What do we know?
- For healthy development infants (0-1) supervised floor based play should be encouraged
- Babies’ brains are “unfinished” at birth. Movement and physical activity plays a huge role in creating nerve connections in the brain. These provide the foundations for all future learning including formal learning at school.
- Even before they can walk and talk a child needs regular and varied opportunities to move freely and interact with people. These experiences form the grounding for lifelong physical, social and emotional skills.
- Data shows that an increasing number of children are behind with their skill development by the age of 3 years.
- Giving children a variety of physical opportunities can impact on their ability to deal with situations and challenges they will meet in later life.
- Providing a child with a variety of movement and physical activities experiences does not have to cost a lot of money.
- There are lots of ways to be active inside such as active stories, copy me games, action songs and yoga.
- Outside children tend to be more active and can be stimulated through using natural aspects in the environment such as digging, finding and collecting.
Suzy Startwell Says
Young children feel good about themselves when adults are active with them.
If children see you being active and enjoying movement they will be encouraged to join in and feel good about themselves once they succeed.
There is growing concern about the lack of physical activity opportunities and the increase in inactivity of children in early years.
Inactivity or sedentary behaviour are activities which involve low levels of energy and occur whilst children are seated or lying
Inactivity is associated with excessive weight gain and lower cognitive development.
Some children are spending excessive amounts of time inactive through watching TV or using electronic media, being restrained in car seats and pushchairs or through sitting whilst playing.
Studies show there is a link between higher levels of physical activity in early years leading to more sustained participation in physical activity in later life.
Establishing physical activity as part of their daily routine from birth will give your child the best start.
The learning and growth gained from being physically active is important for developing physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills.
Parents need to not only provide lots of opportunity for physical activity, but ensure that they join in and show being active as fun.