Early Years Learning and Physical Activity

We often hear a lot about children and development, their key milestones and reaching targets. We often consider the traditional elements of reading and writing and physical skills as topics. However, the two actually go hand-in-hand and we should consider combining these areas.

Integrating physical activity into young children’s daily lives is essential for creating a good foundation of activity that will inspire them to continue throughout the rest of their lives. The positive habits that children learn greatly increase the likelihood they will remain physically active in their later years.

There are many reasons that promoting structured physical activity in children will benefit them throughout childhood and their later years.

• Associated benefits of physical activity – e.g. reduced health risks, stronger development.
• Social Development – e.g. sharing, taking turns, listening.
• Emotional Development – e.g. forming friendships.
• Mental health and wellbeing – e.g. self-esteem and confidence.

Children are naturally active and will move, run, kick, throw, and play on their own in nearly any environment. However, children today are faced with a variety of challenges that reduce their natural ability for physical activity, including: Childcare, sedentary lifestyles, car seats, buggies, technology etc.

Those children who do participate in physical activity are more likely to have:
• Better social and motor skill development
• Increased school readiness skills
• Well developed muscles, bones, and joints
• Reduced fat and lowering blood pressure
• Reduced depression and anxiety
• Increased learning capacity
• Developed healthier social, cognitive, and emotional skills
• Built strength, self-confidence, concentration, and co-ordination from an early age
• Have fewer chronic health problems, are ill less frequently and miss less school
• A significantly reduced risk for a number of childhood and adult diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and mental illness.

With all of the evidence pointing towards the benefits of movement, at Fit and Healthy Kids we have developed a series of sessions to get your tots moving, whilst integrating areas of the Early Years Development Programme. Each of the classes cover both fine and gross motor skill development with a Class Leader. With a changing theme each week the ability to adapt and change tasks, use their vivid imaginations and integrate elements of Early Years learning we feel this is a fantastic active way to allow your young children to develop.

In each session there are lots of opportunities to take part in team games and activities as well as time for free play and discovery. New ideas and traditional elements run side by side to create a fun and active environment. There is lots of kit to try out, obstacle courses, balance beams, parachute games as well as ball skills and hurdles. Listening to instructions, making friends, taking turns are all part of the session. As well as working on the physical attributes such as speed, balance and agility we will be colour matching, counting and using both fine and gross motor skills.

Classes available from walking up to 5 years.
Classes currently being held in Abingdon and Didcot.
Why not book a free taster session?

Ten Tips Top Get Your Tots Moving!

Most people think of exercise as going to the gym or playing a competitive sport. But when you need to keep your little ones active there are lots of examples as to how you can achieve this.

The recommended 180 minutes a day can seem daunting at first, trying to fit activity into our busy lives can be a challenge.  However there are lots of easy ways that you can incorporate movement into your child’s day …..

  • A short walk to the shops
  • 20 minutes at the park
  • Game of football or chase in the garden
  • Trampoline
  • Trike or bike ride
  • Soft play
  • Gardening
  • Treasure hunt around the house
  • Game of ‘Simon Says’
  • Active toys e.g. sound mats and scooters.

The most important thing is that it is fun and engaging for your child, they won’t even realise they are burning off all that energy!

Each of our sessions includes 40 minutes of activity, both structured and free play … combine it with a short walk to class and you have made a big step to covering those active minutes!

Research on Pre-School Activity Levels.

A recent paper on Pre School children and their physical activity levels found that only 54% of children under the age of 6 years have enough time dedicated to activity each day.

The research suggests that children do not have enough time to run and enjoy energetic movement or become out of breath. Children are too sedentary, spending too much time in a seated position for example TV time, buggies, highchairs and car seats.

There is lots of evidence to support a more active lifestyle for young children as it brings many benefits to them, both physical and psychological.

Benefits of physical activity in children:

  • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • More energy and stamina
  • Reduced risk of obesity and diabetes
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better heart health and lower blood pressure
  • Stronger bone and muscle structure
  • Better concentration levels
  • More co-ordination and reflexes
  • Development of skills including listening, sharing and taking turns.

Plus encouraging our next generation to be physically active in a fun environment will inspire them to continue to be involved in sports and exercise in their future years.