The Concussion Conundrum

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand the basic concepts of concussions. Youth will discuss brain injuries and complete a KWL chart (already Know, Want to know, what I Learned) to list facts about concussions. A hands-on learning activity gives young people a chance to experience what living with a brain injury may be like. Finally, the youth will reflect on what they learned about brain injuries and how to prevent them.

Instructor Notes

Before facilitating this lesson, you may want to review the following information about concussions. These facts can be shared with young people during your discussions.

Young people who play sports or are active other ways, such as riding bikes or playing on the playground, are at risk for concussion. This is a blow to the head that affects how the brain works. It is a form of brain injury. You can’t see it but it causes changes in a person’s behavior, thinking or physical actions.

Your brain is a soft organ that is protected by spinal fluid and your skull. Normally the spinal fluid acts as a cushion between brain and skull. When your head or body is hit hard enough, however, your brain can get knocked against your skull and be concussed. Signs of a concussion can occur right away or hours or even days after the injury occurs. It’s possible to have a concussion even if you never lose consciousness. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include:

  •   headache
  •   problems with memory
  •   upset stomach (nausea) or vomiting
  •   balance issues or dizziness
  •   double or blurry vision
  •   being sensitive to light or sounds
  •   feeling hazy, foggy or groggy
  •   problems concentrating
  •   confusion
  •   not “feeling right”
  •   seizures.

Long-term problems are possible if a person has more than one concussion, or is re-injured before the brain fully heals. That’s why rest, seeking medical treatment, and following a doctor’s instructions are all important. Even better is to prevent concussions in the first place. The Centers for Disease Control recommends these prevention methods:

  1. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  2. Wear a helmet that is fitted and maintained properly when:
    • riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle
    • playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse or boxing
    • using in-line skates or riding a skateboard
    • batting and running bases in baseball or softball
    • riding a horse
    • skiing, sledding or snowboarding.
  3. Ensure that during athletic games and practices, you:
    • use the right protective equipment (should be fitted and maintained properly in order to provide the expected protection)
    • follow the safety rules and the rules of the sport
    • practice good sportsmanship
    • do not return to play with a known or suspected concussion until you have been evaluated and given permission by an appropriate health care professional.
  4. Make living areas safer by:
    • installing window guards to prevent people falling out of open windows
    • keeping stairs clear of clutter
    • securing rugs and using rubber mats in bathtubs
    • not playing on fire escapes or on other unsafe platforms.


Introduce the lesson by discussing concussions, how they occur, and why young people need to be aware of this type of brain injury. Use the information about concussions in the Instructor Notes above.

Ask if anyone in the class has ever had a concussion. If so, ask if they are willing to share a little bit about what that was like.

Activity: Concussion KWL

Hand out the KWL Student Activity Sheet. Invite the youth to fill out the worksheet with a list of things that they know and things they still have questions about on this topic. On a KWL chart, full sentences are not necessary; the ideas are more are important. Suggest they use bullet points or numbers to make their lists easier to read.

Activity: Experiencing Altered Senses

In advance of the lesson set up the stations as described below.

Explain that you have some stations set up with activities that are simulations of some of the possible effects of a brain injury such as concussion. Divide the young people into groups and have them move through the stations before holding a discussion at the end:

    1. Sensory loss: Sometimes people who have a brain injury don’t feel things the same way anymore, either temporarily or even permanently. Simulate this by putting common items in a bucket filled with rice. Have young people put a thick rubber glove on their dominant hand and reach into the rice to feel the items. Can they identify what they are?[1]
    2. Vision impairment: Smear the lenses of several pairs of goggles with petroleum jelly. Have the youth do a variety of regular classroom activities such as sharpen a pencil, copy a sentence off the board, write their names on a worksheet, walk to the bathroom and so on while wearing the goggles.[2]
    3. Loss of taste: Have several types of snacks available. Have each young person choose one of the types of snacks to taste. The first taste should be with their noses plugged. Have them write down a few words to describe the taste (such as sweet, salty, spicy). Then have them taste the same snack with their nose unplugged and again write down a description.
    4. Sensory hypersensitivity: Give the youth a math worksheet that’s at their level. Have them complete the worksheet while wearing headphones blaring loud music.

