In today’s world, everything is at our fingertips, from Netflix to our favourite song on our preferred device, there is no sitting at the radio to record your favourite song; to rewind and playback on a cassette tape. There is no waiting for advertising breaks to finish as you get up and do the odd job until your show comes back on, now you can sit for hours and just watch, play or listen to whatever you want.
Even though this sounds amazing to just be able to sit and do what you want for hours without the interruption of commercial breaks or having to do anything else, what is it doing to our health and our children’s health and development?
As a child, do you remember running a couple of steps to keep up with your parents in the supermarket as they power-walked down the else? Think about the physical movement a child gets as they keep up with their parents. Think back to a time before tablets, ipads and iphones, what were children doing, how were they entertained, do you remember your parents or grandparents telling you to sit up straight?
Yet today, we let children slump on the couch with their knees up, hunched over a device while we unpack the shopping. What is this doing to the growth and development of our children? And how can we support our children to develop the muscles they need to sit up straight at school, run, jump and play as they develop and grow into happy healthy and active members of our society.
The benefits of physical activity in our children are endless, and help support the development of a healthy lifestyle as they move into adulthood.
Keeping children active from a young age helps:
- Build strong bones and muscles,
- Improves balance, movement and coordination skills
- Reduces injuries
- Promote better learning and thinking
Ever wonder why your child won’t just walk in a straight line while you’re holding their hand walking down the street or through the shopping centre? Bending down to pick something up, jumping, skipping, crossing feet from one side to the other while you try to walk to your destination. This can drive you crazy, but it is actually how your child learns awareness of space around them and the movement stimulates areas of the brain that assists in physical development.
The recommendation for young children is between 1-3 hours daily. This includes walking, running jumping, climbing and physical play such as games of tiggy, hopscotch as well as structured sporting games such as basketball, swimming and many more.
At childcare, your children are provided with large gross motor play, where they use their larger muscles to climb, balance and manoeuvre under, through or over objects not only developing them physically but assisting in their spatial awareness and coordination.
Children learn how they can move and manipulate their bodies in different ways with a range of obstacles. Children have the opportunity to make their own obstacle courses with planks, stepping stones and other large construction materials. This assists in their muscle development and gross motor skills as they lift and move large objects to arrange in their desired obstacle course. Even our youngest children use climbing frames, blocks to balance and large cable drums to roll and move around the yard as they work on their coordination and develop their strength.
Children in the infants’ studios have the opportunity to crawl through obstacles and pull themselves up on different height objects as they develop the skills, they need to support the progression into walking.
About Miss Amberley: Miss Amberley has been part of the Mother Duck Family since 2017. Miss Amberley has worked as a Kindergarten Teacher at Mother Duck for 3 years and then she commenced her role as Educational Leader in 2020.
Miss Amberley is passionate about mentoring educators in child development. And providing children with opportunities to reach their full potential.
She has over 20 years of experience working in education and holds her Bachelor of Education. Miss Amberley is currently studying Psychology and Social Science.