Weekend Sun   

Active Voice
with Anna Rees-Jones
Early Childhood Advisor

Never underestimate the time your child spends playing – it is helping them become amazing, active, creative and engaged adults of the future!

Did you know that a lot of your child’s development happens due to free movement? That’s why we should take any opportunity we can to get our kids out there moving.

This can be as simple as running around the backyard, heading to the park together to kick a ball, playing on the monkey bars at the playground… the options are many.

Movement develops the brain, fundamental skills, muscles, balance and hand-eye coordination (just to name a few benefits).

The earlier we can let our kids have free movement time, the better it is for them as it gives them the best opportunity to develop to their full capacity.

Free movement time for a baby is as simple as giving them the chance to spend time on the floor. As our kids grow, we adjust the activity to grow and move with them.

Have fun with movement; you could put on some music and dance, or go to the beach and see who can find the biggest shell, or simply jump the waves.

We don’t need to enrol our children in organised sports as little ones for them to become accomplished sports men and women as adults – we just have to get out there and introduce them to basic movement skills suitable for their age.

If it is ball skills that you want to introduce them to, don’t start with a hard object such as a cricket ball and expect they will be able to catch it. Start with a pair of socks or a soft kids’ ball.

If you want to introduce target throwing, start with a big achievable target and work up from there... just remember to start.

Movement comes in many forms, so get out there with your kids and have fun knowing you are also helping them develop. Help them become the Commonwealth Games medallists of the future – or scientists, nurses, teachers, entertainers.

If you are involved in the early childhood sector, and would like to know more about the workshops on offer through Sport Bay of Plenty’s Move Laugh Grow programme, please contact us at earlychildhood@sportbop.co.nz

Leave a comment