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General Advice Pre-School

It is important to allow your child the opportunity to fully explore their environment and gain the physical skills required for their future. This section is designed to support the information you have received through your health visitor.


There are many groups and activities available in various locations across Coventry, for more information about the groups in your area please see your health visitor.

Groups that may be useful for your child include: aqua-tots, stay and play, music and movement and tumble tots. Your local children’s centre will offer various other groups and activities, please contact them for further information. Your local children’s centre can be found here .

Mother and baby lying on their stomach

General Advice:

  • ‘Tummy time’: – Tummy time is very important to allow your child to get used to being on their front and build the strength in the muscles of the head, neck and trunk.
  • Baby Walkers: Prolonged use of baby walkers is not recommended by physiotherapists as they encourage babies to walk on their toes and forward walkers are not safe for your child to lean on.
  • Baby Bouncers: Baby bouncers do not allow children to fully experience their crawling ability, and can encourage children to stand or walk before they are ready, and this could lead to walking on their toes. This can lead to problems with their walking at a later age.
  • Car Seat: Leaving your child in a car seat for long periods of time when they are not in the car is not recommended as it encourages curling up, and does not allow your child to stretch out into different positions. It does not allow them to explore their environment. Your child could develop breathing problems if left in this position for long periods.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, or any questions, please see your health visitor. This website may also give you more information if you have any concerns about your child’s development .

School Age

  • It is very important to keep your child active to increase their fitness, keep them healthy and increase their life experiences to enable them to reach their full potential.
  • Take your child to the park and allow them to play and explore. This will improve their experiences for later life.
  • Allow your child the opportunity to try new sports and activities, to increase their fitness and meet other children of a similar ability.
  • Play games with your child to develop their physical skills, ideas are below.

The following skills are important for your child:


  • Walk – walking regularly will build up your child’s stamina, and this can be done simply by walking to school, walking to the shops and going for walks at the weekend.
  • Run – this skill is important to build up the strength in your child’s legs, and help their independence. It keeps you fit and is an important part in many sports. Playing games that involve quick movements will encourage your child to run, once they are confident on their feet.
  • Climb the stairs – this skill increases your child’s fitness and strength. Encouraging your child to climb the stairs using their feet will help them to become more confident for later life.
  • Jumping – this skill is useful as it increases your child’s leg strength and balance. Encourage your child to jump with two feet together, both landing in the same place and moving in many directions.


  • Hopping – this skill is useful for balance and co-ordination. Your child must be confident with jumping and standing on one leg before attempting hopping. Encourage your child to both hop on the spot and move along a line.
  • Skipping – skipping is useful to help your child’s co-ordination. It is easier to skip once you have learnt to hop.
  • Climb the stairs – this skill increases your child’s fitness and co-ordination. Encouraging your child to climb the stairs using their feet will help them to become more confident for later life.

Ball Skills:

  • Kicking a ball – ball skills are important for your child as they develop their co-ordination and fitness. You can encourage your child to kick by starting with a large ball and rolling it slowly towards them. Progress this by reducing the size of the ball and making the child move to return the ball. Going to the park and playing with a ball is useful for both boys and girls.
  • Throwing and catching – ball skills are important for your child as they develop their co-ordination and hand eye skills. Younger children will learn how to catch with two hands, and progress to one hand. As your child gets more confident, they can attempt bouncing the ball and catching. Using a larger ball will help your child learn how to throw and catch if they are finding it difficult. This skill is useful for many sports and therefore useful for boys and girls to practice.

Activities that may encourage your child’s development include soft play, climbing frames, cycling, swimming and sports/PE. There are many games available that encourage movement e.g. twister and hopscotch.

Teens advice

As you begin your teenage years, you will have finished your motor development, and will be refining the skills you have learnt as a child. Your body will be changing, and it is important to look after your body, particularly your back.
As a teenager your posture is very important, especially as you may be carrying a heavy school bag, sitting in class and using a computer/games console.

Sitting: Make sure you are sitting up with your shoulders back, and keep your bottom at the back of the seat. If you are sitting on your bed or on the floor, make sure you have back support. You should get up and move every 1-2 hours.

Standing: Make sure you stand with your shoulders back, and try to make yourself as tall as you can. Make sure the curves of your back are equal.

As a teenager you will be nearing the end of your growing, however it is very important to keep fit to keep your concentration during school and keep your body healthy. Please see our keeping healthy section for more information.

For things to do to keep active, please see our community section. This section indicates accessible facilities around Coventry and gives you more information about any exercises aimed at young people.

Sports advice

Sports are very important as they keep you fit, keep you healthy and you meet lots of new people.

  • When trying a new sport, make sure you start at a low level of activity and build up your involvement. This will prevent injury and improve your overall fitness.
  • Stretching after activity when your muscles are warm will also help to reduce injury. All of your muscles should be stretched immediately after exercise, including your legs and arms.
  • If you are unlucky enough to get a minor injury, follow the following advice:
    • R– rest the injury. Try not to use the injured area.
    • I – ice the area. When you ice an area you must have some protection between the ice and your skin (i.e. a tea towel or sock). Ice should be applied for a maximum of 5-10 minutes and the area will turn red. Don’t ice more than once an hour.
    • C –  compress the injured area. This means applying pressure on the area that is injured to prevent swelling.
    • E –  elevate the injured area. This means lift the area above your trunk. This prevents swelling.
    • If you have any concerns go to your GP, walk in centre or A+E.
boy running