Welcome to Have a ball together!

Raising Healthy Kids is Child’s Play!         

The Best Start Resource Centre launched in early October 2009, a provincial campaign on physical activity Have a ball Together, focusing on parents and caregivers of children 2-5 years old. Most parents believe their child is active. Unfortunately, the majority of children are not!

  • The time children spend being physically active begins to decrease by the age of three;
  • Preschoolers watch close to two hours of TV per day;
  • Increasing numbers of children between the ages of two and five are overweight or obese.

The good news is that we can change this! The goal of the campaign is that children aged 2-5 years in Ontario will become more physically active for healthy growth and development.

The campaign objectives were

  • To increase knowledge about the benefits of unstructured active play;
  • To motivate parents / caregivers to spend more time being physically active with children through unstructured active play; and
  • To motivate parents/caregivers to decrease the amount of time children spend watching screens (TV and computer).

The 3 key messages were:

  • It's fun and easy to be active with children;
  • There are benefits to engaging children in unstructured active play; and
  • Less screen time means more time for children to be physically active.

The campaign strategies focused on three areas:

1) Parents and caregivers:

The campaign provided parents and caregivers with information and simple creative suggestions for physical activity and interactive ideas that can be easily implemented with 2-5 year olds. The campaign resources included:

  • Parents’ Resource Activity Cards that can be attached to the strollers, diaper bags, wagons, or backpacks;
  • Creative stickers illustrating physical activity with 2-5 years old that can be used on a calendar to schedule time to play;
  • A brochure, Have a ball together!,  providing information on physical activity;
  • A Have a ball together ! website where parents can find additional information and creative physical activities ideas.

Note: All the above materials are available in both English and French. The activity cards, brochure and stickers are also culturally adapted for Aboriginal communities

2) Service Providers:

To support service providers working with parents, packages of the campaign resources were distributed to Ontario Early Years Centres, public health departments, Community Action Program for Children / Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program and the Aboriginal Head Start Program. In addition, the resources were available for order.

3) Provincial Mass Media:

The Best Start Resource Centre arranged for media coverage across the province of Ontario through a variety of methods:

  • Comprehensive media kits distributed to Ontario newspapers, radio and TV stations;
  • Transit bus advertisements in selected communities;
  • Bookmarks in selected community libraries;
  • Paid advertisements in selected parent magazines; and
  • A launch event in early October.

The campaign material and strategies were developed with input from:

  • Physical activity organizations, consultants and promoters (Participaction, Parks and Recreation Ontario, OPHEA – Physical Activity Resource Centre);
  • Education, Health & Social Services Community organizations ( Public Health Units of Ottawa, Toronto, North Bay and NorthWestern; Ontario Early Years Centers, George Brown College School of Early Childhood; McMaster University Children’s Exercise and Nutrition centre,  Algonquin Child and Family Services) and the
  • Funders: Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada


For more information click here.
Have a ball together!   Raising Healthy Kids is Child’s Play
October 2009




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