After the youth have completed the stations, reconvene the group a debrief using the follow questions as guides:

    1. What was it like to do those different things? Describe the experience as well as your feelings as you trying to accomplish them.
    2. Were some of them more difficult than others? Why?
    3. Were some of them more frustrating or upsetting than others? Why?
    4. What surprised you?
    5. Did you know that having a concussion could cause these kinds of problems?

[1] Adapted from Sharon Thorson, Injury Prevention Specialist, and the Denver Osteopathic Foundation, and from the “Brain Injury Empathy Experience” of Mapleton Center for Rehabilitation.
[2] ibid.


To conclude the lesson, ask the young people what they now know about how to prevent concussions. (Discuss and make sure they touch on all of the information mentioned above.)

Ask the youth to complete the last section of the KWL chart on the student activity sheet, listing things they learned about concussions.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes these tips, so that families can continue discussing brain health and brain injuries at home.

Related Health Powered Kids Blog(s)

Additional Instructor Resources

Information about Concussion in Sports from

Stretch for Your Best!

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps children understand that stretching their muscles is a part of a healthy lifestyle at all ages. This activity will teach several easy stretches for kids to do together.


Provide kids with information on the positive benefits and importance of stretching:

  • Stretching is important at any age
  • Stretching:
    • helps move joints through a full range of motion, by keeping ligaments (attach muscle to muscle) and tendons (attach muscle to bone) flexible
    • prevents injury
    • improves athletic performance
    • encourages a healthful lifestyle
    • helps ease sore or tight muscles
    • promotes better posture
    • avoids stiffness and speeds recovery of muscles after running or playing sports
    • encourages blood to circulate to the muscles and joints throughout the body
    • reduces stress

Before the beginning of these stretching exercises for kids, inform participants of the proper way to prepare:

  • The President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports states, “warmed-up tissues are less likely to be injured.”
  • Stretching before warming up increases the risk for pulled muscles and doesn’t promote increased flexibility, so it’s best to wait until the end of physical activity, or at least warm-up, by walking or jogging and gradually increasing heart rate, for five to 10 minutes before stretching. Warming up helps to deliver more blood to the muscle and helps the muscle become warm and able to stretch easier.
  • Warm-up phase should not cause you to feel tired. Tell the kids to stretch for the feeling of a gentle pull, not a painful feeling. Advise them to stretch after exercising.

Activity: Stretching

On yoga mats or other dry, soft, flat areas, such as in the grass, lead the way in the following easy stretches for kids. Note the parts of the body that each pose stretches.

Toe Touch

A toe touch stretch is a basic stretch for kids, an easy one for most to perform. This stretch targets largely the muscles of the legs, especially the calves and hamstrings. From a standing position, the kids will bend over at the waist and reach for their toes with feet together. If the kids can’t quite reach their toes, they can stretch just as far as is comfortable. From a sitting position, each kid sits with legs outstretched and together. They then bend forward, reaching for the toes or as far as is comfortable. In both stretches for kids, they should hold the stretch for 15 seconds and then release.

Neck Half Circles

This stretch for children starts by touching the right ear to the right shoulder. The kids then roll their heads around, chin to chest, in a half-circle to the left shoulder, and then back again, chin to chest. Slow movements in this stretch for kids are important to protect the neck muscles from injury.

Shoulder Circles

Begin this kids’ stretching exercise by having them shrug their shoulders and rotate them forward and down in a circle. Switch directions after five or six turns by shrugging the shoulders and then moving backward in a circle.

Arm Circles

Arm circles can be used to stretch the muscles supporting the elbow and shoulder joint where the arm attaches to the shoulder. The child holds their arms out to the side, creating a horizontal line with their arms. The child then draws circles with their hands, starting with small circles and slowly growing to large circles, then back to smaller circles. Start first by drawing circles clockwise, and then switch to counter-clockwise. Keep the movements slow, and prevent the child from just flailing his arms around.

