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Table 1 Key components in active early: a Wisconsin guide for improving childhood physical activity

From: Active Early: one-year policy intervention to increase physical activity among early care and education programs in Wisconsin

Component Content summary Example activities and tips
1. Development • Physical development
 o Gross motor skills
 o Fine motor skills
• Brain development
• Language development
Animal Movements: children move like their favorite animal while music is playing (e.g. walk like a crab or hop like a bunny)
Tip: talk about movements using vocabulary that will help children understand their activities
2. Child Assessment • Tools to assess child development
• Documentation of child assessments
• Action steps
Follow the Leader: have older children lead different activities so caregivers can observe the skills of younger children
Tip: have an older child teach a new physical activity or gross motor skill to a younger child
3. Daily Routines • Schedules
• Transition times
• Lesson planning
Active Clean Up: during clean up time, have children use a different traveling skill, such as walking fast, hopping, or jumping, as they put away materials
Tip: try a few teacher-led physical activities at the end of outdoor play as a way to make transitions smoother
4. Environment • Indoor space
• Outdoor space
Balancing: explore balancing at both high and low levels. High-level positions include standing on tip-toe, on tip-toes with both feet and knees bent; on tip-toes with eyes closed. Low-level positions include balancing on two hands and one knee, one hand and two knees, etc.
Tip: make dramatic play more active by providing materials for movement such as scarves or have children act out being an aerobics or yoga instructor
5. Resources • Physical activity curriculums
• Equipment
• Materials
• Books, websites
• Assessment tools
Activity: research the Active Early Guide suggested physical activity curriculums; make a list of equipment and materials needed, etc.
Tip: to minimize costs, use resources such as public libraries or state Child Care Information Centers
6. Business Practices • Policy definitions
• Types of policies
• Policy development
Policies can help to:
 • Create consistent messages for staff, parents, and licensing officials
 • Provide clear guidelines for staff members and families
 • Provide basis for evaluation of program and identify areas for improvements
Tip: policies set the stage for best practices; but remember that a policy is only as good as its implementation!
  1. Active Early: A Wisconsin guide for improving childhood physical activity []