Early childhood: physical activity for professionals

Early Childhood

Information for professionals who work with children: Physical Activity


Active kids are healthy kids.

Not all children are getting the amount and intensity of physical activity that they need. Provide opportunities for both structured and unstructured activity to help little ones develop basic motor skills and an enjoyment of movement that can last a lifetime.

Guidelines

  • Parents and caregivers are responsible for understanding the importance of physical activity. They should promote opportunities for physical activity led by an adult, as well as unstructured spontaneous free play.
  • Young children should have access to safe physical activity environments, both indoor and outdoor, that are large enough for large-muscle activities (involving legs and arms).

Physical activity best practices

  • Infants (0-12 months) should be allowed to explore movement for short periods of time, several times a day.
  • Toddlers (12-36 months) should receive:
    • At least 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day (i.e. creative movement, games, moving to music, etc).
    • At least 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of unstructured physical activity per day (i.e. running, climbing, jumping, etc).
    • Toddlers should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, except when sleeping.
  • Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) should receive:
    • At least 60 minutes of structured physical activity per day (i.e. creative movement, games, moving to music, etc).
    • At least 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of unstructured physical activity per day (like running, climbing, jumping, etc).
    • Preschoolers should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, except when sleeping.

Resources

Updated Friday, March 17, 2017 at 03:31PM