The Importance of Early Childhood Activity
Early childhood education focuses on children’s development during ages three to five. While this developmental period should ideally focus equally on mental and physical development, in recent decades an emphasis has been placed on mental development, creating a concurrent de-emphasis on physical development. However, the two actually go hand-in-hand and should not be considered two separate entities during early childhood development and education.
Integrating physical activity into young children’s lives is essential for creating a foundation of movement and activity that they will carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. Physically active children learn habits in early childhood that greatly increase their chances of remaining physically active through their young adult and teenage years and into adulthood.
There are a vast number of benefits for children who experience increased movement and physical activity in early childhood. In addition to creating healthy habits and fostering a lifelong commitment to physical activity, children whose early childhood education is based in movement enjoy the following benefits in both early childhood and for the rest of their lives:
· Better social and motor skill development
· Increased school readiness skills
· Building developing muscles, bones, and joints faster
· Reducing fat and lowering blood pressure
· Reducing depression and anxiety
· Increased learning capacity
· Developing healthier social, cognitive, and emotional skills
· Building strength, self-confidence, concentration, and coordination from an early age
Further, active children have fewer chronic health problems, are sick less frequently, miss less school, and have a significantly reduced risk for a number of childhood and adult diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and mental illness.
Early Childhood Assistant Principal