We support children to take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical well-being by providing them with challenging environments and programs where they can meet their needs. Children are Happy Healthy Learners in environments that they feel safe, are having fun, feel autonomous, and are connected with a sense of achievement over their accomplishments. Part of being a Happy Healthy Learner is understanding; which foods to choose to make our bodies healthy, and then learning about how those foods are grown or farmed.
Children love to play and be active. We embrace children’s intrinsic motivation to play and be active, and through well thought out programs and environments, the Happy, Healthy Learner at Sesame Lane looks like, a child who displays a strong sense of well-being. This Happy, Healthy Learner shows resilience, joy, autonomy, self-competence, and a sense of self-worth.
• Choose activities your child likes and that are fun.
• Make sure there's lots of variety and your child tries different things.
• Build physical activity into your child's day – for example, by walking to school, washing the car or helping in the garden. Consistency with routine aspects of getting active develops a sense of security and forms positive habits.
• Where possible, provide opportunities for children choice over when, where and how they get active
• Be active yourself and involve the whole family, children seek connection to others and this sense of belonging also supports their self worth.
Be a role model! Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves.
Find things you can do every day, like encouraging your children to participate in active chores such as raking leaves, pulling weeds, watering plants, sweeping or cleaning. Make the chores feel fun with upbeat music and be sure to join in to get them done as a family.
There are so many health benefits from giving children opportunities to be active. This doesn’t have to be within structured sports however, it can be in anything from bike riding, to going to the park, to jumping on the trampoline. Being part of a team sport has the added benefit of filling the child’s need for connection to others and mastering specific skills required for different sports. One of the key aspects is that we are mindful of the importance of children being active and enjoying what they do, quite often this happens most in unstructured self-directed play time and giving them large chunks of uninterrupted opportunities for this gold!
Physical activity is directly linked to mental health and well-being. Most aspects of physical activity support healthy brain development and in the early years of a child’s life this is one of the key determining factors. For young children, they need to move, swing, jump, run, and generally be super active, not just because of their physical development and their muscles, but because this activity is like super food for a child’s brain and is essential for a child’s mental well-being and growth.
We know that any behaviour in a child is fulfilling a need. These needs are essential for the growth and development of any child. Children are genetically driven to fill those needs and want to learn skills as to how to do this. Teaching children ways of being active fills many of their needs and therefore they gain skills to do this in considerate and cooperative ways. Being involved in sport or other activities supports the behavioural learning that is needed for a child’s development.