Tumble Tots are committed to helping to build the healthiest generation in history.
The NHS physical activity guidelines says that children under 5 should be active for at least 3 hours (that’s 180 minutes) each day!
There are all kinds of ways in which your little ones can keep active for the recommended amount of time.
Here are some of our favourites:
1. Climbing – Climbing helps to develop children’s fine motor skills, improving their grasp and grip. Climbing requires focus and concentration as well as hand, feet and eye co-ordination. Children must put their hands and feet in the correct places if they are to successfully mount a piece of climbing equipment. Whilst climbing up and down on smaller apparatus is a good start, as your little one grows up they will need more of a challenge to further develop these skills.
Skills for Life! Climbing builds cross-lateral skills which are needed when little ones develop their handwriting skills.
2. Jumping – Jumping is a great way for children to use all key muscle groups in their body. But it is the core muscles that benefit the most from jumping, as these are the muscles used when jumping or landing. Jumping from one spot to another is great for a child who wants that extra challenge. Why not encourage your little one to imagine they are frog, jumping from one Lilypad to another?
Skills for Life! Core strength is essential for all kinds of activities including riding a bike, climbing a ladder or even playing twister!
3. Active Play – Active play activities such as hide-and-seek are loads of fun! But there are also cognitive benefits to these activities. It raises children’s curiosity, their spatial awareness, and offers physical challenges which aim to increase their agility and balance skills. With small groups of children tag is great at developing a variety of physical skills as well as fair play and teamwork.
Skills for Life! Searching for objects develops problem-solving skills transferable to the classroom.
4. Playing with Objects – Playing with objects is great before children start walking, especially if those objects stimulate more than one of the child’s senses. Putting a toy in front of a baby, who is not yet walking, encourages them to reach out and grab it. Playing with objects also teaches little ones about object permanence, the idea that objects exist even if they cannot be seen or heard.
Skills for Life! Research shows playing with objects that stimulate children’s senses builds nerve connections in the brain pathways, supporting language development.
5. Crawling – Crawling is a really important stage in a child’s physical development. It develops their balance, gross and fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also makes young children co-ordinate both their upper and lower body. Crawling is also super important for a baby’s brain development as both sides of the brain work together building the fundamental skills for ongoing development. Tunnels are great ways to encourage children to start crawling, especially if you are on the other side encouraging them all the way.
Skills for Life! Crawling builds up a child’s confidence to explore new places, building independent confidence.
6. Catching & Throwing – Catching, throwing or rolling balls and other objects is a great way for children to develop their agility and hand-eye coordination. This activity is super fun inside or outside and can use a variety of objects including balls, flying disks and bean bags. To improve these skills further why not add a bucket to the equation and encourage your little one to throw an object into the bucket. This will also develop persistence skills. Remember to watch out for your child’s hand preference as that may start to reveal itself during these activities and always encourage them to use both sides of their body.
Skills for Life! Catching and Throwing gives a child more control over their eye movement, making it easier for them to focus on their reading.