Developing the intervention material to increase physical activity levels of European preschool children: The ToyBox-study

K. Duvinage*, S. Ibrügger, S. Kreichauf, A. Wildgruber, M. De Craemer, Ellen De Decker, O. Androutsos, M. Lateva, V. Iotova, P. Socha, K. Zych, T. Mouratidou, M. I. Mesana Graffe, Y. Manios, B. Koletzko, Eva Grammatikaki, Christina Katsarou, Eftychia Apostolidou, Eirini Efstathopoulou, Angelika StraußBirgit Herbert, Julia Birnbaum, Annette Payr, Christine Geyer, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Greet Cardon, Marieke De Craemer, Ellen De Decker, Lieven Annemans, Stefaan De Henauw, Lea Maes, Carine Vereecken, Jo Van Assche, Lore Pil, Mai Chin A. Paw, Saskia te Velde, Luis Moreno, Juan Fernandez, Maribel Mesana, Pilar De Miguel-Etayo, Esther M. González-Gil, Luis Gracia-Marco, Beatriz Oves, Agneta Yngve, Susanna Kugelberg, Christel Lynch, Annhild Mosdøl, Bente B. Nilsen B., Carolyn Summerbell, Helen Moore, Wayne Douthwaite, Catherine Nixon, Zbigniew Kulaga, Beata Gurzkowska, Katarzyna Szott, Natalya Usheva, Sonya Galcheva, Vanya Marinova, Zhaneta Radkova, Nevyana Feschieva, Tim Lobstein, Andrea Aikenhead, Goof Buijs, Annemiek Dorgelo, Aviva Nethe, Jan Jansen, Otto Gmeiner, Jutta Retterath, Julia Wildeis, Axel Günthersberger, Leigh Gibson, Claus Voegele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Early childhood is an important period for adopting positive health-related behaviours. More than 95% of European preschool children attend kindergartens, making these settings ideal for the implementation of health promotion interventions. The ToyBox-intervention addressed preschool children, their parents/caregivers and teachers. The aim of the intervention was to improve four energy balance-related behaviours (i.e. healthy snacking, water consumption, physical activity and sedentary behaviour) by implementing a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention in six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain). The intervention material was developed following the intervention mapping protocol, taking into account local and cultural differences among the intervention countries. The present paper focuses on the development of the physical activity component of the intervention. Parental involvement was addressed by providing parents/caregivers with two newsletters, two tip cards and a poster. Teachers received a handbook with guidance on environmental changes in the classroom, 26 physical education sessions and suggestions for fun, interactive classroom activities aiming at total class participation to increase preschoolers' physical activity levels. The ToyBox-intervention material was distributed according to a standard time frame. Teachers received their material prior to the start of the intervention and parents/caregivers received their material during the intervention when each energy balance-related behaviour was implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL.3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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