Physical Activity – Do children really need 3 hours a day?
By Elizabeth Cummings
The answer is simply yes! from birth babies will need to be allowed to take art in physical activity to help them to become strong, tummy time is the best way to do this, babies should be encouraged to move their arms, legs and head etc. Once they are able to move around unaided they should be given the opportunity to explore.
Some parents may find putting their child on their floor at such a young age daunting, but there are so many different mats and thick blankets that can make the floor a comfy environment. Allowing your child and yourself some alone time can also be beneficial for you both, even lie down next to your child and try and copy their moves, you may find a new mini work out for yourself 😊
Once children are able to walk and run they should be able to be physically active for at least 3 hours a day, inside and outside. This can be spread throughout the day and some everyday activities are still physical and can be included. Excellent activities for children at this age are running, jumping, hoping, riding a bike, water play, ball games, a visit to the park.
Try and minimise the time your child spends watching TV, playing computer games, travel or sit in a buggy, the longer they are inactive the worse it is for their physical development. If you do have to travel for a long period of time there are many things to help occupy your child and keep them physically active, you could supply drawing tools, play hand games or do simple car exercises every so often to keep children engage and keeps the children physically active even when sat down travelling.
At Kids Around the Clock in Wythenshawe, our Woodhouse Park and Brookfield Gardens settings take part in the City in the Community scheme run by Manchester City Football Club. Children take part in an hours long session of football skills and general physical activity, the children and staff enjoy it so much they are now in their 3rd term.
Children at our Brookfield Gardens setting in Benchill, Wythenshawe have also taken part in some Yoga sessions, it is simple stretches yet very effective and they help to calm the mind while providing physical activity, children engaged well and it also doubled up as beneficial for the staff too.
You can find more information on the following website