How physical activity aids children’s development

Children scrubbing a fence

I’m intrigued by the fact that children love hard work. Look at these kids – in a few years they will do anything to avoid exerting themselves, but at this stage they can’t get enough of it! As Jan White says, they “seem to instinctively know how important being physically active is for optimum brain and body development. They enthusiastically get on with it throughout their day in all they do. Everything in the environment is an invitation to action!”

Jan continues, “Being physical underpins mental health through the joy of movement and through building self-confidence and self-esteem. Movement actually makes you feel good through the production of mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain and the feeling of ‘life in every limb’. It develops physical health through developing muscles, tendons, bones, nerve connections, co-ordination and the vast array of movement skills needed for life. More, it supports personal and social health through being able to join in the things other children do, forming relationships through moving and acting together.”

Perhaps this explains why these children are having such a good time – and it should encourage us to continue supporting such experiences.

Search or browse our learning library

Filter by topic or type