Author Topic: structured and unstructured activity  (Read 2565 times)

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Offline creations

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structured and unstructured activity
« on: December 14, 2012, 14:47:05 pm »
I just read that kids 1.5 - 2yrs should have 30 mins structured activity and 60 mins unstructured physical activity each day (NHS birth to 5, time line)

I feel a bit dim now because I don't know what it means.  For example if we go to a soft play centre or an out door play park with slides, swing etc is this structured or unstructured? I mean structured because it is kind of dictated what he is going to do by the equipment available or not structured because no one is forcing him to go on it??

If we march/walk/run from the kitchen to the living room for 10 mins singing the grand old duke of york is this classed as physical activity and is it structured or unstructured?
If we spend 10 mins with him climbing up and balancing on my knees/shoulders is this structured or unstructured?
What about play tig-chase?  Structured?

Does structured activity mean I should be 'teaching' him to throw and catch a ball for 30 mins per day (sounds like a chore and very long!)?

Suddenly feeling very dim and inadequate.


Offline becj86

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 03:24:41 am »
Don't feel dim or inadequate! The info they're given isn't very specific.

Here's something I found: How Much Activity Is Enough?
For children 12-36 months old, current National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) guidelines recommend this much daily activity:

at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (adult-led)
at least 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
As a general rule, toddlers shouldn't be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, except for sleeping. That's a lot of work for parents and caregivers, but a lot of much-needed activity for toddlers.

Encourage your toddler to be active, and remember how much he or she is learning along the way.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/toddler_play.html#

Offline Hedgehog17

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 10:35:48 am »
at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (adult-led)
at least 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
As a general rule, toddlers shouldn't be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, except for sleeping.

 :o  :o  :o

I can just about get DS to do 30 mins of adult led activity most days, but he will not run about by himself for more than 5 mins  :(

His idea of free play is to sit on the floor playing with a toy or a puzzle, or watching the infernal TV  >:(

How do you get a kid to be active when he's just not interested in it, or particularly competant at it  ???

Offline michaeljacknnugg

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 12:00:16 pm »
Give him stuff to do that is well within his capabilities? Something that is physical but doesn't overtly have this as a purpose?

I'm just thinking of swimming where they tell the kids to disappear instead of asking them to go underwater.

Creations, I wouldn't worry if you are following your DS's lead!
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Offline Papaya

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 14:33:40 pm »
Goodness, now you've got me analysing our days! So, going for a walk: does that count as structured activity? (And is repeatedly climbing onto the couch and trying to walk along the back of it, unstructured? ::) )
*Nuala*










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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 20:16:28 pm »
Thanks for the link.
I think I'm still confused about what is adult led and what is free activity though.  I mean, at the play park DS will choose what to go on, this slide or that, or the roundabout etc and will run around but he needs me there, I'm not a bystander, I'm not sitting on the bench just watching yk?  He wants and needs me involved.  is this still free activity?
Even if it is we don't have an hour a day.

I try to be inventive and active at home, at the moment as example we have huge shapes marked out on the kitchen floor and use them in various games, name a shape and run to standing in it, or run to the living room find a shape then run to the kitchen to put it in the right shape on the floor etc.  I show him quite a few things and sometimes he will spontaneously start a game like that on his own but want me to join in.  No idea then if it is adult led or free play.


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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 10:33:38 am »
Hmmm...been giving this some thought.  I was thinking that a parent led activity was like some sort of class for 30 mins, like now we are going to learn throw-catch for 30 mins straight.  Which there is no chance of and which sounds hugely demanding for both parent and child to keep that going for 30 mins.  We can throw catch for about 2 mins (or less) before it turns into kick, roll, run, ignore ball, jump on sofa, run to kitchen screaming, play tig, start counting to 10 for hide and seek.  There is no 'class' or specific parent led activity.
BUT now that I've thought a bit more I've changed my mind.  I think parent led just means parent involved rather than 'led' and in that sense 30 mins is almost nothing.  And 1hour free play across a day is almost nothing too (where as one hour solid might be too tiring, I know my DS can only do 30 mins at the play park.  Just about an hour at a soft play centre but split by a break for drinks, snacks and a sit down).
What I realised is that some LOs might spend much of the day restrained in various ways eg highchair for meals, car seat into town, buggy all around town, cot for naps, car seat to the supermarket, trolly around the supermarket, even trips to smaller shops or paying bills etc might be restrained by hand holding so the LO gets little chance in the day to play at all.  In that case it might be very important for the parent to focus on encouraging active play by not putting the TV on at all where as my DS is very rarely restrained by anything (high chair for meals, cot for naps, car seat very short trip to play group, approx half or less of our supermarket shopping time, he walks and carries heavy groceries to the trolly until he gets tired then has a sit in the trolly for a snack and rest then out again to help with the rest of the shopping) so he is physically active most of his awake time, if I put the TV on and he needs a rest he sits down for a few mins, otherwise he is climbing and balancing on his little chair whilst he watches or he's doing yoga or dancing with the cartoon characters (and often me too!).

Sorry, this thread was really just me thinking out loud in the end.  I did have a sudden bout of worry that I wasn't doing my job properly but I feel happy about it now.


Offline becj86

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 11:14:39 am »
What I realised is that some LOs might spend much of the day restrained in various ways eg highchair for meals, car seat into town, buggy all around town, cot for naps, car seat to the supermarket, trolly around the supermarket, even trips to smaller shops or paying bills etc might be restrained by hand holding so the LO gets little chance in the day to play at all. 
Yes, these are probably the parents who *should* be reading these recommendations but don't anyway, yk? A bit like weaning guidelines - whether they say to intro solids at 4 or 6 months will be adhered to by the mums who will offer organic carrot (as an example) as a first food but the ones who will feed their 6 month old babies happy meals will do it regardless of recommendations.

Offline michaeljacknnugg

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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 12:20:17 pm »
but the ones who will feed their 6 month old babies happy meals will do it regardless of recommendations.


^^^^ love this ^^^^^!

Creations, you are doing your job superbly.
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Re: structured and unstructured activity
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 14:36:03 pm »
Thank you ladies.  Sometimes thinking out loud and getting some reassurance is all it takes hey?