When considering physical activities for young children it is especially important to plan for developmentally appropriate activities, focusing in particular on the following questions:
Is the activity suitable for the age, and the mental and physical abilities of the children? (developmental readiness of the children for the proposed activity).
Do we have adequate supervision and appropriate equipment to ensure the safety of the children in this activity? (i.e., adult to child ratio, visual supervision, size and mass of equipment).
Staff working with young children need to be especially sensitive to the child’s level of confidence in their own ability to engage in the activity. Children who are either fearful/hesitant or over-confident pose risks to themselves and others. Staff must intervene to adapt the activity or supervision for these children to ensure their safety.
Close supervision is essential to the safety of young children; teaching and non-teaching staff must remain vigilant in visual supervision and reasonable proximity. One adult to four children would be a minimum standard to strive for, particularly for off-site activities.
For young children, if game situations are used, they must be simple and allow for maximum participation for all children, with little or no “wait-time”. Young children need to be active and expectations to “take turns” minimized. This means that various activities may be occurring at once so children have opportunities to develop skills and remain physically engaged.
Adults must ensure that high-paced activity is alternated with slower activities to allow recovery time.
Constant visual supervision or on-site supervision is required when teaching Pre-Kindergarten or ECS Program students. In-the-area supervision is not adequate.
INJURY PREVENTION CENTRE
4-248 ECHA, University of Alberta
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1C9
The Injury Prevention Centre is part of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and is dedicated to helping Albertans and our governments make safe choices the easy choices.
Funding for the Centre is provided, in whole or in part, by Alberta Health. Provisions of funding by Alberta Health does not signify that this project represents the policies or views of Alberta Health.