Movement Skills in the Early Years

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PLAY FOR TODDLERS

Infant & Toddler Forum | Physical Activity and Play for Toddlers

Three hours of physical activity each day are recommended

Children of all ages should be active – it is vital for their physical and mental health and development. Physical activity also helps toddlers maintain a normal weight. See Factsheet 3.3

The Department of Health (DH) recommends that children under five years who can walk should be active for at least three hours each day. All sorts of physical activities, including walking, running and unstructured, active and energetic play, count towards this recommendation. The amount of activity is

more important than its type or intensity. Physical activity can be spread over the day, in short bursts and interspersed with periods of rest, as toddlers tire quickly, especially with prolonged physical activity.

The DH classifies physical activity into three types: sedentary, light intensity and more energetic. Light intensity activity and more energetic physical activity contribute to the recommended three hours of physical activity per day. 

  

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