Centre for Community Child Health

Promoting movement and exercise—early primary teachers


  • Movement and exercise – early primary teachers

    Early primary teachers have an important role to play to help children and their families make movement and exercise part of everyday life.

    There are lots of fun and easy tips that you can share with families to try out at home, and your school can set a good example for children through educational messages, policies and the school environment.

    How much exercise do children need?

    Children aged 5-8 years old should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. It can be in little chunks of time and doesn’t need to happen all at once. 

    Moderate activities are things like a brisk walk, a bike ride, or active play at lunchtime. Vigorous activities will make children “huff and puff”—these might include running, swimming laps, dancing, football or netball.

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    Promoting movement and exercise:

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    Encouraging movement and exercise

    • Offer a variety of physical activities at your school to help children explore their interests and find what they really enjoy doing.
    • Offer children lots of opportunities to be physically active each day.
    • Choose the right activities for a child’s age and ability so that they don’t become bored or frustrated.
    • Give children plenty of praise and cheer them along.
    • Keep the focus on fun so that they are happy to join in.
    • Consider children’s personalities. Offer different activities that might appeal more to the non-athlete (e.g. more reflective activities with stronger mind-body components like dance or karate), through to the casual athlete (e.g. shooting hoops at lunch) or the athlete (e.g. playing on a sports team).
    • If a child spends less than 60 minutes a day doing physical activity, help them to start small and build from there in intensity, frequency and duration.

    Information for parents

    You might like to share our Grow & Thrive information for parents of 5-8 year old children with parents or caregivers of children at your school—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 and paediatricians.

    Also in this edition

    Movement and exercise for kids

    Promoting movement and exercise:

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       Gandel Philanthropy