According to the chief medical officer, children under the age of 5 need to be moving for at least 180 minutes a day. Actually children under the age of 5 should be moving nearly all of the time when they are not asleep!
The first few years of life is when the child is learning stability, from control of the head to standing. The baby needs time on their tummy to develop strong neck and back muscles. The baby will learn to sit up and then to crawl. Equipment that supports the baby does not help them to gain control of their body so space and toys to encourage them to reach and grasp and want to move will be better than baby gadgets that entertain them. Bare feet help the baby to be able to crawl and feel the movement. Lots of different activities will help such as tunnels to crawl through, soft play to climb over and moving outside and inside on different surfaces and levels.
As the child learns to stand and move independently adults still need to be near for confidence and to encourage moving in more challenging environments. They can balance with help on benches and logs, move to music and join in rhymes and action songs. Children need to play lots of games that help to develop balance and core strength such as traveling on hands and feet, making shapes, crawling and balancing games.
Equipment for this age group can include, soft play, mats, pillows, scarves, soft balls, materials for dens, stepping stones, spots to step on, bean bags, beach balls, tunnels, hoops, dressing up clothes and space to move in.