Any form of play which increases children’s heart rate and makes them huff and puff is known as active play. It can have the same benefits of physical activity such as:
- Developing strong bones, muscles and hearts
- Improving cognitive skills
- Building skills for social interactions
- Increasing coordination and movement
- Developing self-esteem and self worth
Tips for active play
- Keep some equipment in the car, ready for spontaneous games while out and about eg. balls, a plastic cricket set, a kite
- Join in. Rather than just supervising, unlock your inner child and participate in active play. Remember to let the children win once in a while.
- If there are other families in the street, choose a day to do some activities together
- Involve children in planning the route and use the opportunity to talk about public transport options and road safety
- Nature Play WA has loads of WA based programs and activities for all ages and families.
- Active in Parks has the latest park based family activities and events in Victoria.
Active play ideas for indoors
- The floor is lava!
- Dance party
- Pretend to be animals
- Build an obstacle course
- Play Twister
- Sack race down the hall
- Follow-the-leader and Simon Says
- Build a fort
- Musical chairs/ statues
Active play ideas for outdoors
- Chasey (tag)
- Hopscotch and elastics
- Monkey bars
- Build an obstacle course
- Riding, rolling and scooting
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Ball games and sports
- Four-square and hacky sack
- Hula hooping
Fun family outdoor activities
- Family picnics
Use some of your home cooked meals and snacks and have a picnic at a favourite family spot.
Swimming is a great family activity, hit the pool or head to the beach, river or lake. Perhaps you could take some sports gear and have a game of cricket, or grip ball on the sand.
- Day trips
Family trips together could be to a park, the beach, off bushwalking, to a local playground or lake. Even visiting the zoo or aquarium will keep your family moving!
- Walk the dog
Get out and about with the family dog. See more of you neighbourhood on foot and discover what you’ve been missing in the car, even discover neighbourhood facilities you could access as a family.
- Check out the neighbourhood facilities
Parks, wetlands, playgrounds, and sports courts (basketball, tennis, ovals etc.) are often closer than you think. They offer spaces for a broad range of family activities including games, walks, picnics and use of equipment. Schedule some family time to access these free local facilities.
- Family bike rides
Taking the family out for a bike ride is a great way to get out and explore your city. Many cities and councils publish a list of bike paths in the local area on their website.
- Set aside time to get out as a family
Great ways to fit in some active family time together outdoors include; watch one less TV show; use travelling time; or drop into open spaces or playgrounds on the way home from school.