The importance of being active

Regular physical activity is essential for brain development. The more a child moves, the more they stimulate their brain. Children are born wanting to move, to explore their world and to make sense of it. And it’s up to us to make sure they have plenty of opportunity to be active.

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1. Children are born wanting/needing to learn the key movement skills of stability (balance), locomotion (moving your body from one place to another) and manipulation (the ability to handle a piece of equipment to achieve a specific outcome) but they need plenty of opportunities to discover these skills, practise them, and finally to master them. It’s our responsibility to provide these opportunities.

2. The guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand for children under 5 is 30 minutes per day of activity. This doesn’t have to be in one hit – think of it as ‘snack-tivity’ – short bursts of physical activity with rest and repair time.

3. Children aged 5-18 need a minimum of 60 minutes per day of physical activity for good health and wellbeing.

4. Being active yourself will encourage children to be active.

5. And remember that children learn best when they’re having fun.

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