Establishing A Healthy Lifestyle To Grow On
03:35 | 01/12/2013

 

THE PLAYFUL SIDE OF FITNESS

 

Establishing A Healthy Lifestyle To Grow On

 

Lifting one’s head for the first time, rolling over, reaching for a ball and crawling are all part of the first stages of physical development. Though these developments happen naturally, the rate at which they happen can depend on the experiences we provide our children in the early years. As adults we need to provide children with an opportunity to move and explore their world. From day one, being active is important to help set the stage for an ongoing active lifestyle that promotes fun and fitness!

 

In fact, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) states “all children birth to age five should engage in daily physical activity that promotes health related fitness and movement skills.”

 

Providing opportunities for your child to be physically active is key. Children should be encouraged to crawl, play with balls and toys, balance, walk, climb, and play alongside peers. Whether you are involved in a structured program, such as Gymboree Play & Music, or you dedicate a certain amount of time to playing daily and moving with your child, activity is a must for young children to help them establish and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

How do you provide daily activity for your child beginning at birth?

 

During infancy (0-15 months) support your child’s motor development by allowing them opportunities to reach and grasp for their favorite toy as well as give them opportunities to roll over, crawl and stand.

 

Toddlers (12-36 months) now confident walkers, need opportunities for increased exploration. Allow her to climb the stairs, the couch, run, dance to music, run and expose her to an environment that has age-ppropriate
climbing structures.

 

Preschoolers (3-5 years) need to continue movement activities, but now with added challenges. Provide your preschooler with opportunities to practice a variety of skills such as kicking, throwing, catching and jumping, as well as engage him in games that nurture his budding imagination. Now’s the time when your child may become interested in a particular sport such as t-ball or soccer. Encourage this interest!

 

Providing an active lifestyle for your child promotes healthy habits and is linked to providing a positive effect on brain development. According to the National Association of Sports and Physical Education, “Current research confirms that the physical activity of infants and young children is an important component of early brain development and learning. Positive early movement experiences increase the infant’s chances of achieving full developmental potential throughout life.”

 

As parent or caregiver, you are the role model for your child’s active lifestyle. Start in infancy by encouraging movement, and continue through the toddler and preschool years by providing enthusiasm and opportunities that support an active lifestyle. If she sees you being active, she will want to be active, so make physical activity an important part of your daily routine and your family’s as well! The health and developmental benefits of an active lifestyle will last a lifetime!

 

Gymboree Play & Music – Getting Physical Together!

 

From reaching and grasping, rolling, climbing, jumping and kicking, Gymboree Play & Music provides age-appropriate classes for your newborn to 5-year-old. Gymboree’s specially designed wooden equipment, bright foam and air pieces, variety of props and trained teachers, create an environment to stimulate your child’s physical, cognitive and social development. With you by their side, the action, fun and learning never ends.

 

Gymboree Play & Music also offers Music and Arts classes. Gymboree’s Music classes, for children 6 months to 5 years, offer an active approach to musical learning through musical games, singing, instrument play and creating.

 

Gymboree’s Arts classes, for children 18 months to 5 years, offer an opportunity for your child’s creativity to blossom through painting, drawing, sculpting, story time, movement activities and songs. Come experience the fun at your local Gymboree today!

 

By Kathy Erle
Gymboree Play & Music Manager, Program Training

Kathy Erle, Manager of Program Training at Gymboree Play & Music, holds a B.A. in Physical Education with an emphasis in teaching. With more than 15 years of experience in early childhood movement and dance, and over 10 years with Gymboree she has overseen teacher training, curriculum development and recently lead the development of Gymboree Arts.

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