Influencing Active Play
Independent research has shown that a child care centre can be a strong predictor of preschool-aged children’s physical activities? What does this mean? Well, your choice of childcare centre can influence early physical development. Enrolling your children in a childcare centre that encourages physical activity using best practice guidelines can result in healthier and more active children. This is especially important with rapidly increasing obesity and the insatiable desire that kids feel for their parent’s tech devices such as tablets and mobile phones.
Encouraging Childcare Activity is actually quite simple, as outlined in the 8 step approach below;
Step 1: Create active opportunities
We believe that children should be provided with at least 120 minutes of daily active playtime. This activity should be teacher led and have a good mix of indoor and outdoor play.
Step 2: Create a fixed play environment
Providing a wide variety of fixed outdoor equipment that caters to the needs of all children is essential. At Highfields Gardens Early Learning Childcare centre we have a fixed bike track, a basketball ring with quarter court, raised veggie patches and lots of outdoor play space with large grassy play areas.
Step 3: Enable a portable play environment
Ensuring a variety of portable play equipment for children to use at the same time and that can be transported and moved across play areas encourages active play
Step 4: Limit sedentary opportunities
It’s important to limit access to televisions, videos and electronic games to no more than 30 minutes per day.
Step 5: Steer clear from a creating a sedentary environment
Visible support for activities should be provided. This can be through the use of posters and pictures which encourage play. The display of items that encourage sedentary activities such as televisions should once again be discouraged.
Step 6: Encourage active play
Staff should encourage children to be active. It is our experience that rewarding children with extra active playtime can be very beneficial.
Step 7: Physical training / Education
Physical education that encourages the development of fine motor skills should be planned and provided using a standard curriculum. A simple game of hopscotch, can massively improve motor skill development when performed in a structured and controlled environment that encourages all children to participate in.
Step 8: Physical activity policies
Its been proven time and time again that unless policies and processes are documented, they tend to skip away. For this purpose we support written policies that address the facilitation of physical activity.