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Kansas Kids are More Active with Physical Activity Bundles

| Kansas

Nov 01, 2023

More kids across Kansas are being physically active during school since receiving a Physical Activity Bundle. Kids are learning healthy habits and how to have fun with physical activity, thanks to the Kansas SNAP-Ed program. By partnering with local and statewide organizations to improve policies, systems, and environments that support healthy behaviors, this program helps low-income Kansans make the healthy choice the easy choice by focusing on nutrition and physical activity education.

The Physical Activity Bundles are used with our Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness nutrition education series, and are provided in place of each student receiving a reinforcement item such as a jump rope or ball. The bundle items are meant to reinforce physical activity and are provided to the whole classroom to use. Classroom teachers can choose from the bundle menu for the classroom each school year.

The physical activity bundles increased students’ physical activity opportunities and levels during the school day.

Group of excited 5th graders in althletic clothes in a classroom, standing in a circle, ciking foam dice across the circle to eachother.
5th grade class playing with the activity dice.

Challenge

In Kansas only 24.4% of children ages 6-17 get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily. There is evidence that physical activity can improve academic performance and other cognitive and memory functions (America’s Health Rankings; Data from the National Survey of Children's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), 2020-2021). It is important that students have opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day.

"It was an immediate change that occurred in our classroom as students were excited to play with the fun physical activity dice. This led to the students being more active through the remainder of the school year.” —Pottawatomie County 5th Grade Teacher

Solution

Physical activity is both fun and healthy! It can also play a key role in a childs academic success, including their physical, social, and emotional well-being. Kansas SNAP-Ed promoted access to fun and energetic activities that teachers could use during the school day to increase student physical activity levels.

Classroom teachers choose one bundle from a menu of four different options. The bundles available are as follows:

  • Recess Bundle (playground balls, double Dutch jump rope, hula hoops, swing in hop, and sidewalk chalk)
  • Sports Bundle (football, basketball, soccer ball, volleyball, wiffle ball, and frisbee)
  • Rainy Day Bundle (bean bags, activity dice, beach ball, hopscotch rug, and stepping-stones)
  • Brain Break Bundle (this is designed for classrooms and features 200 videos of different physical activities such as yoga and kickboxing)

Physical Activity Bundles are provided to the classroom at the beginning of the nutrition education series. This ensures the children will have time to utilize the bundle during the school year.

A 5th grade boy plays hopschotch on an indoor mat in his classroom while 2 more boys look on and wait their turn behind him.
5th grade class playing hopscotch.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, there were 77 classrooms across the State that received a Physical Activity Bundle. Over 1,500 students in grades 3-5 had access to more physical activity opportunities because of the classroom bundles. 

This has been a great addition to our recess activities. The students are more active and excited to have the new equipment.” —Wildcat District Elementary Teacher

Sustaining Success

The feedback from teachers was overwhelmingly positive: 48 responded to the physical activity feedback survey with 67% indicating that they use the Physical Activity Bundle daily” and 71% indicating that they strongly agree” or agree” that their students’ physical activity levels increased during the school day after the introduction of the bundle.

The distribution of Physical Activity Bundles will expand in FY 2024. We expect to distribute the bundles to 248 classrooms across the state. We expect to impact three times the number of students having increased access to physical activity opportunities throughout the school day.

5th grade class of students in their classroom posed for a group photo holding items from their rainy day recess kit like foam dice, and activity shapes.
4th grade class with their Rainy-Day physical activity bundle items.

SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework indicators:

Physical Activity & Reduced Sedentary Behavior (MT3)

 

Contact Information

Lisa Ross, MPH, RD, LD, State Coordinator

Website: https://www.k-state.edu/ks-snaped/

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