Physical activity is vital for a child’s development and lays the foundation for the future with a healthy and active life. There should be development of good physical activity habits early in life and to encourage families to engage in regular physical activity.
Play-based, physically active learning experiences that link to children’s interests, abilities, identity and prior knowledge should be made important. Physical activity in childcare needs to be made up of both spontaneous and intentionally planned active play (child initiated and educator led) that can be done indoors or outdoors.
When adults think about exercise, they imagine working out in the gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights.
But for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they have gym class at school, during breaks, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag.
The benefits of being active for young children include:
- Healthy growth and development
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Strong bones and muscles
- Cardiovascular fitness
- stronger muscles and bones
- Leaner bodies
- Less risk of becoming overweight
- Lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
- Balance, coordination and strength
- Maintaining and developing flexibility
- Improving posture
- Development of gross motor and fine motor skills
- Develop fundamental movement skills
- Improving concentration and thinking skills
- Improving confidence and self-esteem
- Relieving stress and promoting relaxation
- Providing opportunities to develop social skills and make friends
- Improving sleep.