Tools for Making Change

Let’s get started.

Tools for Exploring Your Data.


Download and share these resources to help you share your MDI data, ask deeper questions, and get input from children, parents, staff, and community members.

  • Good governance

    Help children participate in the process of creating group agreements in the classroom or in after-school settings, allowing them a say in how the activities are run. This will help teach them to recognize the needs of others while simultaneously asserting their own.

  • Rest easy.

    Families: help create a healthy bedtime routine with your child. Do quiet activities to prepare the body for sleep like having a bath, gentle stretching, listening to relaxing music or reading. Avoid screen time and homework 2 hours before bed.

  • Regular Check-Ups

    Don’t be afraid to ask children how they feel about their own health and bodies. Remind them that health includes not just physical health, but mental/emotional health as well.

  • Dear Diary…

    Encourage children to start keeping a daily health journal to collect their own reflections on their health and happiness. Join them and create your own, too! Brainstorm ideas to stay healthy in school, after-school, and at home.

  • Wiggle and fidget as much as you want.

    Advocate for all programs and spaces to be movement-friendly – children weren’t built to sit all day! Offer standing activity stations, introduce movement breaks, and champion the value of vigorous exercise every day. Movement is vital for health and additionally promotes a good night’s sleep.

  • Welcome!

    Make a committment to greet each child by name every day as they enter your class or program space. You’ll be able to notice how they are feeling as they enter, while simultaneously reinforcing your connection to them.

  • Take a break from the real world

    Let kids set the stage for imaginative play and allow yourself to dive in. Giving children your time and undivided attention, and helping them explore their creativity helps remind them that they matter, and helps you practice taking on their perspective.

  • Make sure to share kids’ feedback about after-school activities.

    Share what children are saying about after-school activities with school staff and after-school program staff together. Learn how each group can better support the transition from school to after-school and help overcome barriers to participation.

  • Pound the Pavement

    Organize volunteers to help walk students from school to their after-school activities, libraries, or parks to remove the need for parental transportation. These walks also contribute to a child’s daily physical activity and can even be used to build meaningful relationships with the adults who volunteer.

  • Wrap-around messaging.

    Share your school’s strategies to foster a positive climate with students’ families and after-school providers so they can reinforce these messages and practices throughout a child’s day. Create an open channel for families and community members to share any feedback on school climate or instances of bullying.

  • What does it mean to belong?

    Ask children to describe or draw the times and spaces at school when they feel like they belong. See what matters most from their perspective.

Videos to Watch and Share.


These videos — some made by us, some created by others — can help explain the Middle Years Development Instrument and illustrate how its core concepts and public data can kickstart change in schools and communities.

Materials to help you get the word out.


These research highlights and action ideas are a great way to explain the MDI to children, parents, or teachers. Feel free to download these images and share on your school or organization’s social media, or include in a a newsletter or email.