Government guidance relating to early childhood settings, including the Early Years Foundation Stage and The Children’s Plan, (DCSF, 2007b) emphasise the importance of physical activity for children, and the need for environments, equipment and support to encourage physically active play.
In 2007 the National Children’s Bureau’s Research, Evidence and Evaluation Department was asked to undertake a research project on behalf of Play England, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The research focuses on the extent to which young children, from birth to five years old, are involved in physically active play whilst in early childhood provision. It explores factors in the child’s environment, relationships with others and adult attitudes that affect the extent to which children attending provision play in physically active ways.
The literature review found a large body of literature on the links between physical activity, health and well-being for both adults and children. However we found much less research which focuses on preschool children, the types of physically active play this age group choose to engage in, what encourages or inhibits physically active play or the impact of the environment on it.
Editor's comments - [ Physically active play in early years appears to be influenced by a range of factors, not least the ethos of the setting and support and encouragement from staff at an individual child level. The research identified other factors that impact on the quality, as well as quantity of play – including layout and design, opportunities for self directed activity (free flow), free access to outside space, and a variety of equipment and activities suitable for all age groups. Age, nature and other characteristics of the individual child also have an impact on how active a child is, and the type of activities they engage in. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Brady, L. Gibb, J. Henshall, A. Lewis, J. (2008). Play and Exercise in Early Years:Physically active play in early childhood provision. London: DCMS
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