Talk and Sing

Kids talk about the benefits of physical activity and learn how they can talk and sing to help decide if their movements are low, moderate, or vigorous.

Group of children having a discussion with an adult leader
Group of kids sitting together writing on paper
Group of kids listening to an adult leader
Smiling girls showing strong arms
Group of kids playing on grassy field outside
Group of kids standing and stretching in a gym

Activity Purpose

Kids learn that you can move at a low, moderate, or vigorous rate throughout the day. All are healthy and will give you energy.


  • Recognize that it's important to move throughout the day because moving boosts your body and your brain.
  • Identify low, moderate, and vigorous physical activities that can add up to the recommended 60 minutes of movement each day.


  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Pull out 6 Move Activity Cards from the set: Arm Circle, Overhead Reaches, Lunges, Squats, High Knees, and Jump High. Each of these cards will be used at a movement station. Identify 6 areas for kids to move, and place one of the selected cards near a cone in each area. Divide kids into 6 small groups. Allow ample space for kids to move in each area. 
  • Wrap Up: Kids partner with someone sitting near them for discussion.

Talk Time


Q: What do you do to be active during the day?
A: Listen for responses that describe many ways to be active.

Did you know that whether you move fast, medium, or even at a slow pace you are doing great things for your body? Different intensity levels do different things for your body:

  • Low intensity activities are important for flexibility and balance.
  • If your intensity level is moderate (medium) your heart rate increases and sends blood and oxygen to your brain.
  • When your intensity is vigorous (fast) your heart beats faster and you are working up a sweat. You are building muscle strength.

The best way to know your intensity level is to count your heartbeats, however you can try to talk and sing as a quick and easy way to judge your movement:

  • If you can talk and sing easily, your intensity level is low.
  • If you can talk but find it difficult to sing, your intensity level is moderate.
  • If it is difficult for you to talk or sing, your intensity level is vigorous.

We are going to practice the "Talk and Sing Test" to see if we can tell if our movements are at the low, moderate, or vigorous intensity level.

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions
  1. Place the Arm Circle, Overhead Reaches, Lunges, Squats, High Knees, and Jump High cards from the Move Activity Cards next to a cone to designate the 6 movement stations.
  2. Divide the kids into 6 groups.
  3. Each group goes to one of the movement stations and does the movement on the card for 60 seconds.
  4. While the kids are doing the movement on the card, they try to talk and sing to determine their exercise intensity level.
  • Low: It is easy to talk and sing. (Arm Circles and Overhead Reach cards)
  • Moderate: It is easy to talk, but difficult to sing. (Lunges and Squat cards)
  • Vigorous: It is difficult to talk and sing. (High Knees and Jump High cards)
  1. Kids rotate through all the movement stations then form a circle and march in place (or other leader-selected movement) for the Wrap Up.

Wrap Up


Q: Turn and talk with a friend and tell each other a low, moderate, and vigorous intensity level movement they can do each day.
A: A correct answer is a response describing movement activities that do not include a screen.

Make time to move your body in your day. Any physical activity throughout your day is great and contributes to the 60 minutes of movement you need daily.


Move your body! Upgrade your moves—walk, then jog, then run!

Time: 10 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Cones or Place Markers
  • Timer

Helpful Tips
  • Kids need to know that the "Talk and Sing" test is not exact, only taking a pulse will give you the exact information about your heart rate and intensity level. However, this is an easy way to self-monitor exercise intensity levels.

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