Also in March:
NHS Grampian and The Moray Council will launch the pre-school play@home programme on March 16. Originating in New Zealand, play@home is a physical activity programme for children from birth to five years. An adapted version of the programme was first introduced in Fife in 1999, but is now being used in other parts of Scotland, supported by the Scottish Government through nationwide training.
The first seven years of a child's life are the most influential for their overall development. In Scotland over 25% of boys and over 30% of girls are not active enough for health.
Scottish children are becoming more sedentary and are the third most obese in Europe. In pre-school children, of those born in 1998, 21.3% were overweight by the time they reached 3˝ years of age, 8.8% were obese and 4.4% severely obese (NHS Quality Improvement Scotland).
Tracey Gervaise, Public Health Lead for the Moray CHSCP said play@home promotes exercise, sport and play as fun, and encourages physical development, co-ordination and body awareness in childhood and emphasises the importance of strong family bonds to stimulate children's curiosity and creativity through movement.
Irene Miller, National play@home Advisor added "play@home has been used successfully in Fife for ten years and I am delighted to be involved with the launch of play@home in Moray. It is just as important to promote physical activity with children under five as well as other groups of the population."
Guests at the launch event will observe workshops involving professional groups and children from a local nursery participating in activities from the pre-school play@home programme.
For further information about the programme, please contact Jan Short, Health Improvement Officer (Projects) - Tel. 01343 567169
Note to Editors
The play@home programme has been developed on the philosophy that parents and carers are children's first educators. Parents/carers have a crucial role to play in encouraging children to develop friendships and interact with situations outside the family home. The programme is not only about what parents/carers can do for children, but just as importantly, what parents/carers can do with the children.
The programme is designed to provide parents/carers with activity ideas that start children off on a life of good health and at the same time provide an easy to follow resource that will assist them with the challenges of parenthood and child care.