Outdoor Physical Activities for Preschool Children

Preschool age is a growth stage where children become far more physically active. They enjoy being outside and revel in the chance to play games with other children. Give them the chance to do this while ensuring their safety and enjoyment. Simple games or activities help construct their playtime and allow you to keep an eye on them. The preschool stage is also an important time of physical development, where children's bodies are growing and they are learning to control developing muscles.

Hot Potato

Instruct a group of children to lie in a circle with their feet pointed toward the centre of the circle. Leave enough room in the centre for a playground ball to fit. Select one of the children to be "it." The child who is "it" is responsible for pushing the ball out of the circle using only his feet. The other children are responsible for keeping the ball within the circle. The idea is that the ball is the potato and the circle is the oven. Once the ball is knocked out of the circle, select a different child to be "it." The game helps teach children fine motor skills using their feet and legs.

Four Square

Use chalk and draw a large square on the ground. Within the square, draw a large cross connecting the opposite sides of the square by lines. The result should be four small squares within a large square. Have four children each select a square. That square is the child's responsibility to protect. The object of the game is to hit a ball into another child's square so that the child is unable to return the ball, much like tennis. Grabbing or holding the ball is not allowed, and neither is knocking the ball outside of the large square. This game develops children's fine motor skills through their hands and body placement.

Hide and Seek

For this classic game, one child covers her eyes and counts while the other children find places to hide. After counting to the number that you determine, the child is free to attempt to locate and capture the other children before they are able to return to the location where she counted. If the other children return before she finds them, they are safe. However, once she locates one of the other children, she must tag him so it is that child's turn to count. The game is a fun way to pass some time and develops children's running skills.

Nature Walk

Lead children on a relaxing walk around the neighbourhood or through a nearby park. Let them spend some time looking at the local bugs and plants, but keep an eye out for any potential dangers, such as poison ivy or poisonous bugs. Let children show you their interesting finds and take the opportunity to educate them about some of the things they find.

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About the Author

Kristyn Hammond has been teaching freshman college composition at the university level since 2010. She has experience teaching developmental writing, freshman composition, and freshman composition and research. She currently resides in Central Texas where she works for a small university in the Texas A&M system of schools.