News & Success Stories

Recognized Partners across San Diego County are the driving force behind the strength, reach and impact of the Live Well San Diego vision. Read their inspiring success stories below.

Installing Playground Stencils to Increase Physical Activity, Reduce Obesity, and Find Joy in the Playground

Post Date:05/30/2024 4:45 PM

 3x1 banner - SAY San Diego
Submitted by Beatrice Lomer, Community Health Worker, County of San Diego


Data from the National Survey of Children’s Health shows that in 2021-2022, 17.0% of youth ages 10 to 17 had obesity. That’s roughly one in six youth. In California, the youth obesity rate is 16.3%.

Within the North Central region of San Diego County, more than one in five children spends five or more hours engaged in sedentary activities on typical weekend days, according to the 2020 County of San Diego Community Health Statistics data.

In schools, many students see only barren playgrounds. However, through environmental changes, it is possible to create surroundings that encourage healthy living with the goal of improving mental and physical health for youth, while reducing obesity and other associated chronic diseases. 


A Creative Solution

Playground stencils are a fun, easy way of modifying playground environments to increase physical activity, improve motor skills and neurological development, practice literacy, and learn more about healthy eating habits.

SAY San Diego Blog Image 1

In July 2023, through a partnership with the County of San Diego CalFresh Healthy Living Program and the SAY San Diego Healthy Start Military Family Resource Center a community engagement project ensued that allowed the parents and those visiting the center to decide on which stencils to install on the playground.

The final selections included several fun, colorful designs, including a caterpillar, a sunflower hopscotch, and a bunny hop.

On May 4, 2024, with the help of a few County staff from the Office of Equitable Communities, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the CalFresh Program, as well as the staff from the resource center, we were able to finalize the project and the stencils were painted and installed.

Check out the final outcome of the project which provided beautification and color to the playground, in this SAY San Diego Instagram post:

Military Family Resource Center SAY San Diego. 

SAY San Diego Blog Image 3


Childhood obesity puts kids at increased risk for developing a myriad of preventable diseases and playgrounds act as an informal learning space, providing a safe space for children to learn and develop through play. Alongside physical skills, playground spaces and stencils, like the ones installed, help children develop social, cognitive, and emotional skills that can benefit them for life. 

If you are interested in implementing these changes at your local school, please contact the County's Office of Equitable Communities at

Return to full list >>