Climbing, running, jumping, playing. Children’s bodies are growing at a rapid rate and crave active play, as well as the opportunity to challenge themselves. Find more ideas from our village of professionals.

Activities to try at home
Baby box play – encourage movement
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Encourage your baby to explore different body movements through this simple activity

Age group: generally 0-2 years

Learning benefit / skills developed:

  • Develops gross motor skills through the movement of children’s big muscle groups. Child needs to coordinate body movements to manoeuvre successfully through the box and engage large muscle groups to do this.
  • Engaging in problem solving - child needs to formulate different strategies for moving their body through the box. This may mean some trial and error to achieve the desired result.
  • Understanding of spatial awareness - child needs to consider their own physical proximity to the box whilst assessing the size and shape of the hole in the box and whether their body will fit through the space. They also developing an understanding of how their limbs are moving without needing to directly look at them (proprioception).

What you’ll need: 

  • A cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Masking or electrical tape

Instructions:

  • Take an old cardboard box and cut out some tunnel holes on the side.
    • Tip: make sure the edges are not sharp. Use masking or electrical tape along the edge of the cuts of the box, so the child does not scratch themselves.
  • Place the box at your child’s level and let them explore!

Sometimes, placing a favourite toy or blanket inside the box will encourage the child to explore, if they are a bit hesitant at first.

Download or print activity here.

Obstacle course - explore movement and creativity
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A great way to use furniture items at home to create a fun physical activity for children. They can explore active movement by climbing up, moving under, over and put their creative minds to work. Can be played inside or out.

Age group:  Generally children 2 and up

Learning benefit / skills developed:

  • Strength and balance
  • Sensory input
  • Development of gross motor skills
  • Memory and navigation skills

Family benefit:

  • Not just children but family or other relatives can also get creative with this game. Be creative about items you use, like couch cushions, bean bags other household items.
  • This activity can become a way to foster positive reinforcement and connection with your child who may be able to complete the obstacle in a certain time or follow clear instructions about the course, creating a sense of positive achievement.

Tips:

  • Keep in mind the ages, abilities, and number of children involved as well as the space you have, and adjust the course accordingly.
  • If working at home, be sure to set up near where you work so you can ensure they are safe.

Download or print activity here.

Pom Pom drop – strengthen fine motor skills
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Support your child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through playing this fun pom pom drop activity with them.

Age group: generally children 1.5 years and up, with supervision so pom pom’s aren’t mouthed

Learning benefit/skills developed:

  • Helps strengthen fine motor skills in the hands and fingers through manipulating the tongs and the small pom poms (requires a pincer grip)
  • Supports hand-eye coordination
  • Encourages language development as you talk about what you are doing and helps learn about positioning through the use of words in/through/out

What you'll need:

  • Tongs
  • A small box
  • Masking tape
  • Colourful pom poms
  • Cardboard tubes

Instructions:

  • Use the masking tape to attach the cardboard tubes to the box
  • Add the pom-poms and place the tongs next to the box
  • Encourage your child to use the tongs, or their fingers, to pick up the pom-poms and drop them through the tubes.

Extension: use paint or coloured paper to colour the tubes, then use matching pom-poms and encourage your child to drop the coloured pom pom through the matching coloured tube.

Download or print activity here.

 

Hygiene learning - with an experiment
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Educators are transforming children’s perspectives on hand-washing; what was once a dull duty is now one of the most fun features of the day. We’ve utilised games, songs, activities, stickers, stamps and more to help our children manage their hygiene.

Top tips for talking hygiene

  • Talk together, following your children’s lead. Help them discover these simple ideas:
  • Germs make us sick
  • Germs love to be shared (in this case, sharing is NOT caring)
  • Germs often spread through our hands – they live in our body, in our snot and our spit
  • When we touch our face, the germs may spread to our hands and whatever we touch next
  • Washing hands with soap and water kill germs, so we can keep safe.
  • In our centres, we’ve been doing science games to demonstrate good hygiene. Try this one at home.

The black pepper experiment – to try at home

  • Sprinkle some ground black pepper in a bowl of tap water.
  • Fill a second bowl with water and soap.
  • Dip a finger into the pepper water bowl. Notice the pepper stuck to it.
  • Now, dip your finger in the soap water bowl. Make sure it’s fully submerged.
  • Dip your soapy finger back into the pepper water. See the pepper immediately move away from your finger? That’s just like germs ‘running away’ from the soap.

To read more of Hygiene learning at SDN read more on our Story hub.

Hand - washing

Coughs and sneezes 

Download or print activity here.

Yoga - to strengthen and calm
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Just like adults, there are benefits to yoga practice for children, helping to support and strengthen growing bodies. Breathing and mindfulness are incorporated into the practice, which helps calm children’s minds and nervous system.

Age group:  Generally children 3 and up

Duration:  10 mins up to 30 mins

Learning benefit / skills developed:  

  • Strength, coordination and body awareness.
  • Improves a child’s concentration and a sense of calm.

What you’ll need:

  • A yoga mat or towel
  • Enough space in the house or outside
  • Access to a PC or TV if viewing from online or YouTube

Family benefit:

  • Yoga can be an activity that can be enjoyed together as a family supporting each other’s progress.
  • Yoga can and introduce discussion positive of the importance of physical activity, body awareness and effective breathing to remain calm and centred.
  • Yoga can improve behavioural issues, in a positive direction and can provide children with an outlet as a way to manage their behaviour.
  • If viewing from a screen or website, this is recognised as active screen time for children.

Tips:

  • If viewing from Youtube, we recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga (there is a variety of long and short yoga videos) 

Download or print activity here.

SDN is committed to the safety of children and families and encourages the safe undertaking of activities on the hub. For more information read our terms and conditionsFor more on child safety at home visit Raising Children network.

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