A new initiative to help parents and carers come up with ways for two to four-year-olds to get a healthy amount of physical activity has been launched in Calderdale.
Parents and children at two Calderdale Children’s Centres were amongst the first in Yorkshire and the Humber to try out Active Imaginations – an online resource of simple and fun activities that are free or low cost, can be done indoors or outdoors, in open or limited space and in a range of different situations.
The purpose of Active Imaginations is to collect and share ideas that inspire the imagination of children and parents, in a way that supports the Chief Medical Officer Guidelines that children of pre-school age who are capable of walking unaided should be physically active for at least 180 minutes (three hours) per day.
Calderdale Council is one of five local authorities to take part in the project in partnership with Public Health England and The Yorkshire and Humber Association of Directors of Public Health.
Councillor Faisal Shoukat, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Cohesion, said: “We want all children in Calderdale to have the best start in life.
"An important part of this is to be physically active from an early age. Families have been consulted and were excited by the idea of simple ideas that they could do at home and in a range of different situations.
"Young children have amazing imaginations, but for parents it can be difficult to know where to start. The Active Imaginations project supports and inspires them to get their children moving more.”
The Active Imaginations initiative was launched at Buddy Bears at Illingworth Community Children’s Centre and at Healthy Honey Bees at Little Stars, Parkinson Lane Children’s Centre.
Gemma Mann, Children’s Health and Wellbeing Lead at Public Health England, said: “It’s really important that all children get the necessary daily physical activity they need to stay healthy, the benefits for children are well evidenced.
"Moving more helps young children to develop motor skills, improves cognitive development, helps them maintain a healthy weight, enhances bone and muscular development and supports the learning of social skills.”