Physical activity and exercise for preschoolers

Physical activity and exercise for preschoolers

child running with soccer ball

Physical activity and exercise every day are important for preschoolers to help their growth and development.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years) should spend at least 3 hours a day doing physical activities with at least 1 hour being energetic play such as running, kicking, jumping and throwing. Getting outdoors, running around with them and showing them ball skills will keep the whole family fit and healthy and can be so much fun!!

Sitting for extended periods or being restrained in a car seat or stroller should ideally be for no more than 1 hour a day. Screen time may keep your young ones quiet for a while but only up to an hour is recommended each day. During sedentary time (quiet time) parents are encouraged to engage them in reading, singing, telling stories or doing puzzles.  

If your little ones are kept busy and active during the day then getting the recommended 10 to 13 hours good quality sleep each day should be easier.

Recommended activities:

  • walking
  • dancing
  • swimming
  • gymnastics
  • playground activities
  • climbing
  • skip
  • active play, like hide and seek
  • throwing and catching
  • riding a bike or scooter
  • outdoor activities
  • skipping.

Benefits of exercise in children:

  • develop healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • develop healthy heart and lungs
  • improvement in coordination, strength and muscle control
  • maintain a healthy body weight
  • develop flexibility
  • improvement in balance and posture
  • develop vital brain connections, leading to improved concentration and thinking skills
  • less likely to develop chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

For further details see Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines and brochure.

February 19, 2020 12:47 pm

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