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A day in the life of a young child

This is Matt. He is four years old and lives in Australia.
Matt wakes up at 6:30 in the morning. Most days of the week, he spends about 20 minutes watching television in the morning while his mum makes breakfast. Matt eats his breakfast and gets dressed in front of the TV. Matt and his mum are going to drive to preschool, because it looks like it’s going to rain.
At 8:30 in the morning, they arrive at preschool. Matt says goodbye to his mum and goes straight to a table of activities where his friends are playing. He finds a chair and joins in playing games with his friends. It’s group time at the preschool. Older children sit down on the mat and sing songs and listen to a story. The educator asks some questions about the story and all children answer by raising their hands. The educator puts on music and gets the children to do the actions to the songs. Most children remain sitting during the song. The rain has stopped and the children get to go outside and play.
The educators have set out some equipment for the children to play with in the sandpit and out in the yard. Matt is playing with two of his friends and they have built a cubby house. The educator decided to use his cubby house for an activity involving the children called we are going on a bear hunt, which is based on the well-known story book of the same title. At the end of the day, Matt’s mum comes to pick him up. The weather has improved, so they’re going to walk home from the preschool. On the way home, they stop off for a play at the local park. Matt and his mum play tip tag and try out the different pieces of equipment.
Matt loves the slide and bars and climbing on the climbing wall. Once they get home, Matt and his mum do some chores together. Matt watches TV while his mum cooks dinner. The family eat dinner together and then Matt gets ready for bed.

Observe the physical activity opportunities in this video of a day in the life of a 4 year old child in Australia.

To assist your observation you may want to ask yourself the following questions while you are watching the video:

  • What are the different settings in which Matt is active?
  • What intensity of activity is Matt participating in in these settings?
  • Is there a mixture of light, moderate and vigorous physical activities?
  • Is Matt participating in physical activity in different locations (i.e. at a park, inside and outside)?
  • Is physical activity used as a form of transport at any time throughout the video (e.g. walking to the shops instead of travelling the car)?
  • What are the roles of the parent/caregiver in providing physical activity opportunities?

Discuss and compare

Now that you have observed an example of the ways in which a 4 year old is active throughout the day in Australia, we would like you to share your experience.

Conversation starter

In the comments section share your response to the following question:

  • How is Matt’s physical activity similar or different to what occurs in a typical day in the life of a child in your country or a child that you know?
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