Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines: Tips and Ideas for Children (5-12 years)

Practical ideas to help increase physical activity and minimise sedentary behaviour for children aged 5-12 years.

Page last updated: 06 February 2014

60 minutes, every day.

Active and Fun

  • Encourage children to play active games like obstacle courses, tag, skipping or throwing a ball or frisbee.
  • Visit playgrounds, parks, nature reserves, ovals or beaches.
  • Get children involved in a variety of different sports and activities.

Active and Safe

  • Start slowly and build up the amount and intensity of physical activity.
  • Protect children from the sun – ensure children wear sun-protective clothing, including a hat, and apply sunscreen regularly.
  • Always supervise children appropriately when in and around water.
  • Speak with your doctor or other health professional if your child has a medical condition.

Active at Home

  • Limit time for watching TV and using electronic games.
  • Store portable electronic devices out of sight.
  • Enjoy a walk with children around your local area.
  • Children can help with gardening activities like digging, sweeping or raking.

Active Travel

  • For short trips, walk or ride safely.
  • For longer trips, park the car some distance away and walk with children for the rest of the trip.

For Stronger Muscles & Bones

Encourage children to:
  • Skip, run, hop and jump.
  • Climb or swing on monkey bars and climbing frames.
  • Play games like tug-o-war and hopscotch.
  • Do structured activities like dance, gymnastics and martial arts.

Tips for Reducing Sedentary Behaviour and Screen Time

  • Reward the kids with a trip to the park instead of TV or computer time, and enjoy the quality time together.
  • Set a ‘no screen time’ rule at dinner time and before school.
  • How about walking, riding, skateboarding or scooting safely to school or other places, or helping to wash the car, walk the dog, or dig in the garden?
  • Make bedrooms a TV and computer free zone
  • Give gifts like skipping ropes, balls or kites to encourage active play.

What will you do?

Make your move - Sit less - Be active for life!

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