Resources for Parents: Physical activity, screen time and healthy sleep
Here are some information materials that can be helpful for parents to learn about promoting movement of children.
Rationale for movement guidelines
Experts from the World Health Organisation determined that for the best health outcomes, young children should have a balanced distribution of physical activity, use of gadgets, and sleep over the 24-hour cycle. Parents, teachers, grandparents, and carers all can help children meet these guidelines.
Healthy physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep habits are established early in life, providing an opportunity to shape habits through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
If you want to understand better these guidelines and why they are important, you can see them here.
Guide for use of screens (mobiles, tablets, computers)
It is common that parents use mobile phones or tablets to pacify children and to be quietly engaged. However, evidence has shown that long periods of exposure to screens can have a negative impact on the development of children.
Long exposures to screens have negative effects on the development of young children. Do you want to know what you should do to achieve a more reasonable and safe exposure for your children? What about their use of screens for online learning? You can check some tips here.
Importance of sleep in child development
Having the right amount of sleep is important for everyone. For children, having adequate sleep helps prevent becoming overweight and promotes healthy growth. Children who have adequate sleep also have better emotion regulation, less time spent playing with screen gadgets, and are less likely to get injured when playing.
In other words, adequate sleep is important for health and safety of children.
If you want to learn more about the importance of adequate sleep in young children, you can look at the materials here.
Expected movement skills per age
You might be wondering which skills should your child be able to learn and master. Some skills are easier and therefore develop earlier, while other skills are more difficult and develop later.
Here you will see a list of skills that children would ideally learn at different ages. As you can see, there is a range of age for each skill. The skills start to develop in the earlier range, and mature at the later range.
Note: Children will start to learn the skills in the earlier age, and display mature patterns at the later age.
If your child is not able to perform the skill yet despite being at the right age for it, do not worry. Some children develop faster, while other develop a bit slower. For example, some children may be running very well at 3 years old, while others may do it at 4 years old.
The important point is that that you provide children with opportunities to practice. For example, play games with them so that they can practice the skills that they had not yet mastered. If you believe that the slow development of your child is worrying, speak with their teachers and paediatricians.