How can we get children to move and be active?
Physical activity and, conversely, sedentary behaviours, affect young children’s physical and cognitive development. This topic aims to increase understanding of the impact of one’s practices on children’s motor skills, psychological well-being, social competence and emotional maturity, and to recommend practices for young children.
Sedentary activities (e.g., watching television) often become part of a child’s daily routine early in life and increase through to the preschool years. To help children be more active:
Be active role models.
Provide lots of opportunity to be active (e.g., go for short walks instead of stroller rides, limit screen time). Provide safe environments where children can run, jump, climb, dance, etc.
ECD educators can:
- Build physical activity into children’s daily routine (both indoors and outdoors)
- Give children access to an outdoor space and an unconstrained environment to play in.
- Become trained in how to engage children in physical activity.
Physical activity makes a difference in children’s physical health and overall development. Encouraging children to develop an active lifestyle should be a priority shared by all.
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