Early Years

Babies and young children were born to move, they love being active and we should encourage them to move around freely as often as possible!

Physical activity is essential during the early years of a child’s life as it helps not only with their physical development but also helps them to develop their social and emotional skills. 80% of brain development also takes place by the age of 3 which is fully supported by Physical Activity.

Children who learn to be active when they are younger are more likely to continue taking part in sport and physical activity when they are an adult. 

Why Move?

  • Young Children with greater levels of activity between the ages of 3-5 years tend to maintain this into Primary School entry
  • Children learn more physical skills in their first five years than at any other time in their lives
  • Young children who play or are more physically active at this age are more likely to achieve higher academic success
  • Excessive sedentary behaviour during this time is associated with poor cognitive development as well as physiological problems

How to move?

Get involved in ‘Active Play’ right from the start – encourage your baby to move and practice reaching, grasping, pulling and pushing whilst moving their bodies on a daily basis. As they grow and develop, support them to use their own bodies to crawl, walk, run, jump and climb.

Just as important is to limit the amount of time babies and young children are sedentary as sitting or lying still for long periods of time can be harmful as it can lead to health problems later on.

Did you know?

  • Nationally only 9% of boys and 10% of girls aged between 2 - 4 years achieve the recommended physical activity guidelines for children aged Under 5.
  • It is further outlined that 85% of boys and 83% of girls are classified as having low activity levels i.e. less than 60 minutes per day