© Commonwealth of Australia 2012
© State of Queensland 2012 (marked photographs only)
The information in this publication is for general information only, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice. You must seek independent professional medical advice before relying on any information contained in this publication.
Readers should be aware that these resources may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are now deceased.
Running, jumping and playing helps kids to be strong and healthy
Playing helps kids:
- grow healthy bones and strong muscles
- develop imagination
- improve balance
- learn how to take turns and share.
Have fun with your kids, run, jump and play with them
- 1 to 5 year olds need to be active for at least 3 hours every day.
- Kids should be free to be active when they are awake – try not to leave them in a stroller, high chair or car seat for more than 1 hour at a time.
Some things kids like to do:
- tumble, run, hop and jump
- dance to music
- build things
- play dress-ups
- pretend to be animals or super heroes
- play organised games like 'hide and seek'
- explore or go bush.
Playing outside is important for all kids
Play outside where kids can:
- have space to play together
- make big movements
- get fresh air
- make a lot of noise Top of page
- play in nature – run through grass, roll down hills, go exploring.
Kids don't need expensive toys to play
- Kids can play with boxes, old clothes, wooden blocks, baskets, cushions, mats, pots and pans, balls, pegs,buckets, leaves, branches and old furniture.
- Objects for play need to be safe and clean.
What can I do?
- Make playing with your kids part of every day.
- Play outside with kids.
- Go to a playgroup or start a group.
- Go to the park with kids.
- Talk to Elders about traditional games for kids.
- Get kids to help you with simple jobs like picking up toys.
- Take kids on walks.
- Join in the play so everyone can be healthy.
Kids love to play
- As they grow you can help kids to learn new skills.
- Start with basic skills and help kids to try new things.
Get moving - show kids how to:
Playing indoors is playing indoors is important too - talk, sing, read, tell stories and play with your kids
- jump, hop, run, skip
- build with boxes and blocks
- dance to music
- hit and throw balls and balloons
- balance on planks of wood or a rope
- placed on the ground
- dig and help to grow vegies and fruit
- climb on pillows, boxes or climbing frames.
Kids like to:
- listen to stories and tell stories
- dance to music
- draw and paint
- play games and do puzzles
- read picture books.
Turn off the TV
- Kids under 2 should not watch TV or DVDs.
- Kids 2 to 5 should not watch more than 1 hour of TV or DVDs a day.Top of page
- When kids watch TV or DVDs or use electronic media like computers, hand held games or electronic games, they miss out on outside play.
- If kids stay up at night they miss out on sleep.
- Watching TV may be linked with delays in language skills.
Keep our kids safe
- Playing should be fun – watch kids at all times to make sure they are safe.
- Always look out for kids around water, cars, animals or fireplaces.
- Keep an eye on kids when playing, especially when they are climbing, balancing or playing near steps.
- Give kids plenty of water to drink, especially in warm weather.
- Too much sun can make kids sick. When outside, use sunscreen and hats and play in the shade.
Information and help
- Talk with other parents.
- Talk to your childcare educator.
- Visit or start a playgroup.
- Talk to your health worker.