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Supporting physical development in early childhood
Supporting physical development in early childhood

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6 Building a movement rich environment

In this part of the course you will look at how parents and practitioners can create opportunities for physical play in both indoor and outdoor spaces. You will see how promoting children’s holistic development through physical play does not need expensive classes or equipment.

The level of physical activity and the types of movement that a child experiences are dependent on the environments in which they spend most of their time. Whilst young children are pre-programmed to move, it is adults who tend to plan the environment, control what children can do and how they can move. Therefore, it is important that parents and practitioners understand the importance of movement and hold positive attitudes to physical activity.

First and foremost, physical activity needs to be thought of as an integral part of daily life. When planning your day, think about the opportunities available for different types of movement and physical activity. Where possible, young children need physically active role models. Young children like to imitate adults and increase their range of physical activity by being with physically active adults. However, most importantly, by experiencing their parents and carers being enthusiastic and enjoying exercise, they develop positive attitudes towards physical activity. In your everyday routines there are many opportunities to promote movement and physical activity.