5-4-3-2-1 Go!® Toolkit: School-wide Activities


“Challenges” or contests are a great way to get kids engaged in the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® recommendations and to start practicing the recommended daily habits. Here are some ideas to get you started. These are written as school-wide challenges where all students would participate or classrooms could compete against each other. Feel free to adjust to within classroom competition or create your own competitions.

  • Try It Tuesday – Kids earn raffle tickets for trying fruits and vegetables served as lunch or snack. Prizes awarded periodically. Variation: Students earn tickets for eating or drinking a low-fat dairy option.
  • On Your Mark – Students record their healthy habits and return checklists to receive prizes. Choose a length of time (one week or one month) and one habit or all. Classrooms could also compete against each other for the highest percentage of students who return checklists. Kids mark each day that they met the recommendation.
  • Our Healthy Classroom – Teachers and other school staff decorate their rooms with information, healthy messages, and reminders to eat healthy and be active. Students vote on which classroom looks the healthiest. Variation: Students decorate bulletin boards or classroom and principal/teachers vote.
  • Dance Challenge – Create your own dance challenge at your school. Classrooms, students, clubs, etc. can download the “Let’s Go” jingle and choreograph their own dance. Have students dance during lunch, assemblies, etc. and vote on the winner.
  • Health Nut Honor Roll – Create an honor roll for stellar examples of being healthy. Create an area in your school to post photo or names and why they are on the honor roll. This could be for students who return their checklists, classrooms who have the most activity breaks, etc. Be creative!
  • Show Us Your (Dairy) Stache – Have students submit photos of them with milk mustaches or eating other dairy products. Create a collage of the photos. Students who submit photos can either all earn a giveaway or can be entered into a raffle for a prize.
  • Race To The… – Select a “destination” to “walk” to and determine how many steps it would take to get there. Track activity and steps and mark the progress until the goal is reached. This could be done within a classroom, classrooms could compete, or it could be a school-wide challenge (adding up all the time from school and classroom activities). If possible, create a visual where students can mark their progress over time (e.g., a big map, a bar graph, etc.) Ideas for destination: to the state capitals, to NFL stadiums, to the moon). [2,000 steps equals approximately a mile; 1 minute of light activity equals about 100 steps]


To kick off, boost, or celebrate your school’s 5-4-3-2-1Go!® campaign, try one of these fun, educational, and energetic assembly ideas. They can be adapted for time (5-10-30-60 minutes!), grades, number of students, and available space. Work with your local 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® leader to develop and schedule your assembly!

  • Active Story Time Madlibs – Your class will love creating their own story about being healthy, their way, and acting it out in the class. The story is theirs to keep to read whenever they need a brain break, indoor recess time, or even during a creative writing lesson!
  • Paperplate Play – Creativity at its healthiest! Work with students to create 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® characters, storylines, and then act out the story they write using paper-plate masks made healthy!
  • Energy In and Energy Out – A great way to understand how energy consumption and energy expenditure play a role in our health. Students visit various stations set up around the classroom and choose random cards (like Monopoly™) to see how many of that station exercise they need to do. Enjoy your piece of candy before doing 25 basketball jumps, or get your energy to do 9 knee bends from a cucumber!