • Make a list of activities your children enjoy–especially ones they can do inside on a rainy, hot, or cold day. Having a list of activities they can participate in inside can make sure they stay moving even if the weather is bad. Try activities like yoga, bodyweight and resistance band exercises, and dancing. Younger children can play simple games like Duck Duck Goose, Hide and Seek, and Musical Chairs.
  • Set a good example for your children. When they see you making time to exercise (and enjoying yourself!), they’ll learn healthy exercise habits and see the importance of regular physical activity.


To learn more about National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, visit


How will you and your family be active this month?




Volleyball is a fun sport children can play inside a gym or outside on a sand court. It combines aspects of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball, making it a unique game!


Whether you play in a gym or on a sand court, you can find places to play volleyball near you. Contact your local parks department to find locations near you. You may even be interested in making your own sand volleyball court for your children to play on! Even without a court, your children can practice volleyball skills and techniques.


Here are a few basic skills for your children to practice:

  • Forearm Pass: hold hands together in front of you and join your arms from the elbows to the wrists; hit the ball with the fleshy part of your forearms
  • Underhand Serve: step your non-dominant foot in front of your dominant (i.e. if you’re right-handed, step your left foot in front of your right). Hold the ball in your non-dominant hand at waist-level above the knee. Make a fist with your dominant hand, swing your arm behind you, then swing it forward to make contact with the ball, keeping your non-dominant hand still
  • Set: hold your arms fully extended in the air in front of your head, palms facing up and elbows wider than the shoulders. Spread your fingers in a diamond shape and when you make contact with the ball, use your finger pads to push the ball into the air.


For more information, visit and

Every Kid Healthy Week

Did you know that one in three children in the U.S. are overweight or obese? Every Kid Healthy Week celebrates schools’ efforts to promote health and wellness. This year, Every Kid Healthy Week is April 23-27. This is a great opportunity for you to encourage your children to Move More! Here are some ways you can get involved with Every Kid Healthy Week:

  • Host a family fitness night–talk to your child’s school about providing the space. Try activities like obstacle courses, target throws, tug-of-war, jump rope, a water balloon toss, dancing, and relay races. You may even ask a fitness instructor to lead a fitness class!
  • Gather your friends and neighbors for a Family Fun Run. Remind participants that it’s about fun and fitness–not a competition!
  • Involve your community in a playground or park clean-up. This may be at a community park or playground space at your child’s school. Divide up tasks like yard work and picking up trash. Ask your child’s school about resources to provide additional activities or games at the park/playground, such as a soccer goal or basketball hoop.


Remember to involve your children in Every Kid Healthy Week–this is a great chance to spend time with your family while being active together and positively impacting the health of your community! For more information, visit


How else can you promote Every Kid Healthy Week?

Preparing for PE Fitness Tests

North Carolina public schools encourage healthy growth and development by creating physical activity goals for children to meet in physical education (PE) classes. Even if your child hasn’t started kindergarten yet, you can be preparing them early for the PE requirements.


Listed below are activities for different grade levels that children can participate in to help them meet their PE requirements. Children who haven’t started kindergarten can try the kindergarten activities, and school-aged children can try the activities for their grade level.



  • Goal: basic body control while moving in different settings
  • Activities
    • Walking, running, hopping, skipping, galloping, chasing, fleeing, dodging
      • Try dancing and games like Long Rope Jumping, Individual Rope Jumping, The Bunny Hop, The Hokey Pokey, The Conga, Seven Jumps, The Muffin Man, and The Shoemaker’s Dance
    • Catching, throwing, kicking, striking, and dribbling with hand or foot
    • Games with verbal cues, Word Walls, Follow the Leader, aerobic activities, tag games, aerobic fitness stations, parachute activities

1st Grade

  • Goal: develop basic body control, fundamental movement skills, and health-related fitness components such as strength, endurance, and flexibility
  • Activities
    • Walking, running, hopping, skipping, galloping, chasing, fleeing, and dodging
      • In a straight, curved, and zig-zag path; forward and backward, up and down, sideways
    • Throwing (under and overhand), catching, kicking, striking, dribbling (with foot and hand)
      • Try catching a yarn ball from a self-toss, kicking a stationary ball, volleying a balloon using either hand, rolling and catching with a partner, throwing underhand to targets, overhand throw for distance, and catching and throwing circuit
    • Long Rope Jumping, Individual Rope Jumping, Ribbon Wand Exploration, Hoop Spinning, dances (create a dance)
    • Control soccer dribble around obstacles, Shadow Dribble, soccer passing in pairs, triangle passing, 3 player kick and score
    • Aerobic activities, Crazy Cones, tag, aerobic fitness stations, push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, exercise band activities

2nd Grade

  • Goal: demonstrate key elements of fundamental movement skills and mature form in locomotive skills
  • Activities
    • Kicking, throwing, catching, and striking
      • Forward, backward, sideways, turn around, half-turn, left, right
    • Partner tag, weight transfer and rolls, dance, jump rope, Ribbon Wand Exploration, Animal Balancing Act, Static Balances, Dynamic Balances, Hula Hoop Rolling, control dribble around obstacles (hand and foot)
    • Push ups, picking up items in relay, jogging, biking, dancing, stretches, yoga, aerobic and fitness stations exercise, play outside with friends

