Physical Learning Activities for Youth

YMCA PLAY program started in Los Angeles in 2001 to make a difference in underfunded public school communities. It has proven successful in 30+ Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school campuses. The PLAY program in San Diego has made a significant impact on numerous public, charter and private schools, and we continue to expand the curriculum and outreach.


We are for youth development, for healthy living, and for social responsibility. Our program is driven to inspire young minds and motivate them in the components of physical fitness, health education, and character development. We are bringing the fun back into healthy living.


Classes include cardiovascular endurance, muscular
strength and endurance, flexibility and body awareness. Students learn locomotor, manipulative and nonmanipulative skills.


We educate students on the dynamics of the human
body, healthy eating, the different food groups and more.
Ultimately, students will be empowered to make healthy
decisions for themselves.


Lessons include our core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility. We help students develop team strategies and stress the importance of good
citizenship and self-confidence.


More than a PE class

All classes encompass age-appropriate expectations.
The level of competition, motivation, reinforcement and
self-concept will be applied accordingly. Each class is led
by a YMCA staff member who has expertise in youth
fitness. The high standards set by the YMCA and its
staff ensure that PLAY delivers a high-quality, research and
action-based health and wellness curriculum.

Components of a fitness class:

  • Expectations/objectives
  • Warm up and stretch
  • Introduction to games and skills
  • Fitness games and activities
  • Health education and character building

A note from the principal

"The YMCA PLAY program has been instrumental in working with Foster Elementary to provide physical education to all of our students on a weekly basis over the past three years. Foster Elementary teachers, family and students believe in the commitment to exercise and nutrition, and understand physical education’s important role in the academic setting for kids.

"Our Foster PTA helps make this program a reality each year through fundraising efforts. Any school can make PLAY possible for kids. Let the PLAY team show you how!"

—Karla Shiminski, Principal of Foster Elementary

Thank you!

Your generous donations through our Annual Campaign have allowed us to provide more than $1.4 million to over 12,300 youth and families in the form of camp scholarships, membership aid, and subsidized programming.

The Outreach program is just one of the ways we’ve been able to put your dollars to work.