Centre for Community Child Health

Promoting movement and exercise—early childhood educators

  • Movement and exercise - early childhood educators

    Early childhood educators are a vital part of helping children and their families to make movement and exercise a part of everyday life.

    There are lots of fun and easy ways that you can start a love for moving at your service and share with families to try out at home. 

    Birth to 1 year

    It’s funny to think of movement and exercise when it comes to small babies, but this is a great time to help them get started on living an active life. Supervised floor-based play is great for small babies:

    • Tummy time helps babies develop their neck muscles, an essential early movement skill.
    • Soft toys encourage touching, holding, reaching, pushing and pulling.

    Once infants are mobile, you can:

    • Encourage movement by playing music, making noise with objects and singing songs.
    • Create tunnels out of chairs or boxes to make moving even more of an adventure.

    Also in this edition

    Movement and exercise for kids

    Promoting movement and exercise:

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    1 to 5 years

    Toddlers and preschoolers need to aim to be physically active every day for at least three hours! That sounds like a lot, but every little bit adds up and most toddlers and preschoolers will naturally want to move this much and more.

    Fun ways to encourage movement at your service:

    • Provide play spaces like swings, tunnels, ramps, slides, sandpits, hills and gardens.
    • Play games like obstacle courses, follow the leader or tip/tag.
    On rainy days, try:
    • playing dress ups and acting out different roles
    • moving like different animals. Gallop like horses or trumpet like elephants!

    Parent fact sheets

    You might like to share our Grow & Thrive information for parents of 0-5 year old children with parents or caregivers of children at your service—these are packed with information and fun tips on movement and exercise.

    Where to find help

    There are lots of other resources that you can share with families like the Australian Government’s A Healthy and Active Australia website, and the Raising Children Network website. When more help is needed, families can also speak with health professionals including family doctors, child and family health nurses and paediatricians.