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Physical play : how do we inspire and motivate young children to be physically active through play? An international analysis of twelve countries’ national early years curriculum policies and practices for physical activity and physical play

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Abstract
Lifelong movement and physical activity (PA) patterns develop during early childhood. Therefore, educators (teachers and practitioners) in early childhood education and care (ECEC) should provide opportunities to support children’s play, PA, and movement development. The World Health Organization (2019) offers new recommendations for PA, for children under five years. The guidelines do not specify the ways ECEC staff can support PA through play. Therefore, this paper investigates, how physical play (PP) is enacted globally. An international policy and practice analysis of twelve countries, (Australia [Victoria], Belgium [Flanders], Canada [Alberta], China, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK [England] and USA) was completed by analyzing the ECEC curricula and their implementation in different cultural contexts. A content analysis was undertaken by AIESEP Early Years SIG experts revealing that PP was not clearly defined. When defined, it was described as PA, and important for children’s holistic development. The majority of curricula did not state the length/time for PP. Three main strategies for implementing PP were found: a) pedagogical framework; b) active learning methods; and c) motor development. This international analysis highlights the global need for better ECEC staff support in acknowledging and implementing PP to aid children’s overall development, PA and wellbeing.

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MLA
Howells, Kristy, et al. “Physical Play : How Do We Inspire and Motivate Young Children to Be Physically Active through Play? An International Analysis of Twelve Countries’ National Early Years Curriculum Policies and Practices for Physical Activity and Physical Play.” JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH, vol. 12, no. 1, 2023, pp. 253–76.
APA
Howells, K., Jerebine, A., Cools, W., D’Hondt, E., De Martelaer, K., Coppens, E., … Sääkslahti, A. (2023). Physical play : how do we inspire and motivate young children to be physically active through play? An international analysis of twelve countries’ national early years curriculum policies and practices for physical activity and physical play. JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH, 12(1), 253–276.
Chicago author-date
Howells, Kristy, Alethea Jerebine, Wouter Cools, Eva D’Hondt, Kristine De Martelaer, Eline Coppens, Helena Sienaert, et al. 2023. “Physical Play : How Do We Inspire and Motivate Young Children to Be Physically Active through Play? An International Analysis of Twelve Countries’ National Early Years Curriculum Policies and Practices for Physical Activity and Physical Play.” JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH 12 (1): 253–76.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Howells, Kristy, Alethea Jerebine, Wouter Cools, Eva D’Hondt, Kristine De Martelaer, Eline Coppens, Helena Sienaert, Nathan Hall, Jinxia Dong, Anne Soini, Christina O’Keeffe, Maura Coulter, Sinéad McNally, Patricia McCaffrey, Patrizia Tortella, Aldo M. Costa, Andrea Hernández-Martinez, Ann-Christin Sollerhed, Mark Urtel, Debra Vinci, Christopher Wirth, Carla Vidoni, and Arja Sääkslahti. 2023. “Physical Play : How Do We Inspire and Motivate Young Children to Be Physically Active through Play? An International Analysis of Twelve Countries’ National Early Years Curriculum Policies and Practices for Physical Activity and Physical Play.” JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH 12 (1): 253–276.
Vancouver
1.
Howells K, Jerebine A, Cools W, D’Hondt E, De Martelaer K, Coppens E, et al. Physical play : how do we inspire and motivate young children to be physically active through play? An international analysis of twelve countries’ national early years curriculum policies and practices for physical activity and physical play. JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH. 2023;12(1):253–76.
IEEE
[1]
K. Howells et al., “Physical play : how do we inspire and motivate young children to be physically active through play? An international analysis of twelve countries’ national early years curriculum policies and practices for physical activity and physical play,” JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 253–276, 2023.
@article{01GT1BTVYKWBXBKE4JPSR11KZS,
  abstract     = {{Lifelong movement and physical activity (PA) patterns develop during early childhood. Therefore, educators (teachers and practitioners) in early childhood education and care (ECEC) should provide opportunities to support children’s play, PA, and movement development. The World Health Organization (2019) offers new recommendations for PA, for children under five years. The guidelines do not specify the ways ECEC staff can support PA through play. Therefore, this paper investigates, how physical play (PP) is enacted globally. An international policy and practice analysis of twelve countries, (Australia [Victoria], Belgium [Flanders], Canada [Alberta], China, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK [England] and USA) was completed by analyzing the ECEC curricula and their implementation in different cultural contexts. A content analysis was undertaken by AIESEP Early Years SIG experts revealing that PP was not clearly defined. When defined, it was described as PA, and important for children’s holistic development. The majority of curricula did not state the length/time for PP. Three main strategies for implementing PP were found: a) pedagogical framework; b) active learning methods; and c) motor development. This international analysis highlights the global need for better ECEC staff support in acknowledging and implementing PP to aid children’s overall development, PA and wellbeing.}},
  author       = {{Howells, Kristy and Jerebine, Alethea and Cools, Wouter and D'Hondt, Eva and De Martelaer, Kristine and Coppens, Eline and Sienaert, Helena and Hall, Nathan and Dong, Jinxia and Soini, Anne and O’Keeffe, Christina and Coulter, Maura and McNally, Sinéad and McCaffrey, Patricia and Tortella, Patrizia and Costa, Aldo M. and Hernández-Martinez, Andrea and Sollerhed, Ann-Christin and Urtel, Mark and Vinci, Debra and Wirth, Christopher and Vidoni, Carla and Sääkslahti, Arja}},
  issn         = {{2323-7414}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{253--276}},
  title        = {{Physical play : how do we inspire and motivate young children to be physically active through play? An international analysis of twelve countries’ national early years curriculum policies and practices for physical activity and physical play}},
  volume       = {{12}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}