Side Bends

Have each child stand up straight with arms to the outside of each thigh. Slowly move the fingers down toward the outside of one knee, while bending at the waist. Alternate sides, do 10 side bends on each side.

Reach for the Stars

Just like the title of this stretch for kids, have the kids reach up as high as they can while standing on their tiptoes. This stretch can even be done while lying down on a mat. The goal is to reach their hands and feet away from each other.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a stretch for kids, taken from yoga. It can be used outside of yoga as part of your child’s stretching routine for more of a full-body stretch. To perform the child’s pose, the child gets on their knees with feet together. The child then sits on their heels and bends their body forward until the forehead touches the ground. Bring the arms around to each side of the body, resting with their palms facing towards the sky. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and then return back to an upright kneeling position.


After these stretching exercises for kids, ask them to recall the reasons for stretching offered in the Lesson Introduction above. Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, so that families can continue stretching together at home. Find more health lessons for kids from Health Powered Kids to help children and families live their happiest and healthiest lives.

Additional Instructor Resources

How to Stay Safe During Physical Activity

Lesson Overview

This health safety lesson helps young people understand the equipment they need to stay safe during different sports and activities. They will color images of athletes and then label the different gear that keeps them safe.


Explain to the youth that using the wrong or improperly fitted equipment is a major cause for injuries in playing games and sports. For example, playing tennis with a badly strung racquet while wearing worn-out shoes can be just as dangerous as playing football without shoulder pads!

Ask young people if they can think of any equipment they have used or have seen others wear while playing sports or doing other physical activities.

Remind young people during this health safety lesson, that before wearing protective equipment or playing, they should always check equipment for proper fit and replace worn-out equipment. For example, replace a child’s bike helmet if it:

  • has been in a bike accident
  • is damaged from being used (such as cracked or dented).

Activity: Staying Safe Coloring Sheet

Distribute the Staying Safe Coloring Sheet. As you walk through the different kinds of equipment below, have the youth color the athletes and label the different gear that keeps them safe.

Here are the “Most Valuable Pieces” of equipment that you should mention when teaching kids how to stay safe during physical activities.


  • Always wear a helmet made for the sport you are playing.
  • Bike helmets should have a CPSC sticker. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set up the federal safety standard that all bike helmets must meet. Helmets that meet this standard will have this sticker attached.
  • Helmets should fit snugly but comfortably on your head and shouldn’t tilt backward or forward.

Eye Protection:

  • Eye gear for sports is made from a plastic called polycarbonate.
  • Facemasks, either a guard or shield, attached to helmets should also be made of polycarbonate.
  • Goggles should be worn to cover prescription eyeglasses. You can also purchase prescription polycarbonate goggles.

Mouth Guards:

  • Mouth guards can protect your mouth, teeth, and tongue.
  • Mouth guards should be worn in contact sports.
  • If you wear a retainer, always take it out before you start to exercise, practice or play.

Wrist, Knee, and Elbow Guards or Pads:

  • You should wear guards or pads when doing any activity that requires moving on wheels, such as skateboarding.
  • Guards or pads can prevent breaks, cuts, and absorb shock from falls.
  • Guards or pads should fit snugly and comfortably.

Protective Cup

  • Boys who play contact sports should wear a protective cup.
  • Boys should wear an athletic supporter when playing non-contact sports that involve running.
  • If you are unsure, ask your coach if you need a protective cup for your sport.


  • Football, baseball, softball and soccer are some sports that require cleats.
  • Skateboarding and biking have special types of shoes that are best for performing well.
  • Replace cleat and shoes that have worn out or are no longer supportive.

Activity: Safety Tips

Here are a few other tips on how to stay safe during physical activities.

Warm Up for Injury-Free Play: Muscles that have not been warmed up the right way tend to be injured more easily.

