Advice for this age group
Research indicates that inactive children are likely to become inactive adults, putting them at risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer. This is why it's important to encourage children to exercise from a young age.
Babies: Babies should be active every day, through activities such as crawling. If they're not crawling yet, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play. Try to include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day. Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe and supervised play environment.
Toddlers: Toddlers should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). This should be spread throughout the day, involving light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping. Active play, such as using a climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games, is the best way for this age group to get moving.
Pre-schoolers: Pre-schoolers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day doing a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play. Try to include at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity. Children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, it is not good for their health and development
For lots more advice around physical activity guidelines for under 5’s visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-children-under-five-years/
Help your child to become physically literate, enabling them to be active for life
A Physically Literate child
Enjoyment and Motivation – they enjoy physical activity and they have the motivation to take part (we make it fun and expose them to lots of opportunities so they can find activities that they like)
Confidence – they have the confidence to take part (we encourage them and create a safe, nurturing environment which will build their self-esteem and help them to feel confident)
Competence – they have the physical skills required to take part (through practice and teaching, we support them to develop and master skills which enable them to participate in a range of activities)
Knowledge and Understanding – they value physical activity and understand the health benefits (we help them to understand how to take part in physical activity safely and why it’s important as part of a healthy lifestyle)
Expose your child to lots of different activities. This will develop a range of skills and give them the opportunity to try new things. Some great activities for this age group include:
- tummy time
- playing with blocks and other objects
- playground activities
- active play, like hide and seek
- throwing and catching
- riding a bike
- outdoor activities
We regularly share examples of fun activities on our social media channels. Check out @sportrct on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to take a look! We have lots of indoor and outdoor activity ideas on our App, along with instructions and videos. Download the FREE Leisure for Life app, add Sport RCT as a club and check it out!
Community sports clubs
If your child is interested in sport, there are over 300 sports club in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Some of these clubs offer opportunities for children under 5 years old. Sports such as Gymnastics deliver sessions to children from a very young age. We work with these clubs to ensure that they are providing safe, inclusive fun activities for children.
CLICK HERE to view our Sports Club Map and find sports clubs in your area.
In addition there are a number of businesses that offer sport sessions to under 5’s. For example, Top Tots offer football and netball sessions for children aged 2 years and over. Contact us for further details.
Primary school sports clubs
We support primary schools to develop extra-curricular clubs during lunch time and after school. The majority of primary schools have club timetables which change each term. These clubs are a fantastic way for your child to try new sports and learn basic skills. Some schools may have sessions for under 5’s, speak to your child’s school to find out what they offer.
Movement Matters is a resource that we have designed to support families and communities. The resource aims to get children more active, more often. It has a range of fun games that focus on fun and skill development. The games are presented under six themes such as space and seaside.
For full details CLICK HERE.
Swimming is a fantastic life skill. Exposing your child to swimming lessons from a young age will develop confidence, reduce their fear of water and prepare them for their school swimming lessons. RCT Leisure for Life offer baby and toddler swimming lessons and sing, splash and learn sessions for children aged 4 months plus. Visit https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/SportsandLeisure/LeisureCentres/Swimming/SwimmingLessonsandActivities.aspx for details
Cycle Tots / Balanceability
Cycle Tots / Balanceability sessions are aimed at 3-6 year olds. They support children to learn to ride a bike using balance bikes. When ready children progress on to pedal bikes. It is typically an 8 week course.
There are currently sessions in the following venues:
- Dare Community Hall (book via Sobell Leisure Centre)
- Abercynon Sport Centre
- Hawthorn Leisure Centre (book via Top Tots)
- Play Yard, Treorchy (book via Martyn Broughton)