Centre for Community Child Health

Helping your child to exercise and move: 0-5 years


  •  Movement and exercise – parents of 0-5 year old children

    You can help to give your child a lifelong love of exercise and movement by being active yourself, and by cheering them along as they discover physical activity.


    Birth to 1 year

    It might seem funny to think of movement for little babies, but supervised floor-based play is a great way to get started:

    • 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 and making noise with objects.
    • Create tunnels out of chairs or boxes to make moving even more of an adventure.

    Try to avoid television, especially fast-paced shows. If your child does watch TV, share the songs and actions together! 

    1 to 5 years
    Your toddler or preschooler needs 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 your child to move:

    • Visit playgrounds.
    • Play games like obstacle courses, follow the leader or tip/tag.

    Also in this edition

    Movement and exercise for kids

    Promoting movement and exercise:

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    On rainy days, try:

    • playing dress ups
    • yoga and stretching
    • moving like different animals—gallop like horses!

    More information

    You will find more helpful information on the Australian Government’s A Healthy and Active Australia website, and the Raising Children Network website. If more help is needed please consult your family doctor or paediatrician.

     Gandel Philanthropy