Infant & Toddler Forum

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P2. Physical Activity Guidelines

Committed since:

1 January, 2013

Delivery plan:

Submitted: 2 April, 2013

The Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) are committed to promoting physical activity in the early years through simple, evidence based guidance and advice.

‘Encourage physical activity for at least three hours every day’ is the tenth step of the ITF’s Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers, a resource that, since 2010, has been rolled out in 362 childcare settings across the UK reaching over 800,000 families in 2012. In 2013, this on-going campaign has the potential of reaching 586 settings and over 1,500,000 families. Via the ITF website, the Ten Steps are downloaded on average over 600 times per month.

In line with the DH guidance, the ITF are currently developing a Factsheet entitled ‘Healthy Play for the Early Years’ which will provide health and childcare professionals with guidance around active play, play to encourage motor skill and cognitive development and, messy play.

The Factsheet will also provide both indoor and outdoor examples of how families and practitioners can encourage activity in the early years during weekdays and over weekends and holiday periods.

All ITF Factsheets are peer reviewed by experts prior to publication and endorsement of the Factsheet will also be sought by relevant stakeholders.

In addition to the Factsheet for professionals, a Guidance & Tips sheet for parents and families will be produced and published. Drawing from the Factsheet content to ensure consistency, the Guidance & Tips contain simplified advice for family accessibility.

The Factsheet will be supported by a national awareness campaign. To align with the launch, which should fall ahead of the pre-school summer holidays, an activity schedule will be produced for families, potentially including tips for grandparents. Finally, in preparation for Christmas, the ITF will, be launching its Festive campaign to encourage families with young children to stay or become active during the holiday season. As part of this campaign the ITF have created an online activity advent calendar to inspire families with different activity ideas for toddlers while having some family fun at the same time.

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