1 minute reading time (263 words)

Te ako i roto i te papa takaro - Active learning in the playground

Playing outside gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment and have adventures. They can play favourite games, test her physical limits, express themselves and strengthen self-confidence.

When your child is outside, they probably have more space and freedom for big movements, like running, jumping, kicking and throwing. Physical activities like these are good for his health, fitness and physical development.

Outdoor play awhi your pepe (Under 2s) to learn about different surroundings and can make them feel more comfortable with the world around them. Some ideas for outdoor play with your baby include:

  • Having tummy time on a blanket or towel
  • crawling on grass, under outdoor furniture or through old boxes
  • watching tree leaves and branches move and listening to birds


Toddlers (2-3yrs) are keen to explore the world around them and test out their growing physical skills. Outdoor play for your toddler might include:

  • throwing and chasing balls
  • walking, running or jumping into puddles, around trees, over stones or cracks in the footpath.
  • blowing bubbles and chasing them as they float away


Preschoolers (4 years) are learning to play with other children. They also like make-believe. You can help your child make the most of this stage with outdoor play ideas like:

  • playing games of hide-and-seek or kick-to-kick
  • moving in different ways with using scarves or streamers
  • going on a walk together and naming all of the different sounds you hear
  • building a castle out of boxes, clothes baskets or outdoor play equipment or furniture.


Outdoor play can also mean more mess – and more mess often means more fun!

Whaea Janeille