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Physical Activity and the Early Years Section Index Section 1 – Intro/Benefits Section 2 - Statistics Section 3 – Physical Literacy Section 4 – Activity.

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Presentation on theme: "Physical Activity and the Early Years Section Index Section 1 – Intro/Benefits Section 2 - Statistics Section 3 – Physical Literacy Section 4 – Activity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Physical Activity and the Early Years Section Index Section 1 – Intro/Benefits Section 2 - Statistics Section 3 – Physical Literacy Section 4 – Activity Guidelines Section 5 – How to Get Kids Active Section 6 – Resources

2 Physical Activity and the Early Years Target Audiences (a) Municipal Council: Sec 1,2,3,6 (b) Early Childhood/Daycare Workers: Sec 1,3,4,5,6 (c) Public Health – Health Promoters: Sec 1,2,3,4,5,6 (d) Public Health – Managers: Sec 1,2,3,4,6 (e) Students – Sec 1,3,4,5,6

3 Physical Activity and the Early Years This presentation was developed by The Physical Activity Resource Centre for use by physical activity promoters across Ontario.

4 Workshop Objectives By the end of this workshop, participants will: Know the current physical activity levels of young children Be reminded of the many benefits of physical activity Be knowledgeable of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for the Early Years and be able to promote the guidelines to parents, caregivers and early childhood educators Have knowledge and access to tools and activities that they can effectively integrate into their programming, helping to develop and foster physical literacy

5 PARC Services PARC is the Centre of Excellence for physical activity promotion in Ontario. PARC is managed by Ophea and is funded by the Government of Ontario. PARC services support capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and learning opportunities. PARC services include: Consultations & referrals Trainings & workshops Physical activity resources: -Website ( - sign up for listserv) -Posters -Informational tools and booklets -Walk This Way kits

6 Ophea Overview Vision All children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. Mission Ophea champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy. A provincial not-for-profit organization - established in 1921 and incorporated in 1990 Dedicated to supporting Ontario schools and communities through quality program supports, partnerships, and advocacy Supportive of Health and Physical Education (H&PE) as a foundational component of healthy schools and communities

7 Physical Activity and the Early Years

8 Physical Activity Physical activity is an important part of a child’s physical, mental and emotional development. According to the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card (2010): Children under five require adequate unstructured play and time outdoors for physical, cognitive and emotional development. The early years are a critical period for healthy development. Research shows lifestyle patterns set before the age of five predict obesity and health outcomes in later childhood and through adulthood.

9 Benefits of Physical Activity Physical Strengthens the heart and lungs Helps build strong bones and muscles Develops good posture Increases energy Improves fitness levels Enhances flexibility Improves coordination and balance Helps maintain a healthy body weight Helps improve sleeping and eating habits Helps develop fundamental movement skills Enhances development of brain function and neural pathways

10 Benefits of Physical Activity Psychological / Emotional Encourages fun and makes children feel happy Reduces anxiety and helps young children feel good about themselves Prevents, reduces, manages depression Improves the ability to deal with stress Helps build confidence and positive self-esteem Enhances emotional development Helps young children form impressions about themselves and their surroundings

11 Benefits of Physical Activity Academic Improves problem-solving skills/abilities Improves learning and attention Increases concentration Improves memory Enhances creativity

12 Benefits of Physical Activity Social Teaches important skills such as sports skills and life skills Provides opportunities for children to practice/develop social skills and leadership skills Encourages interaction and helps develop friendships Develops positive lifelong attitudes toward physical activity Encourages healthy family engagement Helps nurture and promote imagination and creativity

13 Let’s get moving!

14 Physical Activity and the Early Years Page 14Presentation title| Date

15 Physical Inactivity 69% of Canadian children are not meeting international physical activity guidelines. (Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, 2010) Only 36% of 2-3-year-olds and 44% of 4-5-year-olds engage regularly in unorganized sport and physical activity each week. (National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth) Measures of physical fitness are declining. In children, there is strong evidence that the prevalence of obesity is at unprecedented high levels. Obesity levels are high even in the early years (0–4 years). Engaging in regular physical activity is widely accepted as an effective preventative measure for not only obesity, but a variety of health risks in school-aged children.

16 Physical Activity Levels Physical activity levels start to decline at age three. Compared with 3-year-old children, 4 and 5-year-old boys and girls spent more time in sedentary activity. Consistently, girls are less active than boys; in some studies - in children as young as infancy and 18 months. Boys engage in greater overall amounts of physical activity; they also tend to engage in higher intensity activities than girls. The estimated prevalence of overweight among 2- to 5-year old children in two different studies was 11% and 18%.

