nursery forest school child sat in a tree

Healthy Body, Happy Me week is back – Off we grow

Healthy Body, Happy Me campaign launches next week (25-29 March) with the theme ‘Off We Grow’

The annual campaign, run by National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), encourages life-long health and happiness in young children by supporting early years practitioners through a week-long programme of free resources and activities.  

The campaign theme for this year encapsulates the essence of growing and thriving, not just in physical terms but also in respect to the emotional, social and cognitive areas of a child’s development.

NDNA’s early years advisers have developed a week of play and learning based activities that acknowledge the importance of early childhood experiences and the significant role that practitioners have in a child’s development.

The campaign also recognises the vital importance of the home learning environment and includes resources to support families to continue and reinforce children’s learning and development at home. Insights and strategies emphasise relaxation, connection and joy in the context of a relaxed and playful home environment. These activities help to form a bridge between nursery and home, fostering a collaborative approach to each child’s growth.

The focus on play makes the experiences enjoyable whilst perfectly incorporating a child’s natural way of exploratory learning.

Each of the Healthy Body, Happy Me activities in ‘Off We Grow’ are intended to enhance connections between adult and child – whether in the context of play, sharing stories, cuddling in a cosy corner or involved with a parent at home.

The daily activities encourage practitioners to be intentional in every interaction, recognising that every moment is an opportunity to contribute to the growth of young children and the development of their brains. The week’s activities include:

  • Monday – Respond to me
  • Tuesday – Play with me
  • Wednesday – Tell stories with me
  • Thursday – Curiosity and me
  • Friday – Relax with me (home learning)

NDNA’s Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE said: “Our Healthy Body, Happy Me campaign is a real highlight in the year to really focus on children’s health and well-being.  We know how much both children and practitioners enjoy taking part in the daily activities and how inspiring the free resources are to parents too.

“Interaction with children is crucial to a young child’s growth and development and play is such an important activity for having fun while learning and fostering vital connections. Our early years experts have created an action-packed week-long resource guide to support practitioners.

“We look forward to the Healthy Body Happy Me campaign beginning next week and hope to see many nurseries taking part and can’t wait to see people sharing their stories with us on social media throughout the week.”

The Healthy Body, Happy Me resources include four activities per day, ranging from creating a cuddle corner and a sensory garden, storytelling, and character role play, blowing bubbles and risky play including balancing and climbing activities. They are designed to be fun and allow children to explore, discover, be creative and create connections.  

Each child that takes part in NDNA’s Healthy Body, Happy Me campaign is awarded a certificate at the end of the week and each practitioner receives a certificate for their support role.  

Settings are encouraged to share their healthy habits with parents, carers and NDNA throughout the week using the #HealthyBodyHappyMe and via email: [email protected]

Healthy Body, Happy Me resources can be found on NDNA’s website 

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