PLAY TRIBE Uncategorized Sedentary Play is not for us.

Sedentary Play is not for us.

Sedentary play is not for us.

Sedentary play is when the person is using very little energy to play. Examples are; sitting down to watch television, sitting down to read a book or travelling in a car.

My kids like to move, they like to groove, they like to be active!

The most powerful thing I have learned is to embrace their active spirits and direct it in a positive way!

Engaging in active play is actually HIGHLY recommended by the Australian Government, they recommend that toddlers (1 to 3 years) & pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) are active for at least three hours….that’s right THREE HOURS!


Being outside is the simplest way to get active, go for a walk, ride your bike or climb a tree BUT sometimes outside just isn’t practical.

With sick kids, cold weather, hot weather, pyjama days and everything else it is nice to have active and safe ways to play indoors too!

Sometimes a dance party, or crawling around playing trains is enough to keep them going but other days you need a little bit extra.

Most of the suggestions below are indoors because that’s when I have needed them, those days we are climbing the walls but can’t get out of the house!

Ball Play

Balls are a great tool to encourage your little one moving.

Balls inside can be a bit dangerous so I try to use felt balls or polystyrene balls as they are soft and won’t break a window!

Playing a simple game of fetch can get your active kid throwing, running, giggling and getting their body moving.

This DIY catapult is a simple way to change the standard game of fetch. Encourage them to challenge themselves to see how hard they can hit the spoon and how high the ball will go!

A cardboard box with a hole cut in it gets arms moving and bodies twisting as they work to roll the balls through.

Balance

Take a moment to slow and refine those gross motor skills.

Balancing takes persistence and concentration – well for my 2 kiddos it does!

Using a plank of wood, a DIY balance bean or simply a piece of tape on the floor, encourage your child to step and jump over it.

To extend this you can place objects on the balance beam that they need to collect along the way

Climb

What kids don’t love to climb? Aidan was never big on it but he still liked to be at adult height!

We climb in a few different ways at home, we climb on our indoor climbing equipment from Moov Baby and other times we simply use a step ladder.

Give purpose to your child’s climbing with activities such as:

  • Putting blocks in a tall box
  • Objects on a tall shelf
  • A basketball through a basketball hoop!

Anything that gets them repeating the up-down-up-down motion!

Jump

Jump, jump, jump like a Kangaroo!

Throw a cot mattress, or better yet a double mattress, on the lounge room floor. Jump, dance and wrestle all over it.

The uneven surface creates a challenging running surface and a soft crash zone.

Hanging balloons from the ceiling can also help children jump with purpose and in a safe zone.
Here Aidan is jumping off the Pikler Triangle to try and touch a balloon!

You don’t need a climbing frame, even a step will do!

Push

Yes, Aidan is pushing a washing basket full of blocks. Transferring them from one spot to the other!

Helping take a washing basket to the laundry or even the wheelie bins is a wonderfully practical way to incorporate some constructive pushing into your day!

Throw

But I don’t want to encourage my kids to throw? I hear that. I truly do!

Create a YES space for the throwing. A space where they can do it freely and in their own time. Make specific boundaries about what gets thrown and what it is thrown at!

Not only do these activities get them moving it gets them doing something ‘cheeky’ (throwing inside) which is sure to bring a smile to their face.

Wall Activities

Working on a vertical space is a wonderful slow way to incorporate active play into your little ones days.
It helps with…

  • Bilateral coordination
  • Shoulder and elbow stability
  • Crossing the midline
  • Hand eye coordination as the task is closer to their eye level
  • Spatial awareness
  • Core strength
  • Posture

Just to name a few!
We usually use BluTac or low-tack Painters tape to secure things to the wall.

ROCK

These wonderful little ‘planks of wood’ provide children the opportunity to use muscles they usually don’t use.

It further strengthens their proprioception skills as well as awareness of their body and the how it moves.

They can wobble (as pictured), slide, use it as a ramp or even as a hill! They are also a nice compact alternative to other climbing equipment.

These planks of wood can be expensive, such as the official Wobbel brand, but they can also be under $100 if you shop at places like Hunter & Gatherer

Using Tools

Look at that concentration!

Saying YES to banging and to hitting is pretty powerful.

Not only does it provide them with skills that they can carry through the rest of their life but it encourages them to harness their energy and BANG it into something productive.

The power of building and constructing helps to focus their minds, consolidate strength – both fine and gross motor and create important life connections.

Some of these are simple, some of these require setting up but I guarantee are all fun and will get your little one moving.

There are so many ways to incorporate specific learning goals into them too, add letters to the balloons, make the trains numbered – can you put them in order? Remember, kids learn best when they are having FUN!

Here is a link to the Australian Government recommendations, where they discuss the benefits, recommendations, and tips!

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