17 26% of Canadian children are overweight or obese (Tremblay 2010)

18 Physical inactivity is an important public health issue.

19 Heart Disease Stroke High Blood Pressure Type 2 Diabetes Colon Cancer Breast Cancer Osteoporosis Economic Burden of Physical Inactivity in Canada $6.8 Billion

20 Sedentary Behaviour These sedentary activities, especially those that are screen-based, are associated with… fitness, risk for obesity self-esteem, pro-social behaviour, academic achievement (Tremblay et al. 2011c)

21 Screen Time In 1971, the average age at which children began to watch TV was 4 years; today, it is 5 months! More than 90% of kids begin watching TV before the age of two. Compared with school-aged children, screen time may be associated with additional negative health outcomes in early years (Christakis et al. 2009; Lillard & Peterson 2011). Increased television viewing is associated with unfavourable measures of obesity, psychosocial health, and cognitive development. There is no evidence to support television viewing as beneficial for improved psychosocial or cognitive development. In several instances, a dose–response relationship existed between increased time spent watching television and decreased psychosocial or cognitive development.

22 Amount of Physical Activity in Children Grade: F Grade: F

23 Let’s get moving!

24 Physical Activity and the Early Years


26 Why is physical literacy so important? Physically literate children lead healthy active lives. Children who are not physically literate avoid physical activity and may turn to sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle choices. Children who are physically active: are ready to learn, have better personal satisfaction, have better and safer relationship.

27 Physically literate individuals... move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person. -PHE Canada, 2012

28 Skill-Based Literacies Developing skills and then being able to understand and apply LiteracyNumeracyPhysical Literacy LettersNumbersMovement Skills WordsFractionsSequences SentencesEquationsTasks

29 Physical literacy is essential for optimal growth and development

30 Physical literacy lays the foundation for an active life.

31 Early Brain Development

32 Developing physical literacy and participation in regular physical activity supports learning, readiness and positive behaviours. Academic Performance Self-esteem Anxiety & Depression Behaviour related problems

33 Physical Literacy HANDS UP | Part 1 - Introduction to Physical & Health Literacy

34 How do we develop children who are “Active for Life”?

35 Who helps children develop these skills? Source: Developing Physical Literacy, Figure 2 Who is responsible for Physical Literacy? Canadian Sport for Life,

36 Fundamental Movement Skills KickingSwimmingHopping ThrowingCyclingCrawling ClimbingSkatingStriking RunningFallingCatching JumpingDribblingVolleying BalancingSkippingDodging


38 Source: Canadian Sport For Life Impacts of Physical Literacy

39 Physical Literacy Across Sectors Leisure: Recreation & Sport Fundamental Movement Skills  General Movement Sequences  Performance Excellence and Participation Performance Arts Circus, dance Vocational Any vocation with physicality: firefighter, armed services, dry waller, iron worker, underwater welder Activities of Daily Living Garden, paint, hammer, walk on slippery surfaces Injury Prevention Lift, carry, transfer Falls, stumble recovery, landing Source: Dr. Dean Kriellaars

40 Supporting Physical Literacy Evaluation Quality Programs and Instruction Supportive Environments Opportunities for active play

41 Let’s get moving!

42 Physical Activity and the Early Years

43 Physical Activity Guidelines Early Years 0-4 years Children 5-11 years Youth years Adults years Older Adults 65 years + Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology

44 Page 44Presentation title| Date

45 Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines: 0-4 years These guidelines are relevant to all apparently healthy infants (aged <1 year), toddlers (aged 1–2 years), and preschoolers (aged 3–4 years), irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status of the family. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers should be encouraged to participate in a variety of age-appropriate, enjoyable and safe physical activities that support their healthy growth and development, and occur in the context of family, child care, school, and community. Children in the early years should be physically active daily as part of play, games, sports, transportation, recreation, and physical education.

46 Being active 0-4 years means… Infants Tummy time Reaching and grabbing for toys Playing or rolling around on the floor Crawling Toddlers/Preschoolers Any activity that gets toddlers moving The activity should be more intense as the child gets older

47 A Word About Infants Physical activity helps to build a babies sense of his/her own identity. When babies control their movements better, they start to be able to make things happen in their environment. Moving and Growing. Physical Activities for the First Two Years Canadian Child Care Federation, Canadian Institute of Child Health, 2004

48 A Word About Infants Physical activity helps babies to be healthy, alert, relaxed and happy. Regular activity establishes connections in the brain that lead to improved: Strength, endurance, ease of movement, flexibility, coordination, balance Parents/caregivers also notice that with regular activity, babies are often: Easier to soothe Have better sleep habits Have improved digestion

