Early Years (not yet walking)

Floor time.

The Chief Medical Officers physical activity guidelines for under fives who are not yet walking say that:

  • Physical activity should be encouraged from birth, particularly through floor-based play and water-based activities in safe environments
  • All under-fives should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (being restrained or sitting) for extended periods (except time spent sleeping)

How to get them active

Examples of physical activity that should be encouraged include:

  • Floor time - Lie them on their front, back or side, encourage them to wave their arms, kick their legs or roll, supporting their head if needed
  • Tummy time – Lie them on their stomach on the floor or on your lap or chest. For babies, little and often is best, and this will help develop their neck and back muscles
  • Bath time - Make it fun with lots of singing and splashing. Or why not try a parent and baby swim session
  • Outdoor time - Take a blanket to the park and enjoy the outdoors together whilst getting some fresh air. Let them watch the leaves blowing in the trees or blow some bubbles and encourage them to 'catch' or pop them

Tummy time.

Download the physical activity guidelines for under fives who are not yet walking here.

Help your baby move and play every day

The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC) has put together a leaflet for parents and carers of young babies who have not yet started to walk, with practical physical activity ideas and how these can be incorporated into a daily routine. Download it here.

Time to Dance

Singing and dancing is a great way for you to encourage your baby to start moving and copying you so that you can get active and have some fun together!

Websites such as YouTube have lots of great short films available featuring nursery rhymes with actions for babies.

Nursery rhymes with actions for babies