Focus on: Gross Motor Skills

The Department of Health has recently published an infographic promoting physical activity in under 5s which has prompted me to reflect on how I promote physical activity here at Aston Childcare.

infographic

The foundation year’s website states that –

  • Only one in 10 children aged 2-4 are active for 3 hours or more daily.
  • This is a new infographic based on existing CMO guidelines. It will help early years practitioners, health visitors, and doctors to talk with parents about the importance of young children being active. It can also be used as a training resource.
  • The infographic is designed to explain the UK Chief Medical Officers recommendation that children aged under 5 should be physically active daily for at least 180 minutes, spread through the day. Every movement counts and includes crawling, walking, jumping, object and messy play.
  • It highlights the benefits being active and the range of activity to achieve this recommendation. Physical activity has been shown to help maintain a healthy weight, improve concentration, health and fitness, improves sleep and builds social skills and confidence.

Here at Aston Childcare I like to give the children plenty of opportunity to develop their gross motor skills in the following ways –

For Babies –

  • I ensure they get plenty of “tummy time”, giving them the opportunity to lift their heads up and use their arm muscles
  • I stand back and let them pull up on furniture
  • I provide walkers to encourage walking
  • I provide ample safe, space for them to crawl and soft floor coverings

For toddlers and older children –

  • I ensure they get plenty of play outside in the garden – running, jumping, throwing beanbags, kicking balls, playing golf, blow and chase bubbles, going on the slide and gardening. Sand and water play means they do lots of digging, scooping, sifting, pouring, building and cleaning up and is a fun way to develop the children’s larger muscles and gross motor skills
  • We visit our local park to use large scale play equipment such as swings, roundabouts, see saw, zip wire, climbing bars etc.
  • We love our village walks, puddle splashing, conker collecting and blackberry picking.
  • We enjoy music and dance and games in the playroom playing things such as What’s the time Mr Wolf and doing the Hokey Cokey.
  • We do lots of cooking and baking giving children the opportunity to develop muscles such as those in their arms by stirring.

So remember…Move more, Sit less, Play together!

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