City of Toronto Rainbow Fun Physical Activity Program

Organization Sponsor: Toronto, City


Program Description

The Rainbow Fun program is an excellent activity program for young children three years and older. Produced by the City of Toronto. The Grey Bruce Health Unit, with funds from Grey Bruce Heart Health contracted a local artist, Richard Knechtel, well known as Dicie Bird (Greentree Music) to produce music to increase participation and enjoyment for children. Music leads children through stretches, exercises/movement and relaxation.

Use Rainbow Fun for approximately 20 minutes every day. It does not require any special equipment and can be used indoors or outdoors. If you are unable to use it every day, try to use it at least three times a week.

  • There are six physical activity sections below, each involving different movement skills.
  • Always start your program with the "Warm Up & Stretching" section. Do these activities in the order they appear so muscles are warmed up prior to stretching.
  • Always end your program with the "Cool Down" and "Stretching & Relaxation" sections.
  • Follow the written instructions so both you and the children avoid injury.
  • Demonstrate the activity correctly, ensuring the children are following your example.
  • Children often enjoy activities more if accompanied by music.

Rainbow Fun supports the development of healthy eating habits in young children ages three to six. Teaching about food early in life helps children to acquire tastes for a variety of different foods.

This section of Rainbow Fun contains 11 activities. We encourage you to do these activities or variations of them as often as possible. Each activity includes the following information:

  • Learning Outcomes - explains the purpose of the activity.
  • Description - describes the step by step process of how to conduct the activity.
  • Materials - lists all the materials the caregiver will need to do the activity.
  • Notes - provides some background information related to the activity topic.
  • Variation/Modification - suggests modifications that can be made to the activity in order to increase the variety of activities offered. We encourage you to be as creative as possible!
  • Developmental Domains - outlines the developmental domains each activity fits within (this section has been specifically developed for childcare providers).

Children under the age of six are constantly learning by copying what they see and hear. Children are more likely to develop healthy attitudes and adopt healthy behaviours when they see and hear positive health habits at home, at childcare and at school.

As childcare providers and educators, you play an important role in the development of good health habits in children. You also have a great influence on parents. Sharing information about physical activity, healthy eating and self-esteem will help to reinforce the health messages you teach children and the messages you and parents give will be the same. Together, you can play an active role in helping children to develop good health habits that will last them a lifetime.

Order a free double sided posterĀ (60 cm x 94 cm)

Call Toronto Public Health atĀ 

Funding Sources: 

Grey Bruce Health Unit

Strategies For Sustainability: 

A healthy lifestyle can help you decrease your risk of many diseases, deal with stress better and have more energy to enjoy life. Toronto Public Health provides information and support to help you make healthy choices.

Impact Of Program: 

Children who participate in physical activities learn to appreciate and become more aware of their bodies and their abilities. Children may experience a healthier sense of self as a result of learning physical and social skills during organized activities. As children learn new skills, it increases their confidence to try new things. When children feel good about who they are and value their bodies, they are also more likely to make healthier food choices.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Rainbow Fun supports the development of basic physical activity skills for young children ages three to six. By doing this program, the children you care for will be healthier, have fun and settle down more easily for other activities. As the Rainbow Fun leader, you will also benefit by participating in this program.

For the body

  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves muscle strength and endurance
  • Improves flexibility
  • Works the heart and lungs
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases risk of chronic disease

For the mind

  • Increase self-esteem
  • Provides an outlet for stress
  • Improves learning
  • Builds cooperative skills
Challenges To Meet Them: 

For ideas and resources on how to get active at home, community or at school contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.

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