Active play for preschoolers


By the age of two, most children have mastered walking and are ready to progress on physical and social development.  For this, they need an extensive range of active play. Active play experiences help young children develop physical literacy.

How does physical literacy cycle work? It revolves around the below 3 components.

1.Motivation to move

2.Confidence to move

3.Competence to move

“Active play” includes both structured and unstructured activities. Structured play for preschool children means providing them a rich stimulating environment (indoor/outdoor) and set them free to explore. Pre-schoolers   learn best when they do things, when they are not given any rules to play or win a game because they have not yet developed cognition of following rules.

For toddlers and pre-schoolers, structured play or sports should be conducted with the motive to drive fun filled learning. What is important here is that they gain confidence participating in sports/structured play, whether they do it right or not is secondary as they are still young to have technical sports skill. In actual, when kids have fun practicing any sports (for ex throwing a ball), it helps them learn that skill easily at an older stage.

Below are some benefits of active play:

Helps learn developmental tasks

There is a critical need to develop a disposition for outdoor physical activities in young children. Active play in large areas of grass and steeps encourages all forms of play. Pre-schoolers can climb up and roll down, hog and jump, throw out and pick up. Toddlers are can lie, crawl, run and roll.   All of this helps them to widely learn risk-taking, fine and gross motor skills.

Develops social skills

Sports give lots of opportunities to develop confidence and competencies as it encourages participation of large number of children. They are motivated to move faster than their friends, work in pairs/teams, develop leadership qualities, interact with people and perform in front of large audience.

Socio-dramatic play

A good sport/structured play must have structures/objects that can encourage children to use to expand their cognition. These structures encourage rich socio-dramatic play; as it requires children to pay attention to details and reflect on how to use it. This experience can be further enhanced by incorporating a concept to the sport.

Improves health

We all know there is something essentially healthy about playing outdoors. It enables children to enjoy the nature, take fresh air, insource Vitamin D from sunlight and expend energy.  Moreover it develops disposition for physical activity which is important to stay fit.

Harness the surplus-energy

Play allows children to release pent-up energy. They need to let off the energy collected over time and rejuvenate themselves. Engaging children in some active sports enables children to pursue academic learning with an increased level of focus. 



Moving from diapers to being self-sufficiently able to use the toilet is a natural process. Your goal is to unfold the learning in a step by step guide so potty learning becomes easy for the child. Here are steps for your toddler’s easy potty learning.

1. Check your child’s readiness

Most children develop necessary physical and mental skills between 18 and 24 month. You need to watch for signs that your child is starting to develop bladder control. Your child should have dry nappies for up to two hours, should be able to say when they need to pee in advance and should be able to follow your instructions.

2. Demonstrate

Explain your child the connection between pooping and toilet. The next time he/she poops in her diaper, empty the diaper into the potty. Flush it in front of her so she comprehends the connection. Tell her that she will use potty directly when she is ready. Also, introducing hand washing at this point is a good idea. This can help your child get familiar with the process. Additionally, stick posters in the bathroom or show picture books or videos that illustrate the steps to using the potty.

3. Right equipment

It might take a while for your child to step up the toilet seat. You may want to start with a mini potty seat.  Choose a potty which is comfortable and nice-looking to the child. Place it in the living room, where your child spends most time. Gradually move it closer to the bathroom and eventually right in the toilet. Also, begin using underpants or training pants and stop using nappies.

4. Try naked time

Once you see that your child is ready, let him/her roam around your home bare-bottomed. If your child regularly does a poo at a certain time each day, leave their nappy off when they are likely to have a bowel movement.  Show him where his potty is placed and suggest that they use the potty.

5.  Create a routine such that it becomes a habit

Initially make your child sit on the potty at least one time in a day, preferably after meals. This way, using potty can be slotted into the normal routine. Slowly, institute regular times for the potty- first thing in the morning, after meals, before going to bed. This will help your child's body move onto a schedule. Also, teach some words associated with going to the toilet so he/she can hint you when he needs to use the potty.

6. Accepting that there can be accidental spills

If your child has a spill accidentally, showing disappointment would make him/her feel anxious and worried. If you noticed the accident as soon as it started, encourage him/her to move into the bathroom or to the potty. With this, your child learns without getting discouraged.

7. Night training

It's perfectly normal for a child to continue wetting the bed. Bed-wetting is involuntary, and most children stop wetting by the time they are five. If he/she seems to be staying dry consistently at night, it might be a good time to start night-time training as well.