12 Fun Ways to Get Young Children Moving

5th January, 2011 - Posted by - 5 Comments

rake baby

Did You Know?

Physical activity for young children is an important component of early brain development and learning. And for children that means one thing: ACTIVE PLAY!
When adults model and incorporate physical activity and active play into each day, both at home and in school, young children are more likely to lead active lifestlyes later in life.

So what are you waiting for — let’s play!

  1. Spread paper plates on the ground. Pretend they are rocks in a stream. Get from one side to the other without stepping in the stream.
  2. Time to march! Pretend to have your favorite instrument and march as you play. Can someone guess what instrument you are playing? Bring real instruments outside and march in a band with friends or get the whole family involved.
  3. Take a Rainbow Run – talk about the colors of the rainbow as you name colors, run & touch 3 things that are that color.
  4. Go for a walk — breath in the air as you swing your arms and hold your head high. First go in straight lines, then curvy lines, and then try walking backwards.
  5. Set up an obstacle course using things to jump over, go around, and even under. See how fast you can do it.
  6. Find an open space and work on rolling in different ways…long, straight body and a curled up small body. Rolling down a hill is fun and a childhood rite of passage!
  7. Blow bubbles outdoors. Chase and catch the bubble before it pops.
  8. Pretend you are at a zoo. Identify an animal, then move and sound like that animal.
  9. Pretend to be a growing flower. First you are a tiny seed in the ground and then grow into a big flower.
  10. Pretend to be a balloon – first without air, being blown up, floating around, and then being popped.
  11. Motions of the weather — use your body to pretend to be different types of weather. Rain, wind, thunder, snow…get creative.
  12. Pretend to move like different foods — melt like a popsicle or pop like popcorn.
 That should be enough to keep you busy for awhile! :-)   

For more ideas like these, download our free Physical Activity Calendar each month.     

Playfully yours, Bethe 

This post is part of We Play on the groovy Childhood 101 site!

Bethe Almeras, MS, is the HSBS Education & Outreach Director. A long time educator and play advocate, she is passionate about outdoor play and connecting children with nature. In her free time Bethe writes a blog, The Grass Stain Guru, and can often be found playing outside. She is particularly fond of squirrels. And turtles. And sandpipers. And…    

 Creative Commons License photo credit: Jacob Davies     




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Christie-Childhood 101

January 5th, 2011 at 2:05 pm    

We <3 rolling down hills :) You have reminded me of the bubble body play which I used to do with my students and haven't yet tried with Immy, thank you.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bethe Almeras, Christie Burnett. Christie Burnett said: RT @HSBS_Play: NEW post @ The Body Smart Blog: 12 Fun Ways to Get Young Children Moving http://bit.ly/hWHY1M #ECE #parent #play [...]


January 6th, 2011 at 4:07 am    

We made shapes on the floor out of tape and my little nephew jumped from shape to shape:)

Sara @ SCOPE

January 6th, 2011 at 8:50 pm    

love that each of these ideas is free or almost free and can be used by anyone!


January 9th, 2011 at 1:12 pm    

We love moving like jelly on a plate … wibble wooble wibble wooble it always makes the kids giggle :)

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