The participation of culturally and linguistically diverse children

Outi Arvola, Pia Liljeroth, and Jyrki Reunamo have been analyzing the Progressive feedback data of culturally and linguistically diverse children’s physical activity concerning their participation. It is well known that physical activity affects the well-being of children, the average physical activity of children of different language and cultural backgrounds is at a good level (click on the table). However, the problem with these children is their less active social role in early childhood education and more frequent interruptions in the involvement of the learning processes. The data of Progressive Feedback shows that increased movement is connected with increased social participation and increased commitment to sustainable learning processes. A third of the sustainable and developing activity took place during a time of plenty of movement. The observational results show that exercise has increased participation and building social processes with culturally and linguistically diverse children. Movement is not only a physical activity, but it is also important for finding a place in the construction of a common and sustainable social reality. People from different language and cultural backgrounds can brush up on this already in early childhood education with the help of exercise. The research result is significant when developing pedagogical measures. Check out the article via the link below:

Arvola, O., Liljeroth, P. & Reunamo, J. (2023). Is physical activity a pathway to culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation in early childhood education and care? Journal of Early Childhood Education Research 12(1), 150-168.

Supporting physical activity in early education.

Anna-Liisa Kyhälä defended her thesis on 14, 2023 with the topic “Children’s physical activity and early childhood opportunities in its promotion”. The dissertation looked at the overall picture of children’s physical activity based on weekly accelerometer measurements and explored physical activity in different children’s activities in early childhood education, which gives perspective to the selection of priorities. In addition, the factors of the learning environment were connected to physical activity. The results based on observation and evaluation of the learning environment indicated that children’s physical activity during the early childhood education day can be increased through pedagogical choices, planning, and consideration of children’s social needs. Children’s physical activity can be influenced! Unfortunately, the thesis is in Finnish, but luckily the articles are in English, see

Children’s time use and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in early childhood education and care in Finland

Anna-Liisa Kyhälä with Jyrki Reunamo and Juha Valtonen have written an article about children’s physical activity in different children’s activities. The article will be published in South African Journal of Childhood Education. The article highlights rule plays as important factors in increasing children’s physical activity in early education.

How to measure physical activity?

Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health (LIKES) conducts and develops multidisciplinary and applied research on physical activity. Likes is leading the PIILO-project on monitoring joy, physical activity and motor skills in young children. The specific purpose is to improve monitoring physical activity at national level and its use in promoting early childhood education. The project compares different methods of measuring physical activity and motor skills. The project started in spring 2019. Progressive Feedback participates in the project.

`Measuring movement is not a simple matter. In 2019, we compared physical activity indicators in kindergarten. The aim has been to compare the results of accelerometer and observation. The metrics were compared during normal day care days. The pilot was carried out in the vicinity of Jyväskylä in the fall of 2019. The physical activity of the child was measured with accelerometers placed on three different points of the body and a heart rate monitor. In addition to the accelerometer measurements, the physical activity of the child and his or her environment in the kindergarten were observed by three different methods, one of which was Progressive Feedback. Observers have been methodologically trained surveyors.

In 2020, in the second phase of the project, measurements will be carried out in ECEC units. At the end of the project, a report will be completed in 2020, which concludes with a justification of the plan to carry out population monitoring of the movement of young children. More information about the project can be found (in Finnish) at

From the point of Progressive Feedback, the project is an excellent way to learn more about the reliability of the observation and the validity of the criteria (the relation of observation to other indicators).

Facilitating play

At Lego Foundation, we have been writing a white paper about Play facilitation: the science behind the art of engaging young children. The writers are Hanne Jensen, Angela Pyle, Jennifer M. Zosh, Hasina B. Ebrahim, Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman, Jyrki Reunamo and Bridget K. Hamre. Play is important in developing skills, learning, solving problems, in relationships, health and societal development. However, not all play is beneficial. Play facilitates learning when it is joyful, meaningful, actively engaging, iterative and socially interactive. In the paper, it is considered important that play is integrated to all activity, including instruction. The paper includes a lot of research results based on our project. Thank you for everyone for their contribution. The paper is disseminated world-wide by Lego and it is launched officially 27 February 2019 in South Africa.

PF & dSign

Vertti Kivi (dSign Vertti Kivi & Co) has created an interior design for a harmonious, exiting and playful kindergarten for our project. The design has a great variety of surroundings and moods inspired by Finnish forest. Especially inspiring are the adaptable (automatic, programmable, creative or manual) lighting designs, for example, sunrise, noon, sunset, moonlight and starlight. You can see world in a different light. In the end, all we ever see in this world is light.

Less physical activity in weekends

An article by Anna-Liisa Kyhälä, Jyrki Reunamo ja Heikki Ruismäki titled Preschool Children are more Physically Active and less Sedentary on Weekdays Compared with Weekends has just been accepted for publication in Journal of Early Childhood Education Research. In the article, it can be seen clearly that it is not enough to look at the average amount of physical activity, children’s differences are also important. Furthermore, because children seem to less physically active during weekends, sufficient physical activity in day care center is even more important.

Progressive Feedback for kindergarten principals in Helsinki

In Helsinki, we have collected more than 10 000 observation in the term of 2017-2018. Feedback of the results was delivered for all kindergarten principals. For example, the results support the new guidelines for increasing planning time. Also, happy to announce that the objectives for physical activity were met in Helsinki! Congratulations.

Orientation project in Turkey

Ege University has use Orientation project tools for observation, child evaluation and learning environment evaluation to study Turkish pre-school. In Turkey, pre-school is usually half-day activity. Often there is only one teacher for a group of twenty-five children. There are interesting differences, but also a lot of interesting similarities. We hope we can start reporting of the results soon!

Progressive feedback available for the cities and early educators

It is one small step for early educator, one giant leap for early education! To start using the new progressive feedback interface with a regular web-browser. In the interface there are both readymade analysis and a possibility to edit the results in many ways, resulting in a versatile and real-time feedback for the early educators. Now the cities have access to Finnish results in real time. What’s more, now the city’s own results can be seen in comparison. We have started a new era in the evaluation, feedback and development of Early Childhood Education.