Toad Hall’s Let’s Get Physical Programme promotes a healthy lifestyle, helping your child to become a confident and skillful mover and learner through lively and fun physical activities.
Babies and young children love to move and find out what their bodies can do. The Let’s Get Physical programme is all about capitalising on this joy of movement, helping children to get the exercise they need for healthy growth and development whilst motivating them to lead healthy lifestyles. Toad Hall Nursery Group has worked with Jo Blank to develop this programme for all of our staff to use in their nursery settings. Want to know more about Jo Blank with some tips and tricks for exercise in kids? Just click here!
Why is physical activity important in children?
Movement builds brain patterns and is also the natural way children learn. Children are constantly learning how they fit into the world and the way they do it is through their bodies. Truly, there are so many benefits of programmes encouraging exercise for kids.
At Toad Hall nurseries, children have lots of physical fun. They are naturally active and creative, learning literacy and numeracy in a large scale, physical fun way. Early movement play builds the brain and essential skills for life. This is why we encourage physical activity through our exercise programme for children.
Our programme falls into distinct areas including:
Babies and young children are naturally driven to move their bodies in ways that help them to develop. They need plenty of encouragement, space and interested adults to make sure these key physical developmental movements take place. All our staff ensure that children have plenty of floor play on backs and tummies, enjoy crawling and belly crawling, have lots of experiences pushing, pulling, stretching and spinning around. All of these movements are essential for healthy growth and development because they develop a felt sense of body and a fundamental sense of balance.
Early exercise for kids includes basic movement skills such as running, hopping, jumping and throwing. These are the movement patterns a child is physically ready to refine and develop between the ages of 3 and 5 years. They form the basis for more complex skills, such as running and kicking in football and jumping and shooting in basketball. We provide a wide range of daily games and equipment to help children develop these fundamental skills, allowing children to try new physical experiences. These activities challenge kids safely and help them to practise and repeat skills to develop confidence and competence.
Movement and dance
Dancing to music and expressing yourself imaginatively helps babies and young children to understand how and where their bodies move. Our exercise programme for children allows them to develop an awareness of moving fast; slowly, heavily or lightly and they develop an awareness of space; high, low, forwards and backwards. They move alone, with a partner or in a large group, allowing them to share space and relate to each other creatively. You will often find our staff jigging about to music with babies and dancing with children of all ages – it’s not just the children that like to have fun!
A movement approach to learning
Young children learn through play and exploration, being physically involved in what they do, and by thinking and choosing their own way of doing things. That’s why exercise for kids is so important! Children at Toad Hall nurseries bring stories to life by acting them out, learn to count as they hop and jump and knock down skittles, learn language as staff describe their movements ‘you are spinning round really fast!’ and new words as they ‘sway’ like trees, ‘slither’ like snakes and ‘wiggle’ their hips. They make letter shapes with their bodies and learn initial sounds as they mm…march, and lll..leap. They are creative on a large scale as they decide how to make dens, buses and pirate ships.
What can you do at home?
As parents, carers and grandparents you have a key role in supporting the Let’s Get Physical programme at home and promoting the benefits of exercise for children. The most important thing you can do is be positive about your child’s movement! Notice their everyday movements and comment appreciatively on what they do.
Rather than say ‘don’t run’, say ‘you have lots of energy today! Let’s run in the garden!’ Instead of saying, ‘be careful you’ll fall!’ say, ‘you are high! How are you going to get down?’ Children instinctively know what their bodies need! So help them do it!
Exercise in kids is an essential element of growing up. For some top encouragement tips, you may like our Let’s Get Physical At Home leaflet – just click here to download the PDF.