Limit Inactive Time
Topic 2 Page 11
Inactive time (not including nap time or eating) when children are seated for more than 30 minutes at a time should be limited to one time a week or less.
Children learn through interacting with their environment. Children need opportunities to leave their seats and explore the space around them. The longer children sit, the less focused they become. Activities that call for children to sit for long periods of time promote an inactive lifestyle.
If children are inactive for long periods of time, they can be at risk for problems associated with being overweight, even if active during other parts of the day.
- Set reasonable expectations for children’s behavior during activities. Use hand or verbal signals to tell children to maintain control during active play.
- Develop a routine for moving between active play and seated or indoor activities. Children respond well to clear and consistent instructions.
- Have a training for staff to show them how to use activity in classroom lesson plans.
- Use active learning in daily lesson plans, allowing for children to learn through movement.
- Check daily schedules to ensure staff include enough activity time. Ask staff for ideas to shorten inactive times.
Limit TV Time
Television or videos should be rarely or never shown in the child care program.
Television and videos work against the important educational activities that occur during care. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, television viewing for preschool age children should be limited to one to two hours a day. Early childhood professionals provide a stimulating environment that is more enriching than television viewing. Recent research has associated television viewing with being or becoming overweight. Supporting television viewing, especially for extended periods, may send mixed messages to children that this behavior is okay.