Physical Activity and Nutrition at Abacus Ark Nursery Schools
As an active person myself it has always been natural for me to promote a healthy lifestyle to people around me. In my experience in childcare I have developed an awareness that children should understand from the early years the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy eating combined with physical exercise and movement.
It’s not commonly known that children under 1 year old should have at least 30 minutes of tummy time, and children from 1 to 5 years old should have at least 180 minutes a DAY of physical activity which for preschoolers should include 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity.
We do a lot of physical activity in Abacus Ark but since I am part of it I always tried to expand that by making sure that children could also understand the importance of it. I tried to not only go for a walk outside for the sake of it but make sure that the walk leads to a park where children can run, explore, climb small trees and ‘take risks’… and the Forest School is relevant here. When I say ‘take risks’ I don’t mean children being in danger but being able to solve problems, think critically and understand what is appropriate for them and what is not.
I personally find the Scaffolding – zone of proximal development (Bruner, Vigotsky – one of the Forest School inspired Theories), close to my method of thinking: ‘more support is offered when a child is having difficulty with a particular task and, over time, less support is provided as the child gains on the task’. In this way the learning approach is taking the child’s stage of development into account but gives the child the responsibility to accomplish the task, offering a sense of challenge without being left behind. In other words: self-efficacy. It has been shown that people with a high level of self-efficacy are more likely to make an effort to complete a task which encourages growth and skill development.
My aim is to build children’s confidence and encourage them to look after their body and mind as a foundation for their personal development.
– Miss Simona –
Abacus Ark Ambassador
Abacus Ark Nursery School | Wandsworth Town SW18