Working with parents

Working with parents

The BHFNC has a suite of evidence-based resources to support early years practitioners to promote physical activity to children in their care. Our early years resources provide information and practical ideas to help increase the knowledge and skills of early years practitioners to improve physical activity provision and increase physical activity levels in early years settings. 

To view all of our resources click here.

The aim of this webpage is to support practitioners to raise the awareness of parents/carers about physical activity. We have collated resources designed for parents that are readily available from other organisations. Early years practitioners can distribute these resources to parents/carers to increase their awareness of the importance of physical activity and provide them with practical tips and ideas to promote physical activity in the home. The leaflets included contain information on tummy time, play and active travel


Tummy time

Tummy time is any time when babies are carried, positioned or played with on their tummies. It plays a crucial role to develop the sensory, visual and movement skills that are fundamental for later development. 



The British Heart Foundation - Help your baby move and play every day

This leaflet includes information on how much physical activity babies need to do to benefit their health as well as practical tips and ideas on how these can be incorporated into a daily routine.



Kings College Hospital NHS Trust - Babies and tummy time


This leaflet provides information on the importance of tummy time for healthy development. It includes real life pictures which advise parents on how they can position their baby from birth to three months so that they become comfortable with tummy time.




 **Sids and kids - Tummy time


This leaflet explains tummy time from a baby's perspective, telling parents why they need tummy time, their favourite tummy time positions and how tummy time should develop and change with age.




The Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists - Tummy time


This leaflet uses pictures to introduce tummy time ideas to parents and carers. It covers what they can do with their baby from birth to nine months to promote good physical development.


Play is likely to be the predominant source of physical activity for children under the age of five. Physically active play tends to be spontaneous, unstructured, intrinsically motivated and involves the large muscle groups. 


The British Heart Foundation - Help your child move and play every day


This leaflet provides parents and carers with guidance on physical activity for young children. It includes practical ways of incorporating physical activity into a daily routine and outlines the health benefits to children under five.




Surrey County Council - Move with me


These leaflets contain tips and ideas on how to maximise children's physical development through play and activities. There are seven in total, each one aimed at a different stage of a child’s development from birth to four years plus.


Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust - Move and play


These leaflets provide parents and carers with movement and play ideas to help their child's physical development. There are six in total targeting different ages from birth to five which explain how movement and play should change and develop.


Play4Life - Indoor play


This leaflet is full of ideas for making the home environment an exciting place to play by using everyday household items and imagination. There are games specifically for toddlers and pre-schoolers and some top tips for being a playful parent.


Play4Life - Outdoor play


Activity and game ideas for toddlers and pre-schoolers to get parents and carers started and help them to inspire children to come up with their own games. The leaflet contains ideas for outdoor environments such as woodland, playgrounds, open spaces and parks.


**Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing - Getting out and about: Outdoor active play


A detailed leaflet on how to engage children of all ages in outdoor play, the type of movements and activities to try when outdoors and how to prepare for playing outdoors with children.


**Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing - The role of parents in children's active play


This leaflet offers parents guidance on how to develop and plan children’s play as well the importance of being an active role model.

NHS Health Scotland - Play@home activity sheets

These activity sheets were designed to give parents and carers additional play ideas to try with their children. They present instructions, variations, benefits and precautions and encourage you to have fun using objects that are commonly found in the home.


The Infant and Toddler Forum - Physical activity and play for toddlers


This information leaflet provides parents with extensive information on the physical activity guidlines for toddlers, the benefits of activity for young children and provides the average age range for achieving developmental milestones. The booklet also contains hints, tips and ideas to increase physical activity with young children.&nbsp

Active travel

Active travel is an everyday activity which has the potential to contribute to a large proportion of children's physical activity. It includes walking, cycling or scooting to different locations, eg, shops, friends' houses or early years settings instead of using the car, bus or train.


 Walk4Life - Fun games for everyday walking


This guide is designed to help parents to discover new places in their local area. It contains fun ideas on things to do while walking to help children learn more about where they live and make the walk to school or the shops more exciting. 


Walk4Life - Fun walking games for parks and woodlands


Activities and games to encourage children to explore and discover new sights, smells and sounds when walking in a park, by a pond or walking through woodland.

**Resources produced outside the UK – the advice provided is relevant but the physical activity guidelines and language may be slightly different to UK resources.

Disclaimer: This page contains links to external sites. Although we make every effort to ensure the links are accurate, up to date and relevant, the BHFNC cannot take responsibility for the content and availability of pages that are maintained by external organisations.