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52 Being active 5-11 years means… Moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities should cause children to sweat a little and breath a little harder. Bike riding Playground activities Vigorous intensity physical activities should cause children to sweat and be “out of breath” Running Swimming


54 Let’s get moving!

55 Physical Activity and the Early Years

56 Tips for Getting Infants Active Provide opportunities for supervised tummy time several times each day. Provide opportunities for movement both indoors and outdoors. Provide a variety of play objects with different textures, sizes and shapes. Use large blocks, stacking toys, nesting cups, textured balls, squeeze toys, parachutes. Limit an infant’s time in bouncy seats, swings, car seats and playpens to no more than 15 minutes at a time. Encourage and assist infants to roll, reach, scoot, sit, stand, crawl and walk. Provide parents with a daily update of their infant’s physical activity and skill development Remember! Screen time is not recommended for infants.

57 Tips for Getting Young Children Active Ensure that physical activity experiences: Are fun and safe Are a positive experience, free of negative pressure Provide diverse and interesting activities, games and skill development opportunities Are challenging Consist of small but achievable goals Emphasize basic motor skill development, such as running, rolling, climbing, throwing, catching and kicking Take place in short bursts with frequent breaks Are part of a child’s daily routine

58 Tips for Getting Young Children Active While it is important to provide challenges for young children, it is equally important to ensure that activities are developmentally appropriate and safe. Children are not small adults. It is important to modify the equipment, space to suit the needs of young children. Tips: Use lighter softer, larger balls Choose shorter, lighter bats and racquets Choose larger goals or target areas Partially deflate balls for dribbling and kicking Simplify games by having children drop and catch the ball rather than bouncing it consecutively Modify the size of the playing area to make it easier for all players to participate

59 Tips for Getting Young Children Active Be an active role model and an active participant in games and play with the children. Display photos of the children being active. Put up posters depicting physical activity. Use equipment that does not label by gender, such as balls, hoops, beanbags, etc. Limit rules that discourage physical activity (e.g., no balls, no running, etc.) Encourage and facilitate outdoor play as much as possible.

60 Tips for Getting Young Children Active Provide opportunities for children to participate in vigorous forms of physical activity such as running, dancing, chasing a ball and jumping. Promote activities that use large muscle groups and encourage movement of the whole body. Develop physical activity programming that benefits all children regardless of body type, size, skill, coordination. The goal is not to produce Olympic athletes but to contribute to lifelong attitudes that value physical activity.

61 Children with a Disability An inclusive environment is one that provides the opportunity for children of all abilities and interests to participate in all activities. Inclusive environments recognize the inherent value of each child, the right to take risks and make mistakes, the need for independence and self-determination, and the right to choice. In all age groups, Canadians with a disability are less likely than other Canadians to participate in regular physical activities. Everyone has a responsibility to remove barriers for children with disabilities so that they can have equal access to physical activities. For more information on physical activity modifications, see Ophea’s Steps to Inclusion resource.

62 Children with a Disability In an inclusive program: Activities are modified, adapted and individualized as necessary. Expectations are realistic yet challenging. Assistance is provided only to the degree required. Dignity of risk and availability of choices are respected and fostered. Visual cues include children with varying abilities. Activities are taught/led using different learning styles. Equipment is adapted/modified as necessary.

63 Reflecting a Variety of Cultures Select visuals (e.g., posters, wall cards, etc.) and resources that reflect diversity in gender and ethnicity. Use music and activities that reflect various cultures including songs, instruments and dances. Encourage children to express themselves according to their culture when participating in imaginative games and activities. Use culturally appropriate props, equipment and materials.

64 Teaching Physical Literacy in children prevents injuries!

65 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active Some young children may be hesitant to engage in physical activity. It is important to use observational skills to identify clues that may explain a child’s reluctance to be active. It is also helpful to have some general strategies at your fingertips! Think, Pair, Share What might be some reasons that young children do not participate in physical activity? What are some strategies for implementing/promoting physical activity (how, what, when)?

66 Let’s Get Active Circle Time ―

67 Let’s Get Active Small Spaces ―

68 Let’s Get Active Large Spaces ―

69 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active: Scenarios Scenario 1: Some young children might not like to engage in structured physical activity because of the task of learning and abiding by rules. Strategies: Encourage and provide opportunities for free play or other unstructured forms of physical activity, such as dance. Limit the number of rules and instructions. Allow children to create their own games and make up their own rules Use positive instruction (e.g., “walk” vs. “don’t run”). Provide different types of indoor and outdoor equipment to encourage active play. Ensure that equipment promotes gross motor skills and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Ensure opportunities to be active indoors exist for those intimidated by outdoor play.

