“Did you know that one in five children under five years is obese?
While obesity is highest among older children, already 11 per cent of toddlers are obese and it’s even higher among children living in poverty.” These are the words of June O’Sullivan MBE, CEO of LEYF, and hers is far from the only voice to raise concerns about children’s fitness levels.
Recent research by Fit for Sport noted that 67 percent of 10,000 primary school children who had undertaken its Activity Challenge weren’t able to meet recommended fitness, with 24 per cent falling significantly below expectations. So what’s to be done? Well, we early years practitioners have a responsibility to educate children about the importance of movement. If we encourage their physical development we will increase their stamina, strength and mobility; stimulate brain connections and cement neural pathways; and develop motor skills (both fine and gross), as well as problem solving, decision making, creativity and reasoning.
Improve your practice
Music and Movement’s EYFS Inspirational Dance and Movement course is designed for those who would like to learn more about the importance of physical activity in the early years and how to engage with children aged 18 months to five years in more physically active play. The training demonstrates how dance and movement can make strong links with all of the prime and specific areas of the EYFS. Those who have taken it already have described it as “Invaluable, great value for money” and “Fantastic, engaging, inspiring, enjoyable” – why not try it yourself?