Are your children getting enough physical activity each day? When your child attends daycare, it can be hard to know just how much time is being spent moving and playing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that kids need an hour of physical activity every day. Without it kids can be inattentive, can have trouble sleeping at night and can even develop depression and anxiety issues. When it comes to exercise, how does your child's daycare measure up?
Take it Outside
How much time in your child's day is dedicated to outdoor play?
Your child's daycare should have an outdoor space for running, climbing, jumping and moving. Playgrounds with swings and slides are excellent but not essential. Kids can find plenty to do in a wide open yard, especially if there are balls, jump ropes, riders and other tempting toys provided.
Kids need free time to run and explore, but your child care facility should also offer time for structured, adult-led physical activity. This can include taking kids outside for a game of kickball, leading an indoor tumbling class or even refereeing a rousing game of duck-duck-goose.
Adult led playtime gives each child an opportunity to try the activity and ensures that everyone is included. The teacher should be encouraging physical play as well as promoting a sense of community and teamwork.
In addition to actual physical play, your child also needs to be learning why exercise and movement are important to a healthy life. Do your child's daycare teachers spend time talking about what the human body needs to excel?
Children should be spending time learning about the benefits of physical activity. They should know that exercise makes their bodies stronger and gives them the endurance to play for longer periods of time. They should also be learning that regular exercise will help them focus on academic tasks and even help their bodies get ready to sleep at night.
Kids also need to learn about the parts of their bodies that benefit from exercise. Even small children can be educated about heart health and building strong muscles. Learning about exercise leads logically into learning about nutrition, which is vital information for growing minds and bodies.
Check out your child's care facility to find out how much time is spent on free play, structured physical activity, and exercise education. You'll feel good when you know that your child is being given the opportunity to develop great health habits for life.