Movement encourages different body systems to develop and strengthen for overall health. To particular systems are the proprioceptive and vestibular systems for balance and coordination. The best time to develop these senses and others is the first 6 years of life.
The amount of time recommended by Angela J. Hanscom is outlined below
Infants – 90 minutes of tummy time a day – miminum and not necessarily all at once
Toddlers- 5-8 hours of big play, preferably outside
Preschoolers also need 5-8 hours and out side
Elementary – age – 4-5 hours including outside time
Adolscents need 3-4 hours of physical activity a day.
Big movement is essential for the growth and development of healthy bodies and minds.
Many children naturally gravitate to the movement they require to fulfil their sensory or systems needs. Sedentary screen time can untrain your children’s system to listening to their own bodies’ needs.
Some activity suggestions as outlined in the ICPA Pathways magazine include but are not limited to;
pulling or pushing toys
playing in the dirt, sand or rocks
jumping – sipping rope
building a fort
Provide space to allow children to move if you are unsure how to initiate or navigate movement -the children will lead you if you provide the space or environment to help them. Lose the tech, the televisions etc and encourage them to move- their movement will help you move too!
Dr. Wendy Coburn
Original outline from Pathways Magazine issue 63 Fall 2019