Healthy Movers makes a positive impact in West Somerset

Futures for Somerset continue to work closely with the DfE, Somerset County Council and the Youth Sport Trust to deliver the ‘Healthy Movers’ programme to Early Years settings in West Somerset.

Caroline Barnes from Futures For Somerset tells us about her experience of the Healthy Movers Project in West Somerset.

The programme is now well established in settings – 16 Healthy Movers Champions have been trained, 427 children and over 100 parents / carers have participated in activities, 421 Home Activity Packs have been issued to families so that they can continue to support their children with activities at home, and settings have received additional equipment (scarves, quoits, bubbles etc) so that they can deliver the full range of Healthy Movers activities. Stay and Play Clubs are also up and running – these offer parents / carers the opportunity to join their children in a ‘Healthy Movers’ session that is aimed at giving the whole family more confidence to take part in physical activity together, whilst enjoying fun activities.

I was lucky enough to attend a ‘Stay and Play’ Club at Teddy Bear’s Nursery in Washford this week, so see staff, children and families / carers taking part in a range of fun, physical activities with a learning theme.

Recognising that it is extremely difficult for some parents / carers to attend early years settings in the day, it was fantastic to see 9 parents / carers attending the session and joining in with activities. During the 45-minute session delivered jointly by the Nursery Teacher and the Youth Sport Trust Coach, a huge range of topics was covered through physical play including movement skills, phonics, numeracy, colours, healthy eating, learning to share, working in a group and listening to instructions. Children and their parents / carers worked with different colours and types of equipment to travel around the room, hiding, hopping and jumping their way through the session to music, whilst being encouraged to talk about their activities and develop their language and phonics skills. After concocting some imaginary giant fruit salad bowls (whilst discussing colours, numbers, and the importance of fruit and vegetables), the session finished with a whole group bubble activity session which combined jumping, chasing and catching alongside phonics exercises (which were sneakily incorporated into the general fun).

Aside from attending the actual sessions, families can use the activity cards and equipment within the Home Activity Packs to carry on with the fun at home, also enabling parents / carers who can’t attend the sessions to participate.

It was great to see children and their parents / carers taking part in such an action-filled, fun-packed session filled with high energy, chatter and smiles.

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