  • Start out with some light cardiovascular activities, such as easy jogging, jumping jacks, or brisk walking, to get your muscles moving and blood circulating.
  • Follow your warm-up with some stretches. Stretching works best after a warm-up because your ligaments and tendons are more elastic (flexible) due to the increase in heat and blood flow to the muscle.
  • Do not overdo your play, game, or sport. If you increase how often, how long or how hard you play too fast, you might see better performance at first, but this can lead to injuries later.

Stay Off the Court When You Are Hurt: If you have been injured and you try to come back too soon, you run the risk of re-injuring yourself – maybe even more seriously than before.

  • Concussion: A concussion is a blow to the head that affects how the brain works. A concussion can also happen after a hit to the body that causes the head to move quickly back and forth. Because you cannot see this type of injury, it is easy to come back too soon from a concussion. Always listen to your doctor and get the OK from him or her to play again.
  • Pain relief: Some athletes use pain relievers to avoid pain. Pain is your body’s way of signaling it is not happy with what you are doing. If you have pain, get treatment so you can fix what’s causing it.

The Rules of the Game: Rules are made to keep you and your teammates in the game and to avoid injuries. Follow all the rules to have a safe season.

  • Rules are made to promote safety so that everyone can enjoy the game.
  • You need to follow other rules even if they don’t relate to the sport. For example, if you are inline skating on a public street, pay strict attention to all traffic laws.
  • You need to use the right techniques when playing a sport. This will help you or your opponent not get injured. For example, when playing football, always keep your head up when tackling, neck injuries are common when players tackle with head down. In hockey, high sticking is a violation because it can be dangerous to other players. The right technique would be to keep the stick below waist level. It is also important to use the right technique when lifting weights. This will keep you from holding your breath and possibly fainting.

Whether you are following rules, regulations, or proper techniques, remember that they are not there to restrict you, they are there to keep you safe and injury free.


At the end of this health safety lesson, ask the young people to think of one way they will keep themselves safe during sports or other activities this week. If time permits, allow the youth to share their reflections. Conclude this lesson on health safety by reminding young people that rules and protective equipment are not there to restrict you, they are there to keep you safe and injury-free! Depend on Health Powered Kids for safe and simple exercises for children.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, so that families can continue discussing ways they will stay safe during sports and other activities.

Additional Instructor Resources

Concussions in Sports: What You Should Know


Pedometer Fitness Fun


1. Introduce the pedometer and tell the students that the device is a battery operated step counter that tracks how many steps we take.  On average, 2,000 steps equals one mile.  We should strive to take 10,000 steps each day.

2. Demonstrate how to use the pedometer.  The pedometer should be secured to the waist/pant line, straight up from either knee cap. It should be level and not tilted.

3. Help the students attach the pedometer correctly to their waist band. Spend four to five minutes per activity in the gym to allow students the opportunity to experience the fun and benefits of wearing a pedometer.

Pedometer activities could include: walking, running, hopping, and skipping or Choose MyPlate Chasers.

Equipment activities could include: jump rope, hacky sack or basketball.

• Ask the students which activity gives them the most/least steps in a certain amount of time?

• Have the students take a break from the activity to feel their heart beating faster.

• Remind them their heart is a muscle and it’s getting stronger and healthier with the activities they are doing.

Noticing Walk and Reflection

Lesson Introduction & Overview

Young people take a walk and then reflect on what they saw, heard, thought about and felt during the walk. Three year olds are going to have a very different experience of this activity than eight year olds, so adjust your instructions and expectations accordingly.


  1. Prepare young people for the walk with the following explanation:
    1. Today we are going to go on a Noticing Walk. What do you think I might mean when I say, “Noticing Walk?” Let young people respond with what they saw, heard, thought about and felt during the walk.
    2. Describe the area in which you will walk. Ask them what they think they might notice in that place or space.
    3. Encourage young people to pay attention to (notice) their experiences, including what they see, hear, think about and feel during the walk. It’s okay for them to talk to each other about their experiences when walking, but they might be able to notice better if they are mostly quiet.
    4. Tell them that at the halfway point, you are going to ask for one minute of silence. During this time, you’ll keep walking but no one should be talking.
  2. Go on a short walk (ranging from 10-20 minutes), preferably outside, but inside is okay too.
  3. Every so often, remind them that the point of the walk is to be paying attention to sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings.
  4. Return to your classroom or home base and handout blank sheets of paper and crayons or markers. Ask young people to draw or write about something they noticed on the walk.
  5. After young people are done with coloring, ask them to share what they drew or wrote with the rest of the group.


