Irrespective of curriculum, country or environment all young children should receive a great deal of opportunity to be active and play in order to develop in so many ways.
Children should receive a combination of:
- Child Initiated play – daily basis throughout the day
- Adult Led activities – PE lessons, during classes and short sessions on a daily basis before school and during breaks/outside time
- Short bursts – throughout the day, before and between classes.
180 Minutes a Day
Children who can walk unaided in their early years should be active daily (spread out through the day) for a minimum of 180 minutes (British Heart Foundation recommendation and Government guideline). This time should be offered throughout the day and should be divided into:
- 120 minutes moderate activity – where the belly button is moving (such as building and sand play)
- 60 minutes high impact activity – allowing opportunities for higher heart rate and getting out of breath, within a healthy range (such as jumping and dancing).
Areas of Learning and Subjects
Children will learn many things through physical activities and play, such as interacting with each other (social skills), numbers and how they fit together (mathematics) and new words and how they look and sound (literacy).
When planning for all other areas of learning/subjects, include a physical activity section. This will allow you to teach children in the traditional way and enhance what they have learnt through movement and enjoyment.