Regular exercise and keeping prolonged sitting to a minimum are key to children’s health and proper development. By investing in the ‘joy of movement’ early on, together we lay the foundations for a positive attitude towards an active life. In this way, children experience from an early age that exercise is fun. If we focus on this with today’s children, the integration of exercise into the daily lives of the later adults will be perfectly normal to them.
In addition, consciously focusing on the joy of movement is important for many aspects of (young) children’s development in different areas. This does not only include bone and muscle development, but also the development of emotional skills, for example. You too, can have a great influence on the development and joy of movement. How? It starts with awareness.
What can you do? Does your child sit still for long periods of time, such as sitting in a maxi-cosy or by using screens? Make sure to provide a healthy balance between exercise and resting time. For example, if your child has spent a lot of time in a bicycle seat or buggy, make sure there is room to move when you are at home.
Below we share some more tips with you:
Babies need to be able to move freely. Give them time and space to move, explore and develop. Put your baby in a safe place on the floor and sit next to them, for example. Your physical proximity will make your child feel safe and secure and allow them to follow and mirror your movements. Provide an interesting toy (a small towel or a piece of cloth) that you place just within your baby’s reach so he or she can reach for it. This will stimulate motor development and perseverance. After a few successful attempts, move the cloth further away. This way you challenge your baby.
A toddler can release its energy in movement and learn many new movements as well. Toddlers are curious and like to try things out. Climbing and clambering are part of this. A slip now and then is not a bad thing. A child learns to fall and get up again. Let your child have fun practicing and encourage him or her to keep going, even when things get tough. Make sure that you stay physically near your child.
When you go outside with your toddler in the buggy, let your toddler walk some parts by himself. Your toddler might enjoy pushing the buggy. Teach your toddler to give you a hand when crossing the road. That way he can safely walk by himself.
If you should like more tips for exercise play, click here.
School children Playing happens voluntarily and instinctively. It provides fun and can take various forms, including frolicking. This form of play is ideally suited to do at home for fun and for encouragement of movement. Frolicking not only helps children to get to know their own body, balance and limits, but the physical touch also produces happiness hormones.
Children of primary school age like to help decide to make or adjust the rules of the game. Give them this opportunity and a say in this. By talking to children about rules, they feel they are taken seriously and you give them a voice and influence on the game.