A nice practice in mindfulness is gratitude. At the end of your activity, thank young people for participating and express your appreciation for some aspect of what happened.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in EnglishSpanish, Somali and Hmong so that families can go on a noticing walk at home.

Move it! The Importance of Daily Exercise for Kids

Lesson Overview

This exercise lesson helps kids understand why being active is important for their bodies and minds. The youth will experience how they feel different before and after physical activity. In this activity, kids will estimate how much daily exercise they get and think of ways they can be more active.


Ask young people, why is it good for us to move around and get exercise?

There are so many reasons why exercise is important. Some of the most important things for kids to know are:

  1. Exercise is good for heart health. It helps your heart pump blood all through your body. Your heart can never take a rest, so it needs to be strong! Good food and plenty of exercise help.
  2. Exercise can put you in a good mood. When you exercise, your body makes a chemical — called an endorphin — that helps you feel good.
  3. Exercise helps your body stay at, or reach, a healthy weight. The food you eat is energy that you put into your body. This energy is also called “calories.” To stay at a healthy weight, you have to use up the energy you eat. Exercise helps you do that. If you don’t use the energy, it stays in your body and can make you gain weight that you don’t need. Extra weight is hard on your heart, muscles, and bones.

Energy In vs. Energy Out

In this exercise lesson, explain that “energy in” is the food we eat and the beverages we drink. “Energy out” is the physical activity or exercise we do every day.

Talk with the children about what happens when we take more energy in than energy out and vice versa. Our bodies need energy to properly grow. If we take in more food and beverages on a regular basis than our bodies need, it is possible for us to gain excessive weight. Explain not only the importance of exercise for kids, but also how a healthy balanced diet helps our bodies grow and be healthy.

Activity: Before and After

  1. With the kids sitting quietly, explain that you are going to do a classroom experiment involving exercise.
  2. On the flip chart or whiteboard draw a vertical line down the middle. Label one column “before” and the other “after.”
  3. Ask for words that describe how they are feeling as they are sitting quietly in their seats. Encourage them to pay attention to what kind of mood they are in, what their bodies are telling them, and how much energy they have. They may say things like: calm, tired, antsy, bored, comfortable. Whatever they say is fine as long as they say what they actually feel. Write these words or phrases in the “before” column.
  4. Lead the kids in a variety of exercises, such as high-knee marching around the classroom, sit-ups, push-ups, jogging in place, or jumping jacks. See if anyone has suggestions of activities. Exercise for at least five minutes before having them return to their seats.
  5. Now have them share how they are feeling after exercising. Write those words in the “after” column. They may say things like: alert, awake, happy, full of energy, excited.
  6. Talk about the activity. Reiterate information on the positive health benefits and importance of exercise for kids:
    • It helps your body maintain overall good health.
    • It helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
    • It increases flexibility.
    • It feels good, if done right.

Activity: Thinking Through Exercise Habits

  1. Ask: How much time should kids exercise each day? How can you get more? The answer is that it’s good for kids to exercise daily for at least one hour, but wait to offer this until the kids have made suggestions of their own. Then use the following questions to help them think about their own exercise habits.
  2. How much exercise do you get at school? Prompt them to think about how much time they spend in gym class, and how much time outside for recess. Ask them if that adds up to one hour a day. You may want to add up the amount of time mentioned on the board.
  3. How much exercise do you get when you’re home after school? If young people say that they don’t get much exercise after school, ask them what they do instead of exercise. Ask what their favorite exercise is and plan how they can do more of it. They could turn off the television after 7 p.m., encourage the family to go on a walk before or after dinner, or go outdoors and play with their friends.
  4. What about exercise on the weekends? Ask the kids to make a list. Make sure they remember things like soccer, dance, etc., in addition to playing outside with friends. In fact, it can be anything that involves moving your body, like going for a bike ride, walking the dog, running, helping in the yard, ballet class, soccer practice, gym class—anything that gets your body moving. After the kids make their lists, ask them to write downtimes during the day that they can add these exercises to what they’re already doing so that they reach one hour a day.