3rd Grade

  • Goal: learn and demonstrate more mature movement forms
  • Activities
    • Dribble with feet, catch from a self toss, throwing, volleying, striking
    • Use correct techniques for dribbling, striking, throwing, catching, and kicking in game-like situations
    • Combine one locomotor skill (i.e. walking, running, hopping, skipping, galloping, chasing, fleeing, and dodging) with each manipulative skill (i.e. catching, throwing, kicking, striking, and dribbling with hand or foot)

4th Grade

  • Goal: combine locomotor and manipulative skills in dynamic situations with body control
  • Activities
    • Perform combinations of complex locomotor skills and manipulative skills in different physical activity settings
    • Create movement skill sequences commonly associated with various sports and activities
      • Give and go; passing lanes; spacing; demonstrate changes in speed during straight, curved, and zig zag pathways in dynamic situations; catch an object while traveling (e.g. catch a football pass on the run)

5th Grade

  • Goal: show abilities such as improved accuracy in manipulative skills in dynamic situations
  • Activities
    • Perform combinations of complex locomotor skills and manipulative skills specific to individual, dual and team activities (e.g. hitting a softball)
    • Show mature form in combining locomotor and manipulative skills for traditional and non traditional activities (e.g. volleyball, soccer, badminton, softball, basketball)
    • Jump rope routines

6th Grade

  • Use some specialized skills that are refined and appropriate for modified game play
    • Throwing/Catching
      • Underhand: bowling, bocce, cornhole, ladder golf
      • Overhand: handball, fox tails, softball, football
      • Sidearm: frisbee
      • Back hand: frisbee
    • Striking with feet
      • Soccer: ball control, inside food, outside foot, trapping
      • Lead Up Games: cone soccer, one-on-one soccer, soccer tag, 4 goal soccer, 4 corner soccer
    • Striking with arms and hands
      • Underhand: kickball, four-square, volleyball serve, forearm pass, one-bounce volleyball pas
      • Overhand: volleyball serve/drive, four-square volleyball (with a beach ball)
      • Dribbling: dribble knock-out, relays, right/left, crossover
  • Use movement combinations in rhythmic activities
    • Tumbling: jumping/landing and rolls (log, forward, backward, shoulder)
    • Dance: line dance (electric slide, cha-cha slide, cupid shuffle, Cleveland shuffle, down south shuffle), square dance (promenade, elbow turn, do-si-do, allemande right), folk dance, multicultural dance

7th Grade

  • Goal: apply similar concepts from one sport or movement setting to another
  • Activities
    • Throwing and catching taught in progression: underhand → overhand → sidearm → backhand → toward non-moving targets → toward moving targets → include in small sided games/activities
    • Striking with body parts taught in progression: feet → arms/hands → underhand → overhand → toward non-moving targets → moving targets → include in small sided games/activities
    • Kicking: kicking a non-moving object → kicking a moving object → punting
    • Arms/hands
      • 1 hand underhand → 2 hand underhand → 1 hand overhand
      • Serve → forearm pass → set → overhand serve → hit/kill/spike
      • Dribbling: 1 hand non-moving → 1 hand moving → 1 hand non-dominant hand non-moving → 1 hand non-dominant hand moving → alternating hands non-moving → alternating hands moving
    • Show basic motor skills and complex skills that contribute to movement skills in small sided game situations
      • Throwing/Catching
        • Underhand: ladder golf, bocce, cornhole, tag rugby
        • Overhand: handball, flicker football, softball
        • Sidearm: ultimate frisbee
        • Back hand: ultimate frisbee
      • Striking with Body Parts
        • Feet: one-on-one soccer, soccer tag, 4 corner soccer, 2-on-2 soccer (no goalie), 3-on-3 soccer (no goalie)
        • Arms/hands
          • Underhand: four-square, volleyball underhand pass, one-bounce volleyball pass, prison volleyball
          • Overhand: four-square volleyball, volleyball set
          • Dribbling: right/left, crossover, behind back, spin, between leg, two-ball, dribble knock-out, relay
      • Striking with Equipment
        • Table-tennis (grip, serve), wall ball, line volley, floor pong, badminton (grip, serve)

8th Grade

  • Goal: participation for enjoyment and challenge
  • Activities
    • Throwing/catching: flag football, softball, lacrosse, disc golf, ultimate frisbee
    • Striking with Body Parts
      • Feet: soccer, speedball, tag rugby
      • Arms/hands: volleyball, basketball
    • Striking with equipment: table tennis, badminton, floor hockey, softball, lacrosse
    • Invasion Games and Keep Away (to learn basic offensive and defensive strategies)
    • Use movement combinations in rhythmic activities
      • Tumbling: create routines combining 5 or more skills keeping to the beat of music (e.g. floor exercise, balance beam)
      • Dance
        • Line dance: grapevine, Charleston, cha-cha slide, hip hop moves
        • Square dance: promenade, elbow turn, do-si-do, allemande right
        • Partner dance: fox trot, waltz, shag, salsa, various ballroom dances

9th Grade

  • Goal: get knowledge and skills for movement that provide the foundation for enjoyment, continued social development through physical activity, and access to a physically-active lifestyle
  • Activities
    • Aquatics, team sports, individual sports, dual sports, outdoor pursuits, self-defense, dance and gymnastics (be able to participant successfully in at least 3)
      • E.g. badminton, tennis, golf, bowling, disc golf


For more information, visit


Share how you’ll help prepare your children for their PE requirements!