We all know that physical activity is essential for developing healthy bodies and brains in early childhood. And if you have an infant, toddler, or preschooler in child care, you may also know that physical activity is supported by physical literacy—the physical competence and confidence to be physically active.
Physical literacy is just one of the many learning domains that need to be explored in early childhood. However, it doesn’t always get addressed in early childhood centres, and it’s not the fault of your child’s teacher or caregiver.
As much as your child care provider may want to promote physical literacy, it simply might not be something they are trained in. As a consequence, they may be unsure how to set up physical activities and lead active games.
This is why Active for Life has developed a number of ready-to-use physical literacy lesson plans for early childhood educators. Each 30-minute lesson describes simple, fun, active games for developing fundamental movement skills in child care settings, and they are all available for free download from the Active for Life website.
In the early years, most physical activity should be unstructured and child-driven. However, as children enter the preschool years between ages three and five, some structured daily physical activity becomes appropriate. This is where lesson plans are useful.
Each of the Active for Life lesson plans for this age group outlines 30 minutes of physical activity. This provides a good start for preschoolers achieving the 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommended each day. (The rest of their physical activity should take the form of unstructured free play in settings that encourage free exploration of movement, such as playgrounds and natural outdoor spaces.)
Active for Life’s lesson plans are generally designed with a group of 10-25 children in mind. If your daughter or son attends a small home-based daycare centre, our Activities may be more appropriate to the smaller number of children involved.
Your child’s confidence and enthusiasm for movement comes from developing physical literacy. By sharing Active for Life’s lesson plans and activities with your child’s daycare or early education centre, you can play a big role in helping more children to develop physical literacy.