Physical Activity

There are many ways for early years children to take part in physical activity from tummy time for babies under 1 year, hopping and walking games for toddlers aged 1-2 years and outdoor activities and playground activities for 3-4 year olds; the list is endless!

Keeping active has so many benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Helps healthy growth teaching emotional wellbeing skills including teamwork
  • Supports us to maintain good mental health, boosting mood and self-confidence.
  • Supports maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reduces the risks of suffering from long term illnesses in adulthood

It is essential that children learn about the benefits of physical activity and understand how to be physically active so that they can carry this knowledge with them as they grow up. Being physically active from a young age can help influence activity levels as an adult. As a practitioner working with early years children, its key to support children and provide them with the opportunities to be active.

The Healthy Tots programme has been developed to support your early years setting in teaching your children about physical activity, so why not sign up here now?

Guidance Documents

It is very important for early years children to stay active on a daily basis. The Chief Medical Officer's national recommendations for children under 5 are:

  • Under 1 should be doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity across the day (tummy/floor time)
  • 1-5 years should be doing 180 minutes (3 hours) of physical activity per day.

Active Together – Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's sport and physical activity specialists have a comprehensive Active Tots resource page dedicated to early years where you can download the Let's Get Moving physical activity guide for early years practitioners, download localised Let's Get Moving guides for 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, toddlers and pre schoolers, access early years training and lots more!

Click below to access the Active Tots website –

Physical Activity guidance for children with additional needs (SEND)

Although not early years specific, the UK's Chief Medical Officers (CMO's) have issued guidelines for those children and young people with additional needs which states that children and young people should be achieving 20 minutes of exercise a day and undertake strength and balance activities three times a week. For more information on the guidelines for disabled children, please visit Physical activity for disabled children and young people.

Physical Activity for Adults

Not only is physical activity vitally important for children under 5, in order to stay healthy and improve health, adults should aim to be active for at least 150 minutes a week. It is also recommended that adults take part in strength and balance activities 3 times a week.

Leading an active lifestyle as an adult can:

  • Help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Improve sleep.
  • Improve mood and reduce stress.
  • Builds new friendships and much more!

For early years practitioners working with under 5s and for parents of young children, role modelling positive physical activity behaviour and promoting the benefits of being active is vital.

For more information on becoming physical active and the many opportunities across Leicestershire to take part in sport and physical activity please visit

Healthy Workplaces

The Healthy Workplaces Leicestershire programme helps organisations of all sizes across the county to become healthier places to work.

The tailored programme has been designed in collaboration with, and for Leicestershire businesses, helping to ensure that the support that is most needed by the county's workforce is available to them and their organisations.

Two settings who have completed their Healthy Tots award have taken part in the Healthy Workplaces programme; Watermead Day Nursery and Daisy Chain Children's Nursery.

There are a number of training opportunities available through the Workplace Health programme including Mental Health First Aid Training, Healthy Conversation Skills for Managers Training and Workplace Champions Training to name a few.

For more information on the Healthy Workplaces programme and the different support available for early years settings please visit - Healthy Workplaces