The importance of physical activity from 0 to 6 years old

Movement is important for the development of motor skills of children and playing games is the best way to express this. Movement also allows you to acquire healthy lifestyle habits. Enjoying a pleasant and stimulating motor activity is a necessary condition for children to have fun and want to repeat the experience.

Health, socialization and self-discovery

Promoting physical activity in children is one of the milestones in the mission of 0246. It represents one of the stronger forces in the fight against a sedentary lifestyle in order to prevent children obesity and the risks of serious diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks.

Physical activity promotes in children a proper physical development and also the development of social skills. The game, the main activity of the child, expresses a natural need to work, to experiment, to deal with difficulties and to be able to accomplish certain goals.

Experiences within reach of every ability

Create conditions for the child to have fun, because the pleasure of doing something develops motivation and learning. In the case of physical activity it is essential that it’s suitable for “each” child; it must be appropriate to the capability that the child possesses, favouring more successful experiences. In essence, propose games suitable for the child’s motor skills and age.

Correct clothing

Clothing can either allow for better movement or restrict movement for a child. It is therefore a function of what the child does. For example, a child who is crawling does not need shoes: he could move more freely bare foot.

If a child is learning to crawl its best to dress at a bare minimum, i.e. t-shirt and diaper. Having arms and legs free help the child grasp the mattress, preferably eco-leather, which allows better adhesion of the body and sliding with the belly. You should pay attention to the temperature of the room, and if it is too low, heat it so that the child is comfortable.

A child who crawls on all fours, using its knees, would be more comfortable with a pair of soft pants, preferably with padded knees. Finally, a child who walks and runs outdoors on different surfaces needs a pair of shoes and soft clothing.

Discovering the outdoor spaces 

As for the outdoor spaces, it is very important that a child can learn about the surrounding natural environment. For this reason it is useful to ensure that the child has the opportunity to walk on different textures, such as wooden flooring, marble, tiles, grass, soil, sand, dry leaves, pebbles or stones. Experiencing the different consistencies will encourage and develop their sense of security to walk and run. The same can be said for hills, small bumps and steps that help children to experience and to become familiar with walking uphill and downhill. Those who live in the countryside have the opportunity to frequent open green areas, while those who live in the city must rely on children’s playgrounds and reserved spaces where children can play freely. Also important are the experiences conducted in different environments, typically ‘not’ urban, such as the beach, forest, snow and water.

The fear that the child may “get dirty” should be suppressed by the knowledge of the great advantages that come from these ‘exceptional’ motor skill practices.  He will get a little dirty, but he will learn to move with dexterity in different environments, having experienced this he will be able to avoid its dangers and will be happy because he will learn to fall less and hurt his knees!

Help! My child is in danger!

Certainly what an adult can do is create conditions for the child to have as many motor experiences as possible, and to ensure that these experiences are not isolated or occasional but can be repeated therefore favouring the acquisition and the consolidation of motor skills.

The presence of an adult, who encourages the child in various experiences, sustains him in difficulties and, especially, discover together with the child the different activities is the most favourable condition for the development of motor skills.

10 Small commandments of motor activity for children

1. Organize space in your home so that the child can

play and move freely

2. Make sure that every experience run by the child

is an experience of success

3. Follow the child during the game while respecting

the spirit of initiative and independence

4. Offer time and space for the child to play freely

5. Create conditions for the child to have fun because the pleasure of doing something develops motivation and learning

6. As for the acquisition of motor skills, create conditions where the child is able to modulate frequency, intensity and duration of the motor experience

7. Offer opportunities where the child is able to improve their dexterity, mobility and balance

8. Propose games suitable for the child’s motor skills

9. Structure the environment and choose materials that allow the child to experience different situations in all areas of motor skill development

10. Clothing of the child must be suitable for the motor activity at hand