‘Let’s go!’ guide | Mirage News
Northern Territory Government
NT Health Let’s move the children of the Territory forward!
March 1, 2022
A new guide is now available for parents in the Territory to encourage their toddlers and young children to be active and move more.
NT Health and community organization Healthy Living NT have developed the Let’s Get Going! guide with information, lesson plans and activity instructions on how to start parent-led exercise groups for young children ages one to five.
Millie Feeney, senior public health dietitian and nutritionist for NT Health Top End Region, said there are many benefits for infants and toddlers who engage in regular physical activity.
“Children who exercise frequently develop more confidence and coordination, which will have lasting benefits as they grow into young adults,” Feeney said.
“Staying active can also improve a child’s mood, concentration, self-esteem and bone density, as well as help them sleep better.”
Chrissie Inglis, education manager for Healthy Living NT, said the guide was an easy tool for parents to help develop their child’s gross and fine motor skills, while having fun.
“Teaching children to be physically active when they’re young is a gift that will last a lifetime,” Ms Inglis said.
“Helping children be active will increase the likelihood that they will continue to enjoy exercise at all stages of life, which we know is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Darwin’s mother, Ella Leonhardt, said the guide was a wonderful resource she had used to help two of her young children, Jess, three, and Chris, five, get more exercise.
“I’ve used the Let’s Get Going Guide to keep my kids active and entertained during summer school vacations, and while we’re spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms. Leonhardt said.
“My kids love to play with a ball, so we carry one with us when we’re on the go. They see if they can dash, roll, kick each other 10 times in a row. They get excited when they hit that goal, so then we try for 20.
“Another favorite activity of mine is playing leapfrog. We pick up leaves, sticks and flowers, then the kids try to frog-hop between them – or they run and follow the leader.
Ms Leonhardt said these games were all great for playing in a park, but also worked well at home, even with their small backyard.
“The guide is suitable for multiple ages which is perfect considering my kids are at different stages of development. I also have a six-month-old daughter, Sophie, and I can’t wait to see her start being active with her siblings in the months to come,” she said.
Only one in five Australian children meet physical activity guidelines. The recommendation is that children between the ages of one and five be active at least three hours a day.
The Let’s Get Going Guide is now available for free download from NT Health’s Nutrition and Physical Activity webpage here.
Image: Chris Leonhardt, 5, from Darwin, exercises more with his mum using a new parent’s guide to help children exercise more.