Avoid Inactivity Hints and Tips

Make physical activity part of your child’s routine from birth.

Being active affects cognitive, social, emotional and physical development and helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Remember that you have influence over how your child spends their time with you, whether they are watching TV or outside playing, restrained in a car seat or having tummy time.

What can be done?

Be active often throughout the day.

  • Babies and non walkers need lots of floor based play and tummy time.
  • Music, balls, scarves and age appropriate sensory toys help to make floor play more interesting.  Remember you are your child’s favourite play mate.
  • Once walking, provide regular opportunities to be active during the day.
  • Dancing to music, outdoor play and dressing up are simple and cheap ways to encourage active play as is being outdoors and exploring the environment.

Limit time spent restrained in car seats or pushchairs.

  • Plan your day to reduce the time spent in car seats and pushchairs.
  • Active travel such as walking (some or all of the way) or using a bike or scooter is great for you, your child and the environment.
  • Build in a trip to the park or open space as part of the journey.
  • Use activity as a reward for being good on a journey or shopping trip.
  • Break up long journeys with 10-15 minute energising breaks.

`Encourage and support active play

  • Set limits on screen time, no more than 1 hour is recommended for 2-5 year olds  and TV and media devices should be discouraged with the under 2’s.
  • Engage children in active play such as playing with siblings and friends or attending local stay and play facilities.
  • Provide boxes and sheets for den making or pots, pans and containers to stimulate floor play.

Involve children in daily task

  • Sweeping up leaves, helping to wash the car, setting the table and helping in the garden are all great ways to be active.

Be a Role Model

  • Be active with your children, join in and show them it is fun.
  • Talk to your children about the importance of activity and how it helps develop their bodies and brains.