In Wales the play-based curriculum means children have lots of opportunities for moving in their learning. However, children don’t just magically learn all the skills they need just by playing. There are some skills that need to be taught, and these skills are also the ones that are needed to play many of the games and sports which support an active healthy lifestyle.
We know from many years of research that if very young children move a lot they will be better movers. But as they get a little older, start to develop balance and begin to move independently they need to be taught how to move well. If we teach children to move well they develop the confidence and motivation to lay the foundations for a life of physical activity and better physical and mental health.
All of our programmes across early years settings, non-maintained settings, the community and the foundation phase in primary school follow the SKIP (Successful Kinaesthetic Instruction for Pre-schoolers (SKIP-Cymru©) Cymru framework and programme. The Community sport and physical activity team are all qualified in SKIP at either level 4 or level 3. The SKIP Cymru professional development programme has gained national recognition as a recommendation in the Welsh Government Health and Social Care and Sport Committee report on the Physical Activity of Children and Young People. The SKIP-Cymru work has also been highlighted as a case study for the Journey to a Healthier Wales support materials for the Well-being of Future Generations Act. For further information on any of our early years and physical literacy programmes please contact the Community Sport & Physical Activity Development Manager, Chloe Powton, Chloe.firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Active Tots for Nurseries
The Community Sport & Physical Activity team at Newport Live offer an innovative Active Tots programme which provides high-quality sessions for both children and staff in nursery settings to learn the importance and benefits of physical activity.
The programme focuses on engaging and guiding young children to take their first steps on the physical literacy ladder over a seven-week delivery period, whilst educating and providing staff with the tools to continue promoting the importance of the role that physical activity and well-being can play throughout a children’s development.
Our Active Tots programme aims to enhance children’s physical and mental well-being by introducing and guiding them through the early years of the physical literacy process. We can help settings:
Upskill their workforce
Link with the community
Achieve healthy Pre-Schools accreditation
Obtain new equipment
Establish parents’ engagement sessions
Parents, grandparents, family and guardians
You can all have an important role in supporting children’s physical development.
Did you know?
Good movement and play in the early years are important for brain development.
When you see your young baby trying to move and reach for things around them, they are making connections in their brain. If you make sure that your baby has lots of good play and movement when they are very young, this will help them to learn to read and write and work out their maths as they get older.
Movement and play in the early years are important for developing balance.
Even from birth, a baby is beginning to learn to balance. We need to give babies tummy time for short periods of time throughout every day so that they learn to lift and control their head and start linking their balance system with their brain. As children get older, they like to hang, climb, swing and run about, this is helping them to work out how they control their body in relation to gravity. We need good balance to be able to stand, walk, run, and even sit still.
Movement and play in the early years are important for developing strength.
Babies start to develop a stronger neck and back in tummy time, they develop stronger core muscles when they learn to sit up and crawl and when they can work their balance, core strength and leg strength together they learn to stand and walk.
Movement and play in the early years are important for developing coordination.
When your baby starts to sit up and then crawl, they are learning to use different parts of their body together. As they learn to co-ordinate their bodies by moving and playing they can learn to walk and run, pick up objects like balls and bats and play games.
When children spend lots of time in car seats, bouncy chairs, and pushchairs they are not getting the movement and play they need. When we let them spend lots of time on screens, we are stopping their development.
Research shows us that most young children now have delays in their physical development, which can affect language development, confidence and academic performance. Information for Parents | UWTSD