Children's active movement

Being active with your child helps them feel loved, confident, capable, and good about themselves. It gives you some fun time together and something nice to talk about. Children also get to try lots of different activities. This is known as active movement.

Active movement develops:

  • their learning
  • their brain
  • their physical ability
  • their eyes, speech and language
  • their ability to work with others
  • their learning about their body
  • a lifelong interest in being active.

If something seems too hard, try an easier activity. Feelings of success are really important for children. If your child is trying to do something that’s not safe, try to tell them in a positive way. You could say, “That looks tricky. How can we do it safely?” and then work it out together.

Encourage them by telling them what they’ve done well and what you’re pleased about. You can also encourage them with cuddles, high fives, thumbs up, smiles, and body language.

Some fun games and activities are:

  • using a variety of toys like old boxes, empty drink bottles, puzzles, and empty cartons
  • making cars and houses out of large cardboard boxes
  • making a tent with a sheet or blanket over two chairs
  • dancing
  • joining music groups, gym groups, playgroups and pre-school groups
  • making a fun activity course inside or outside the home
  • playing with a balloon (if it bursts, throw away the pieces immediately, as they can cause suffocation if put in a child’s or baby’s mouth)
  • playing ball games—throwing, catching, bouncing and rolling balls helps coordination, timing and balance
  • water play at the sink, paddling pool, bucket or tub: pouring, measuring, filling and emptying using plastic jugs, bottles, pots and cups.

Some outside games and activities are:

  • playing under a sprinkler or hose in summer—stay with them while they play with water to protect them from drowning
  • climbing, marching and walking up and down hills
  • playing hide and seek or chasing games
  • walking on low walls and jumping off while holding your hand
  • jumping over cracks and puddles, jumping forwards, backwards and sideways and jumping to music
  • playing at the park or going for a walk or swim to get some exercise and develop physical skills
  • planting seeds and watching plants grow
  • playing in messy places, such as mud and sand, and in the garden.
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