Always encourage children to move about and give them plenty of time to play freely outdoors as much as possible.
Give babies plenty of floor time, as much or as little as they want. Open, clean, safe time on the floor helps babies learn lots about their bodies. You can to get down on the floor with them too and see the world as they see it. As you talk to them, this develops communication.
You can help a wobbler or toddler to be active by providing beanbags or duvets to soften the falls – which will really help them learn about safe risk, and strengthen their bones! Try to give opportunities for balancing, climbing, crawling, dancing, running, especially with other children.
Obviously, we need to supervise for safety, but let them be free as much as possible and avoid the temptation to cocoon them – children need to learn by experience.
As children get older, they need us to model turn taking, sharing and fair play. And they will love more:
- Space – park, garden, beach, playground or on a green
- Equipment – swings, climbing, frames, or just good old grass! Play equipment can be large but moveable like seesaws, rockers, tree trunks, planks, tyres, and barrels in a garden. Or it can be small and portable – such as balls, balloons, bean bags, hoops, skipping ropes, trikes, bikes, tractors, cars, diggers. Some of these can come with you to the park or the beach