After this exercise lesson is complete, encourage the group to try more simple exercises for kids at least one time, even if they don’t think they will be very good at them. Remind them that you don’t have to think you’re good at something to enjoy and to benefit from it. If they stay open to new possibilities they may be surprised by what they discover.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, so that families can explore new ways to exercise together at home.

Additional Instructor Resources

Encouraging Your Child to Exercise video

Get Out and Enjoy Nature

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand the benefits of outside play for their bodies and minds. The youth will participate in three hands-on activities that show some of the many ways they can enjoy being outdoors.

Instructor Notes

Before facilitating this lesson, you may want to review the following information about the benefits of outdoor play. These facts can be shared with young people during your discussions.

Outdoor play can help the body by:

  • increasing fitness levels and building active, healthy bodies
  • raising levels of Vitamin D which helps protect bone strength and may help in the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
  • may help improve distance vision
  • may help you breathe easier.

Outdoor play can help the mind by:

  • improving focus throughout the day
  • helping kids score higher on tests
  • improving critical thinking on projects.

Outdoor play can help the spirit by:

  • lowering stress levels
  • protecting emotional development and lowering the risk of anxiety and depression
  • enhancing social interactions and helping kids value community
  • enhancing sleep duration and quality.

Activity: Outdoor Energy Boost

This activity demonstrates how our mood can improve simply by going outdoors for a short period of time.

  1. Before going outside, have each young person report on how they are feeling. Write their answers on the whiteboard or smart board.
  2. When they come back inside, ask them again how they are feeling. Write their answers down again. Ask the youth what differences they see. Do they feel happy or sad, tired or lively, restless or calm? Did they feel like they have more energy since going outside?
  3. After all the results are in, show the young people some of the differences. For instance if 5 people were tired before going outside, and 1 was tired after going outside, then you can form a hypothesis that going outside makes most people less tired. If your group of young people would rather play on the computer or watch TV, let them know that these ‘screen’ activities could make them feel more tired and less energetic. So, the more you are able to get outside creating, playing, and working the more energy you will have.
  4. Tell them some of the positive benefits of outdoor play, such as builds healthy bones, improves mood, fresh air can help us breathe easier, and help us sleep better at night.

Activity: Creature – An Outdoor Art Project

This activity allows youth to use their imagination and creativity to look at nature in a whole new way.

  1. Give each young person a paper bag to bring outside to collect treasures. Tell them they will be making a creature/bug/monster when they have all their supplies.
  2. Have them think about the creature they want to make, then offer clues like collecting a rock for the body, twigs for legs, leaves for wings, and tree seeds for scales. Let them be creative.
  3. Once all the supplies are collected, have the youth glue their creature together and allow time to dry. Have each young person show and tell about their creatures.

Activity: Dig in the Dirt

Most children do not even know what soil ‘feels’ like, they walk on sidewalks. Some days kids do not even get to walk on grass, most have never gardened. This activity has proven to slow kids down and ground them, meaning to get them back to the basics of earth, away from technology. Spending time feeling, touching and describing soil and other nature made materials has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

  1. Have a bucket of soil for the young people to feel the texture.
  2. Have the young person describe the feeling.
  3. Write their descriptions on the board.


Remind young people that playing outside has many benefits for their bodies and minds. Ask the youth to brainstorm other fun activities they can do outside. Encourage them to get outside and enjoy the outdoors everyday!

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, so that families can discuss ways to get outside and have fun together.

