Active Play

You can play a key role in encouraging children to be active every day.

Getting involved in games and activities is a great way to encourage them to be more active.

Play and children’s physical activity

Physical activity, through play and other activities, is important for children’s physical health as well as their mental health and cognitive development. There is also some evidence that if children are physically active when they are young they are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyles as they grow up.

Active play is the most common form of physical activity for children outside of school and children get more exercise from play than from time spent at clubs and organised activities. Children who walk and play a lot tend also to exhibit greater levels of activity in other areas of their lives. The aspects of physically active play most enjoyed by children include choice, fun, friends, achievement and the possibilities of competition. The element of fun tends to be the over-riding factor in encouraging physically active play.

It is easier for children to be physically active outdoors, where there is space and opportunity for them to move more freely. In Scotland, this may well mean playing outside in all weathers and even the dark. Active outdoor play is essential for our children and young people to understand, value, enjoy and protect our natural world.

Active play

Active play involves games and activities that get children and young people moving!  We have some activity posters below to help you get started.

Children develop physical confidence and competence from day one. Active play includes less structured activities, like riding a bike, kicking a ball around, running about, playing active games or jumping around.

It’s important to support your children to take part in a range of activities and games that help develop their full range of fundamental movement skills.

Download this bumper edition of the Play Well Outdoors pack. It has ideas for games, activities and places to visit. It’s full of ideas for play that are great fun and don’t need much preparation or resources, come rain or shine!

You can also download these active play posters: