Active play for young children, whether indoors or outdoors, is a way of learning about the environment and also about themselves. Physical activities are an essential part of their lives. It is where the emotional learning, the physical learning, the development of language, the awareness of their senses and also learning to be creative will come into play. Every parent wants their child to be able to participate successfully in sport, leisure and school work. Physical activity must be a fun activity especially for young children.
There is a wide range of activities that supports children`s physical development. Children need space for activities and space to move.
Being creative is up to the children’s imagination and it is a developmental process. Children need space to move and explore and we have to think of creative activities to promote movement throughout the day.
Creative Activities With Children Under 3
For infants who are not yet walking, physical activity refers to movement of various intensity and level.
- Infants can play ‘tummy time’ which is time spent lying and rolling on the stomach.
- Infants reaching, grasping, pulling, pushing and playing with other people, objects and toys.
- Crawling around obstacle course
- ‘Swimming’ sessions with the parents
A two year old child does not express creativity in the same way as a five year old does. A child in this age group is obsessed with vehicles like the aeroplanes, trains, buses, trucks and others.
- Let the children crawl all over you.
- Play peek-a-boo around furniture
- Toddlers love crawling-chasing but you will need comfortable flooring for this kind of activity.
- A two year old child loves to play with trains, aeroplanes , buses and other vehicles.
Active play begins when children start to use their muscles to move around and this, therefore, will release energy and develops their coordination. Playing and doing arts and crafts are ways for children to express their creativity and imagination. This will help the children to focus and concentrate and also will help in developing their motor skills as well as hand and eye coordination.
Creative Activities With Children Over 3
Physical activities may be structured, planned play or unstructured free play and these include:
- Put on lively music for dancing together
- Set up a play or show or puppet show
- Create an orchestra with inexpensive toy musical instruments
- Home made musical instruments can be used like saucepans, spoons, bottles filled with rice
- Imaginative House
- Build a tent using bed sheets and blankets
- Boxes can be used for houses
- Constructional Play
- Children play with materials like Lego
- recycled materials like paper plates or paper cups
- smooth wooden blocks
- Garden Projects
- Watering the plants
- Playing with sand or earth (buckets and spades)
- Play House
- Sweeping or tidying up
- Tidying up inside and outside of play spaces
- Laying the table for a snack or meal time
- Art Project
- Play with play dough to squeeze, press and make shapes
- Simple sticking and cutting
- Drawing and painting using thick crayons and brushes
- Printing using materials like thick sponges, foot, hand and finger or cut vegetables
- Sport Play
- Play Tag
- Juggling with bean bags
- Indoor bowling set
- Ring toss
- Walk to school, child care or kindergarten or to the park
- Climb using climbing frames, low branches, ladders, ropes and boxes
- Dress Up and Role Play
- Dress up as King, Queen, teacher, astronauts and other characters.
- Set up play such as in a restaurant, set up shop and others
Play is an integral part of growing up. The more children play outside, the more active they will be. As parents, we just have to monitor and supervise them. They will feel confident, will feel loved ,happy and safe.
- Department of Health and Ageing (2009). Get up and grow: Healthy Eating and physical activity for early chilhood. Ministry of Health and Ageing, Australia.