HAVE FUN! MOVE AND PLAY EVERY DAY!

That’s the advice from the Australian Government Department of Health with the release of their “Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years” in late 2017.

The guidelines include a picture of what a child’s day during a 24-hour period may look like including not just active and sedentary play, but also essential sleep and rest requirements. The guidelines specifically look at babies (under 1yrs of age), toddlers (1-2yrs) and pre-schoolers (3-5yrs), however guidelines have also been developed for 5-12yrs, 13-17yrs and 18-64yrs so everyone can benefit with useful tips and recommendations across the ages!

Don’t be restricted by your environment – you can be safe and active in all seasons, in all weather, indoors and outdoors. Remember play can involve other children, adults or the child alone.

SUMMARY OF THE GUIDELINES:

Age Group Physically ActiveSedentary playSleep
Babies
(infants under 1 year of age)
Be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways. for younger babies include at least 30mins tummy time/day and include grasping, pushing and pullingEncourage reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling.
Not being restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (high-chair, stroller, car seat etc). Screen time not recommended.
• 14-17 hours for 0-3mths
• 12-16 hours for 4-11mths
Including good quality sleep and napping
Toddlers
(1-2 years)
At least 180 minutes in a variety of energetic play spread across the day, more is better!Encourage reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling.
Not being restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (high-chair, stroller, car seat etc). Sedentary screen time not recommended under 2yrs, over 2yrs no more than 1hr per day.
11-14 hours of good quality sleep, including naps with consistent sleep and wake-up times.
Pre-Schoolers (3-5 years)At least 180 minutes in a variety of physical activities of which at least 60 minutes is energetic play spread across the day, more is better!Engaging in reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling. Not being restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (high-chair, stroller, car seat etc). Sedentary screen time of not more than 1 hour/day. 10-13 hours of good quality sleep, including naps with consistent sleep and wake-up times.

As educators we are in the prime position to educate both families and children to develop healthy habits and while changing a routine may seem difficult, positive changes can be gradually introduced.  At Balance Early Education we understand the importance of movement and setting healthy habits that form the foundation for life. Movement is a part of everyday both indoors and outdoors and it is FUN!

Families who want some ideas for home can order free resources by visiting The Department of Health.