Babies and young children love being active and moving around freely. We learn more physical skills in our first five years than at any other time in our lives – so it is really important that young children have time to practice and develop these skills. If children learn to love being active when they are young, they are more likely to continue taking part in sport and physical activity when they are an adult.
Babies and young children can often be left sitting for long periods of time, for example in a high chair, car seat or watching TV. Sitting or lying still for long periods of time can be harmful as it can lead to health problems later on. It is important that we reduce the amount of time babies and young children are sedentary (sitting or lying still)…even babies before they can walk need practice movements such as reaching for and grasping objects, kicking and touching.
It is well documented that higher levels of physical activity in childhood can lead to continued participation in later life.
It is important to establish high levels of physical activity as early as possible to encourage children to stay active enough to benefit their health and to support continued interest and participation throughout adult life.
Family Activities and Sessions
There are local programme across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland that provide a range of activities and sessions suitable for families to take part in together.
To find out how to become more active in your local area then contact your local Sport and Physical Activity Team, using the link provided.
We here at Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport can help you find a range of opportunities to take part in physical activity, sport and wellbeing opportunities in your local area.
Use our Get Active Search Engine to find local clubs and organisations, sessions, venues and events near you.
The Healthy Tots Physical Activity Guide and supporting 'Lets Get Moving' cards have been developed by LRS and partners to support early years practitioners plan and coordinate appropriate physical activity play opportunities and environments for children under 5.
They will help practitioners meet requirements of various UK curriculums, particularly those relating to physical development within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The Lets Get Moving cards give practical ideas of what practitioners, parents and carers can do with each age group, from 0-3 months to pre-schoolers.
Our 'Let's Get Moving' leaflet for parents provides top tips and advice on how to encourage 0-5 year olds to be active in the home environment.
- Let's Get Moving Parent Leaflet (PDF, 5.3 Mb)
Physical activity tips and advice for 0-5 year olds
- Healthy Tots Physical Activity Guide Web (PDF, 1.7 Mb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving 0 3 Months Web (PDF, 247 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving 3 6 Month Web (PDF, 262 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving 3 6 Months 2 V5 Web (PDF, 218 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving 6 12 Months Web (PDF, 258 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving 6 12 Months 2 Web (PDF, 221 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving Preschool 1 V6 Web (PDF, 231 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving Preschool 2 V6 Web (PDF, 207 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving Toddler 1web (PDF, 216 Kb)
- Healthy Tots Lets Get Moving Toddler 2 Web (PDF, 219 Kb)
Leicestershire Healthy Tots
Leicestershire Healthy Tots is an early year's accredited health promotion programme designed to encourage settings to promote healthy lifestyles as well as becoming health promoting environments. It was based on the National Healthy Schools model as well as similar tried and tested programmes for under-fives, established in other parts of the UK.
The programme aims to provide support to early years settings to enable them to:
- Support young children in making healthier choices around physical activity, healthy eating and emotional health and wellbeing.
- Develop a framework for planning, delivering and evaluating health promotion, which is in line with the early years foundation stage.
- Enable all children to develop healthy lifestyles regardless of age, disability, ethnic origin, faith, gender, language, sexuality, social class or special needs.
- Support children and their parents in developing healthy behaviours at home
- Develop staff confidence and competence in relation to health promotion
- Develop links with parents, the wider community and other agencies.
The resources in the section above and the Purposeful Physical Play Training will help practitioners work towards the accreditation criteria for physical activity.
For further details, to access resources and to sign your setting up for the accreditation process, please visit:
Leicestershire Purposeful Physical Play Training
For Early Years Practitioners
Join the movement to promote physical literacy
FREE training to enable you to promote and deliver effective purposeful play and physical development programmes to children aged 0-5 years.
What the training will offer you:
- On-going support from experts in the field
- Access to a comprehensive resource bank
- Practical ideas on how to create positive enabling environments & providing positive activities for babies, toddlers and pre schoolers
- Practical evidence based ideas on how to engage
- with parents in purposeful physical play
- Neurological development from birth and the
- importance of movement in brain growth
If you would like to help your children learn to love being active, improve their health and learning prospects and demonstrate your commitment to OFSTED through accreditation to the Healthy Tots programme – this training is for you!