Related Health Powered Kids Blog

Exercise to help the body, mind and spirit

Additional Instructor Resources

Book: Growing Vegetable Soup, by Lois Ehlert
Outdoor Activity Finder by the National Wildlife Federation


Drive Your Bike! Keys to Safe and Healthy Cycling

Lesson Introduction & Overview

Riding a bike is a great way to stay fit, get around your neighborhood or town, have fun with family and friends, and enjoy the great outdoors. While bike riding can be so good for our health, there is also a risk of crashing or falling. Many times we are sharing trails with other bikers or walkers, sharing roads with cars, or riding on rough terrain. It’s important when we’re riding to do everything we can to stay safe. This lesson focuses on four ways to do that.

Activity: Four Keys to Staying Safe on Your Bike

Introduce the idea that your bike is a vehicle. There are basic things that anyone has to learn before driving a vehicle. While we don’t need a license to ride a bike, there are still things we need to do to stay safe.

  • Know the Rules of the Road
    • Distribute the “Know the Rules of the Road” matching activity handout to each child. (Instructor Answer Key)
    • Signal your turns (we’ll practice in a minute!)
    • Be predictable! Two ways you can be predictable are by always riding on the rights side of the bike path or road and in a straight line.
    • Use signals to alert cars, other cyclists and walkers of what you are about to do. Explain to youth that you are going to play a game of ‘Simon Says’ using the hand signals that cyclists use. Teach them the signals first and then play the game. (Since they will be moving side-to-side as well as forward and back, it’s important to make sure you have a big enough space for this activity.) Here are the signals.
  • Be Aware: Being aware means paying attention to your surroundings as well as yourself and your equipment.
    • To stay aware of your surroundings, make sure you can see and hear well – no headphones! Every time you get to an intersection, stop and search. This means looking left, then right, then left again before proceeding.
    • It’s also important to be aware of the ‘ABCs’ of taking care of your bike. You’ll see a little bit more later in a video about how to check your bike, but you can remember that A means making sure there is enough air in the tires, B means having breaks that you know work, and C means that your chain is in good working condition and in the right place.
  • Be Visible: Just because you can see a vehicle doesn’t mean they can see you. When cycling wear bright clothing, have reflectors on your bike and ride during day light.
    • Distribute the “Be Visible” coloring activity sheet to each child. Directions: Color the cyclist on this coloring sheet as brightly as you can.
  • Save your Brain
      • Tell young people that protecting their brains is one of the most important parts of cycling/bike safety. Let them know that this video (4 minutes) will explain why it’s important and ways they can do it. Always Wear Your Helmet:

  • Reflection: Ask each young person to say one thing they learned about bike safety today.

Credit: BikeMN (


Cycling has lots of great benefits and is fun! By taking these simple but very important steps you can ensure that you “Drive Your Bike” in the safest way possible.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish so that families can continue to discuss and practice cycling/bike safety at home.

Related Health Powered Kids Blog

Bike safety: Understanding the rules of the road

Additional Instructor Resources

Yoga For Any Room! Space Pose: Sun Breath


Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, or in your chair with feet flat on the floor, and your back straight.

Put the palms of your hands together at the center of your chest.

Close your eyes and begin by taking three big sun breaths.

Here’s how: When you breathe in deeply, raise your arms above your head in the shape of a big round sun.

Then breathe out and bring your arms back down so that your palms are together at the center of your chest.

Do this at least three times. The sun breath allows you to become centered and focused on your breath.

Yoga For Any Room! Space Pose: Space Float


Sit on the floor with your legs crossed or in a chair with feet flat on the floor.

Take hold of your outside ankle. If you are sitting on a chair, hold onto the edges of the chair by the outside of your legs, above the knees.

Breathe in deeply as you stretch your body forward, chest and stomach out.

Breathe out as you slump back, spine is curved, chest is caved in.

Keep moving this way and get faster and faster.

Space float gives you a flexible spine. It keeps your back muscles relaxed and strong. It also helps you digest your food.