Physical can exercise for hours on end without
Physical Activity In Early Childhood Physical activity is important for the healthy growth and development of all children.
This essay will be focusing on the importance of physical activity on the early childhood aged children, ranging from the ages of two up until the age of six. Discussing factors such as why physical activity is important for children, what role a teacher plays in addressing and preventing childhood obesity and will also outline four ways that teachers can assist in preventing obesity.Children in this age group require a vast amount of physical activity daily, with professionals recommending the minimum daily requirement of sixty minutes. ‘The minimum daily requirement does not mean that sixty minutes is the limit’. (Active kids are healthy kids. Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations For 5-12 Year Olds, (2006), p 1).
This is the minimum requirement that young children should exercise for, children can exercise for hours on end without doing any harm to themselves.Young children enjoy being active and exploring new things. Instead of discouraging them from exploring, playing and getting dirty, encourage them to remain physically active. Physical activity is important for children in the early childhood group and has many physical underlying benefits. Some of these benefits are that it allows the children to develop their movement skills from gross motor skills to fine motor skills. ‘These skills include running, hopping, skipping and climbing.
Physical activity also helps to build strong bones and muscles.It also aids in improving a child’s balancing skills whilst improving their flexibility levels’ ( McDevitt and Ormond, 2010, p. 161). By encouraging and getting children to participate in regular physical activity it enables children to relax and can increase the child’s overall concentration levels. But one of the most important factors is that it physical activity provides the opportunity for children to make more friends, improve their social interaction levels and enhance their overall self-esteem level. Active kids are healthy kids.
Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations For 5-12 Year Olds, (2006), p 1). The more exercise that children in the early childhood category undertake the better as it could set a routine for them which will continue throughout the rest of their life. Young children need to be introduced to physical activity and also healthy eating at a young age so that they are able to get into the habit of exercising and staying healthy. There are many eople and obstacles that can prevent this from happening in today’s world, but it is very important that steps are taken to try and implement regular physical activity.
By implementing physical activity into children’s everyday activities at school, it will help to prevent and fight against childhood obesity. In today’s society the author believes that teachers play a more important role in addressing obesity than they may realize. In general teachers play an important part in children’s overall development.Teacher’s see their students five days per week and in most cases act as a role model to the children, forming a bond with their students, some bonds stronger than others. Every child has their favourite teacher, the one they look up to and want to be like. If their role model teacher does not eat healthily and does not partake in regular physical activity then it is going to have an impact on the children they teach, reflecting the teacher’s bad habits onto the students.The author believes that a teacher’s role in addressing and preventing obesity for their students is to ensure that the children are receiving the encouragement they need to be physically active.
Teachers can incorporate small aspects of physical activity into everyday classes. It is not only the encouragement that students need to become physically active, it is also the praise they receive for doing a good job. Teachers need to ensure that they are good role models for their students and are not only encouraging their students to keep active, but also ensuring they themselves remain active.Teachers can assist in addressing obesity in their classrooms and schools by implementing many different aspects into the everyday teaching of their classes, these aspects include: encouraging physical activity and ensuring all students are involved, teachers can educate their students on eating healthily and remaining active, rewarding students for good behaviour with physical activity or healthy snacks. Another thing teachers can do to incorporate physical activity into classes is by taking part in the physical activity themselves.One thing that teachers could do to encourage physical activity and get all students involved is to plan activities that require students to get up and get moving.
This can be incorporated into every classroom activity. For example at the end of each subject taught throughout the day think of an activity in which all students are physically capable of doing (star jumps, hopping on one foot, running on the spot, touching elbow to knee, etc. ) and ask them to do say ten or fifteen of the activity upon completion of work.
This is encouraging children to partake in physical activity, the activities aren’t strenuous and the children will see them as fun. It is not only benefitting the children’s physical well-being by doing so it is also may increase the child’s attention span. McDevitt and Ormond (2010). Teachers can also take it upon themselves to educate their class on good and bad diets. This can be done in a few ways, even though the children are only in the early childhood age group, one of the ways in which it can be done is by asking each child to bring in a healthy snack to share with the class.
By doing so children will start to recognise what healthy foods are and what they should be eating. It will also spark the parent’s interest as the students will be going home asking mum and dad for healthy snacks to take to school, this could encourage the parents to incorporate healthier foods into the children’s everyday diet. Teachers could also get the children to draw pictures of their favourite foods and then hang them around the classroom so the children are constantly seeing images of healthier food options.Rewarding children for good behaviour and good work can also be another way of helping to address the obesity levels. Many teachers reward their students with chocolate and lollies when they are behaving well or completed a task well.
Why not reward them with a healthy snack? You can reward your students with snacks of fresh fruit, yoghurt snacks, cheese snacks or even little nut snacks (providing there are no food allergies). Or better yet why not reward them with fifteen minutes of play time out in the playground! Let them go outside and run around playing for fifteen minutes.This could have a double benefit and reward for the teacher as it will help calm the students down and help rid of the high energy levels they have. The children will be ready to come back into the classroom and sit down quietly. You could even strategically plan this to happen on a regular basis. Another way in which teachers can help address child hood obesity is to get in there and be physical with the children.
If you are asking the students to do ten star jumps, you do ten star jumps with them. If you take the children out to play an afternoon game, join in.If the children see you playing and joining in too then they are going to enjoy it a little more. In order to get children to into the habit of being physically active and healthy they need to see peers doing the same thing, make sure they know that you are also physically active. Teachers need to be a positive role model for their students, so get up and move with them! It not only benefits the children but also benefits the teacher, getting active will not hurt! In conclusion it has become very clear that in recent times childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic not only in Australia but across the world.
Active kids are healthy kids. Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations For 5-12 Year Olds, (2006), p 1). Children are becoming less active, spending more and more time glued to the television and computer, and that they aren’t eating healthy enough. By taking a stand and implementing activities while children are young teachers could be getting students into healthy habits that will last them a life time.
It is really important that teachers ensure they are implementing activities to their students to try and get this under control, sooner rather than later.Teachers can do so by adding small things into their lesson plans such as at the end of each subject ask the children to do ten star jumps (or any other physical activity), by trying to educate the children on good and bad diets, rewarding the children with healthy foods or physical activity instead of chocolate and lollies. Or by what the author believes to be one of the most important and rewarding ways, include yourself in the physical activities you are asking the students to partake in. Reference ListMcDevitt, T. , & Ormrod, J. E.
(2010). Child development and education. (4th ed.
) New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. Chapter 5: Physical Development (pp. 159-190) Australian Government, (2006), Obesity crisis; http://lms. curtin.
edu. au/courses/1/311789-Vice-Chancell-1618202547/content/_1563143_1/Doc%202%20Australia’s%20physical%20activity%20recommendations%20for%205%20-%2012%20year%20olds. pdf? bsession=65651864=session_id=65651864,user_id_pk1=810998,user_id_sos_id_pk2=1,one_time_token=