Does it seem odd to be thinking about raising an active child when your baby hasn’t been born yet or can’t even roll over on her own? As a new parent or new parent-to-be there’s a lot to think about and physical activity might seem like something that you can postpone focusing on about for at least a few more years.
In the first year of life, your infant learns simple motor coordination skills that are essential to all aspects of her cognitive, emotional, and physical development. She can’t be rushed but she can be encouraged in ways that will make being active easier when she gets a bit older.
It’s a lot like setting the stage for a love of language and reading. Intuitively many parents talk to our babies, sing nursery rhymes and songs, and read stories to them, even when they are too young to make sense of what we’re saying (sometimes we do this even while they are still in the womb!). These things help children develop language skills and help them to recognize sounds and letters, then learn to talk, and someday to read. It’s exactly the same with simple physical play and movement with your baby. You are laying the foundation for your child to develop physical literacy as she grows by promoting your baby’s brain networking and sensory awareness.
So how can you give your child the best start? Begin by reading these short articles from our experts and role models and come back often as we’ll continually update this page with information relevant to you and your active little one.
From our experts:
- 6 ways to start your baby on the road to physical literacy
- Physical literacy checklist: 0-2 years
- Help your infant develop movement skills: 0-3 months
- Help your infant develop movement skills: 4-6 months
- Help your infant develop movement skills: 7-9 months
- Help your infant develop movement skills: 10-12 months
- Why tummy time is so important for your infant
- 7 steps to get your infant ready for tummy time
- Active play for preschoolers
From our role models:
- The 10 most important things I learned during my baby’s first year
- Setting up baby’s environment: 5 tweaks that encourage movement
- Jennifer Heil on why genes aren’t enough to guarantee an active child
- TSN SportsCentre’s Jennifer Hedger on giving her baby an active start
- A little pep talk for new parents who think they’re doing everything wrong
- How to introduce your baby to nature
Want to connect with other parents helping their children learn to love moving? Join our Facebook community for more tips and conversations.