National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children 0-5 Years: Tips and Ideas
Active play ideas
- Children will love running and playing with streamers made from colourful ribbons or scarves, hoops and balloons;
- Catching and hitting games using a variety of objects and balls – you may like to try bubbles, bean bags and a range of balls of differing sizes.
- Create an obstacle course using items from around the house – try boxes, sheets, chairs and tables – kids will love exploring under, over, through and around the course that you create.
- Encourage jumping games – make an imaginary river using a rope, or an imaginary log using a pillow for children to jump over.
- Digging and building in the sand, either at the beach or in a sand pit.
- Children can help in the garden, maybe even create a small garden (in pots is fine if you have limited space) for children to tend and care for – digging holes for plants and carrying water cans are great ways to be active.
- Playgrounds offer a wide variety of experiences for children to be active – climbing, swings and slides are great opportunities for active play.
- Playing with pets is fun way to get kids moving.
Television viewingThese tips may help to develop positive TV viewing habits with your 2-5 year old:
- Set viewing time and content limitations for children – encourage your child to have an active role in selecting what TV programs they wish to view within these limitations.
- Avoid TV during times of the day when kids could be outside engaging in active play and exploration – if necessary record programs so they can be viewed at a more suitable time.
- Try to have TV-free mealtimes – allowing time for family conversation and interaction.
- Make your children’s bedrooms screen free zones.
- Try to supervise your child during their TV watching and other electronic media use – parental involvement has been shown to have a positive impact on the educational value of these activities.
- Turn the TV off when the scheduled program is finished – having the TV on in the background can distract children while they are playing or interacting with others.
- Be prepared with active play alternatives when the kids want to turn on the TV.
© Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Health and Ageing (2010)