70 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active: Scenarios Scenario 2: Some young children may appear frustrated, cry or show a lack of interest during physical activity. Strategy: Choose times to be active when children are well-fed, rested and alert. Be sure fluids are always available. Watch out for signs of fatigue during physical activity and end the activity before children start losing interest or stop having fun. Schedule physical activity for early in the day. Morning is often the best time for structured activity. Ensure children have sunscreen and are dressed appropriately for the weather (hot or cold).

71 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active: Scenarios Scenario 3: Children like routine and like to know what to expect in terms of timing, location of activities, etc. Strategy: Make physical activity part of a daily routine, just like lunch and nap time. This way, children will know to expect that it is time to learn a new skill, play, etc. Expose children to different physical activity environments to help develop skills and strategies for adjusting to different situations. Take children for regular walks around the neighbourhood. Encourage parents to walk/cycle their children to preschool/daycare

72 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active: Scenarios Scenario 4: Some young children are shy or embarrassed to try a new skill or because they have had difficulty with a skill, game, etc. in the past Strategy: Teach the skill in a different way or try a new activity that teaches the same skill. Use toys, rather than equipment to learn a new skill. Build children's self-confidence in physical activity by using praise, encouragement and positive feedback. Do not force a child to perform an activity. Children should never be singled out or embarrassed into physical activity. Allow children to choose the type of activity they are interested in. Be accepting of different body shapes and ability levels. Use cooperative games that do not exclude anyone or ask anyone to sit out.

73 Practical Strategies for Getting Young Children Active: Scenarios Scenario 5: There may be limited (real or perceived) time for scheduling a planned, dedicated time to be active in a pre-school/day care setting. Strategy: Build physical activity into other aspects of the program. For example: Develop arts and crafts that require children to move around. Encourage children to act out words/scenes in a story while reading a book. Incorporate physical activity into math lessons (e.g., 2+2 = 4 jumping jacks). While teaching the alphabet, encourage children to make the letters with their bodies. While teaching about animals, encourage children to move around the room like the animals they are learning about. Incorporate physical activity into circle time lessons Encourage children to do movements common to the season while learning about days and months of the year (e.g., it is Dec. 20 – encourage children to do 20 snow shovels or 20 big snow shoe steps).

74 Group Brainstorm What do you do to get kids moving inside? What do you do to get kids moving outside? What do you do to limit sedentary time?

75 Physical Activity and the Early Years

76 Resources Active Healthy Kids Canada: Best Start Resource Center: Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology: Caring for Kids: McMaster University Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program: ParticipACTION: Alberta Centre for Active Living: Page 76Presentation title| Date

77 Resources – Physical Activity Links Rainbow Fun: A physical activity and healthy eating program for young children Rainbow Fun: A physical activity and healthy eating program for young children Greater Sudbury: Physical activity resource guide for childcare centres Greater Sudbury: Physical activity resource guide for childcare centres Best Start: Have a ball together Mount Royal College: A Hop, Skip and a Jump: Enhancing Physical Literacy Mount Royal College: A Hop, Skip and a Jump: Enhancing Physical Literacy

78 Resources Ophea’s Early Learning Cards – Easy-to-implement activities that support H&PE learning areas of the Full Day Kindergarten program. Ophea Alphabet Yoga Cards – Playful poses that teach children the basics of yoga while developing their physical literacy and language skills. PlaySport - An educational website with many great activities designed to teach kids games by playing games! Healthy Opportunities for Preschoolers. Viviene Temple, Justen O’Connor HANDS UP – A three-part illustrated video series on health and physical literacy. resources/hands-up resources/hands-up Page 78Presentation title| Date

79 Resources Developing Policy to Advance Physical Literacy in Child Care Settings in Alberta. Wellspring, December 2012, Volume 23, Number 6. The Alberta Centre for Active Living Canadian Sport for Life implementation implementation Moving and Growing Series. Canadian Child Care Federation and Canadian Institute of Child Health; 2004; Fun and Physical Activity; Toronto Public Health. Page 79Presentation title| Date

80 Sharing Resources Great Ideas Success Stories

81 Wrap-up Questions Evaluation

82 Contributors Dr. Jory Basso, BSc, Dip SIM, CSCS, DC Chiropractor, Professor Hybrid Health & Fitness Toronto Janet Dawson, CPT, BSc. HE, MSc. Health Promoter Peterborough County-City Health Unit Chris Sherman BHK, B.Ed. Public Health Educator, Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit

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