Resources to Promote Physical Activity in Early Care and Education (ECE)

Check out these resources that are available to promote physical activity in early care and education, shared by our friend Diane Craft, Professor at from the State University of New York - Cortland. Dr. Craft was share her knowledge with NICCA attendees at the 2017 Conference last month. She is the author of the Active Play Books. Learn more here:

Free Resources on Activities, Interventions, and Curricula to Promote Physical Activity in ECE

SNAP-ED TOOLKIT: Obesity Prevention Interventions* (USDA)

Search for evidence-based strategies and interventions focused on promoting healthy eating and physical activity, including populations and settings specific to early childhood and early care and education. Each strategy or intervention included in the toolkit includes an overview, summary of reach and adoption, components, materials needed, a summary of the evidence, evaluation indicators and materials, and contact information. Website:

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness* (Dept of Defense, Penn State)

Search for physical activity programs that may be used in early care and education settings. The Clearinghouse rates each program based on its level of effectiveness on a scale from effective to ineffective. Each program included in the Clearinghouse includes a summary of the program, description of the evidence, components of the program, where it has been used, training needed, considerations, implementation factors (i.e., time, cost, evaluation plan), and contact information.


Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health Early Childhood (CATCH EC)

CATCH Early Childhood (CEC) is a research tested low cost intervention to improve nutrition physical activity, nutrition, and encourage healthy eating in pre-k children ages 3-5. There are a handful of free physical education activities that are developmentally appropriate and easy for teachers to follow.


Eat Well Play Hard in Childcare Settings and Day Care Homes*

(NY State Department of Health)

An intervention that provides nutrition and physical activity education to preschool children, their parents and child care staff.

Child Care Settings:

Day Care Home:

Go Smart (National Head Start Association)

Physical activities that can engage 0-5 year olds in physical play each day. Go Smart is website (and also available as a free smartphone app) providers can use by to help facilitate physical activities in a group or one-on-one setting. ECE providers enter the ages, number of children and type of space and the app gives suggestions on games and activities to enhance young children’s physical activity time.


Growing, Moving, Learning: Infant-Toddler Toolkit*

(University of Delaware, Nemours)

This toolkit includes developmentally appropriate activities that promote physical activities and healthy eating for infants and toddlers.


Head Start Body Start (SHAPE America)

MODEL Health Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity in Children*

(Maryland State Department of Education)

Lessons on nutrition and physical activity that encourage exploration, concrete experiences and links to the children’s families and prior experiences (ages 3-5 years)


Physical Activities and Healthy Snacks for Young Children*

(Iowa Department of Education)

A set of cards featuring over 50 physical activities and healthy snacks. It also integrates lessons about physical activity and healthy food. Website:

PAK (Physical Activity Kit): Staying on the Active Path in Native Communities – A Lifespan Approach, Book #5 Young Children (Indian Health Service, University of New Mexico)

Physical activity ideas that are appropriate for young children.


Sesame Street: Healthy Habits for Life*

Resources to help incorporate healthy physical activity and nutrition habits into everyday life. This resource features poems, songs, posters, activities, and family newsletters, all illustrated with Sesame Street characters.


Structured Active Play Program* (City of Greater Geelong, Australia)

Structured activities to help young children develop balancing, ball, kicking and other skills. Website:

Free Assessment Tools that Address Physical Activity for ECE Providers