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Introduction to Active Play

Childhood is a time when children develop bones, muscles, nerves, and physical skills, resulting in coordination and endurance. When most adults think of being physically active, they imagine lifting weights in a gym or jumping around in an aerobics class. For children, being physically active consists of active playing. Through play, children build a foundation for learning as they interact with people and the world around them. Play improves all aspects of children’s well-being: developmentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. The purpose of the following information is to demonstrate the importance of active play and how it can be promoted, continued, and even restored in children’s lives.

video for healthy growth

From the video, "Go down the slide with me," you may have noticed that children rely on other children for help and modeling. Active play is encouraged through nurturing environments and when adults and children are supportive.

Examine the Thinking Active Physical Play Self-Reflection Tool to explore strategies and practices that should exist in quality child care programs.

kid on bike playing

Thinking active physical play
self-reflection tool (Tapp)

    Use the reflection to think about supporting active physical play for children, ages 24 months through 5 years old.
  • Find out more about TAPP