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Supporting physical activity

For many young children, and for infants and babies, their parents or carers are the gatekeeper to an active life. Whether it be acting as positive role models, participating in activities with their children or by encouraging and supporting their children to access and engage in activities of their own choice.
Everything a baby or child does involves physical activity but developing the skills that they need to be active does not 'just happen'. Motor skills (the skills that allow us to move) develop when parents and carers expose babies and children to supportive opportunities and stimulating environments. Parents can influence the quality of a child's physical activity by:

  • The type of environment they provide for activity – children are more likely to challenge themselves physically in environments that are stimulating, safe and secure
  • Engaging their infant or young child in gentle but stimulating play –  helping to develop motor skills and awareness.

Support for families

Support given to families should ensure that:

  • All parents and carers have the support to gain the necessary skills and confidence to take an active role in helping their children enjoy an active life.
  • All children and young people, including children with disabilities, take part in physical activity. This should include physical education, play, sports, exercise, dance, outdoor activities, active travel and support to be active in their daily tasks at home, at school and in the community.  Recommendations by age
  • All children, including those with disabilities, gain the movement and behavioural skills necessary for an active life.
  • All children and young people, including those with disabilities, take part in at least two hours of good quality physical education classes a week. This outcome is embedded within the Health & Wellbeing strand within Curriculum for Excellence.