Active Play and Long Dark Evenings

Photo by Gabby Orcutt on Unsplash

Dark Mornings.   Long dark evenings .  Cold and wet outside.  It can be a real challenge to include Active Play into your pre-schoolers daily routine this time of the year. Yet the recommended amount of Active play per day is 3 hours. Dinoduo want to help. Over the next few weeks Dinoduo will bring you fun games and movement activities that can put some action into your pre-schooler day, no matter what the weather is like.

It’s all about music this week.  Hankle and Roary love moving to music. Here are some fun ways to get some active play, everyday. Choose some of your favourite catchy tunes that have a rhythm and get Moving .

  • Dance off- Put on the music, push back the furniture and let the rhythm take over. Encourage your pre-school child to move to the music, make up dances, swing the arms, shake the body, jump up and down. It doesn’t matter how it looks, just have fun.
  • Musical Statues- have your child move around to the music. Stop the music at intervals. When the music stops, your child must be perfectly still. You can catch them in lots of strange and wonderful poses.
  • Musical cushions- like musical chairs except using cushions (less chance of falls and bumps) dance around to the music. Stop the music at intervals. When the music stops, sit on the cushion as fast as possible. Dinoduo prefer to play this game with enough cushions for all players. If you prefer or with an older age group you can have one less cushion than the number of players.
  • Marching – March to the music, all around the house, upstairs, downstairs, everywhere. Lifting the legs and swinging the arms. Marching is a great co-ordination exercise. Bang pretend drums, play the flute or saxophone and twirl your imaginary baton in a marching band.
  • Animal dances- Dance to the music using animal poses, big steps for the elephant, legs turned out for the penguin, wriggle like a snake, jump like a frog, hop like a kangaroo, on tip toes scuttling very fast for a mouse. You have the idea.
  • Dance Routine-Learn a simple dance routine , put together some simple dance steps and have your pre-schooler copy them. Great for learning motor planning and gross motor imitation skills
  • Dance with scarves – pull out the chiffon scarves and have your child dance while moving the scarves in lots of shapes and sequences. Over the head, behind the back, under the legs, throwing and catching in the air.





Autumn Leaves

Leaves are falling thick and fast at this time of the year. The colours are magnificent and the ground has a beautiful carpet of leaves underfoot.  Dinoduo love nothing better than a crisp autumn day walking through the leaves. Autumn leaves are great for active play.  Here are some activities to do with your pre-schooler with all the lovely autumn leaves over the coming weekend.

  • Walking through the dry leaves, enjoying the rustling sound the leaves make as you and your child make your way through them.
  • Kicking the leaves as you walk through them, creating lots of crunchy noises is a great way to develop single leg balance.
  • Sweeping leaves. Yes, your child will actually enjoy this job!!! Give your child a small sweeping brush or rake and have them sweep the leaves into a big pile. Working with two hands on the brush, pushing the leaves along is a great bilateral co-ordination activity and a great way to build up the muscles of the arms and shoulders. The weight of the leaves as they sweep the leaves gives your child lovely feedback to their muscles.
  • Now that there is a big pile of leaves, have your child jump into the pile to scatter them all around again!! Jumping is a great bilateral co-ordination activity. Autumn leaves provide endless active fun of sweeping and jumping.
  • Provide your child with a box or a wheelbarrow to gather the leaves into. All that bending down, scooping up and putting the leaves into the box is lovely active play idea. It is also great for strengthening legs, arms and trunk muscles and develops co-ordination.
  • Once the box or wheelbarrow is full, have your child carry the box (with some help) or push the wheelbarrow to another area and dump it all out again. Lots of muscle feedback and strengthening with this activity
  • Autumn leaves are also great for making lovely collages. Picking up, sticking and pasting leaves to paper is a great activity for fine motor development and a lovely sensory activity

Have you any good Autumn Leaves ideas?

Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

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