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Physical Activity

Let's get Physical!

Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. 

Physical Activity For Early Years Birth To 5 (pdf 377KB)

Babies (under 1 year) 

Babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day in a variety of ways, including crawling. If your baby is not yet crawling, try and encourage them to be physically active by reaching, grasping, pulling, pushing and moving their body and limbs.  

Why not try some tummy time? Tummy time is proven to help babies and toddlers develop their core muscle strength. More information on Tummy Time can be found at BBC Tiny Happy People

baby playing on the floor with womanbaby tummy timebaby tummy time

Toddlers (aged 1 to 2) 

Toddlers should be physically active every day for at least 3 hours (180 minutes). The more children are physically active, the better for their physical and mental well-being 

Child playing outside

Preschoolers (aged 3 – 4)  

Pre-school aged children should also be active for at least 3 hours a day the same as toddlers. At least 1 hour of this should be moderate – to – vigorous intensity physical activity. Children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when they are sleeping. Being strapped into a buggy, travelling by car, bus or train or watching TV for long periods of time are not good for a child’s health and development.  

children playing outside

Useful Links

  • Early movers provides Practical ideas for physical activities to help with babies and young children's physical development.
  • For top tips about tummy time visit NCT.
  • There is also useful information via the NHS.
  • For more information about why sitting down for too long is not good for us, visit NHS England 
  • There is also ideas on how to support wheelchair users with physical development.
  • Active Sefton also has useful information and guidance on Physical activity.

Last Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2024

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