All babies and young children benefit from a mix of physical activity, inactivity and sleep in each 24-hour period. Physical activity for young children mainly happens through unstructured, active play.
At that age, young children love moving around and exploring their world. The more active they are, the better, as it helps:
- achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- build strong bones and muscles
- improve balance, movement and coordination skills
- promote mental, emotional and social wellbeing
- promote better learning and thinking
- reduce injuries.
It’s important that parents and carers support and encourage children to be active, to help them be healthier, happier, smarter and stronger. As young children grow and develop, they should work towards:
- spending more time in active play
- spending less time sitting
- getting enough sleep each day.
Give your children the freedom to create their own play and do things that encourage independence and appropriate risk taking while supervised.
Parents and carers can also be great role models for their children, by being active themselves.