Children benefit when physical activity is part of early learning
Physical activity is crucial to the development of children’s gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
In the early years, physical activity involves learning how to run, jump, hop, balance, throw and catch, and create shapes with one’s body.
At Goodstart, our educators encourage children to participate in physical activity through regular play-based games and activities. Games like hopscotch, climbing, balls games, yoga, community walks and excursions are just some examples incorporated across our program.
The importance of physical activity
Children who have positive experiences with physical activity are more likely to be healthy and active in life. Evidence shows that children who are physically active benefit through:
- enhanced social skills, including turn–taking, sharing, following rules, understanding of limits, and the ability to monitor growing strength
- reduction in stress and anxiety
- increased self–esteem and motivation
- increased overall wellbeing.
Getting children active
is passionate about getting children involved in lots of fun physical activities. They partnered with their local community fitness centre, Health and Fitness World, to implement a six week Nutrition and Exercise Awareness program.
The program was sponsored by Speaker of the House of Assembly Elise Archer. Sessions ran for 30 minutes each week and involved games that use creative ways to introduce exercise.
Centre Director Larissa Bellette said the joint community initiative aims to promote good health, fitness and nutrition as a lifestyle for children and their families within the Glenorchy community.
“The latest Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data shows the percentage of children vulnerable on the physical health and wellbeing domain has increased from 9.3 per cent in 2009 to 17.77 per cent in 2015.”
“Using this data, we decided to contact our local community fitness centre, to develop a program that would benefit children’s health, fitness and nutrition.
“Our partnership with Health & World Fitness allows us to extend our physical activity curriculum to assist children with their development of their gross motor skills, coordination and self-esteem.”
Goodstart Glenorchy is now in the process of applying for a grant to fund the program for another 32 weeks.
Goodstart Glenorchy Centre Director Larissa Bellette, with Emily the “Fitness Fairy”, from Health and Fitness World, and Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assemble and Liberal Member for Denison, who sponsored Goodstart Early Learning Glenorchy’s Exercise and Nutrition Program.
To learn more about how Goodstart supports young children's physical and motor development, please visit your nearest early learning centre
online or call us on 1800 222 543.