November 2021 Newsletter – Opportunities for Active Play: Active Play Ideas for School-Age Children

Active Play Ideas for School-Age Children

School-age children enjoy exploring a variety of traditional sports and making up their own games. They create and adapt rules throughout their play. Their cognitive and social-emotional development are better suited for the competition that often accompanies these activities.

Some school-agers also enjoy organizing and creating events and competitions. Other children just want to sprint and tag one another. Follow their interests as they explore their interest in physical activities.

To help children meet the recommendations for at least 60 minutes of active play per day, programs can:

  • Invite guest coaches – welcome coaches and players from high school or college teams to visit your program and introduce skills to children.
  • Provide sports equipment – after introducing different games, make sure children have access to a variety of sports equipment.
  • Offer classes – Work with martial arts and dance instructors in the community to offer classes to the children enrolled in the program.
  • Community walks – Take field trips to well-maintained hiking and walking paths.
  • Cheering – encourage children to create different school spirit cheers and dances.
  • Mini competitions – hold contests that encourage children to jump rope, do push-ups, or do jumping jacks for a certain amount of time or a set number of repetitions.
  • Relay races – This resource describes 45 variations of relay races that you could try.
  • Yoga and stretching – help children strengthen muscles, improve balance, and build flexibility with kid-friendly yoga and stretching activities. These are great for helping children transition to and from your program in the mornings and afternoons.
  • Curriculum links – look for opportunities to link physical activities to curriculum topics. For example, if you are exploring local habitats, take the children on a nature walk.

*When working with children with disabilities, consult with the child’s family and physical therapist to determine the best types of activity for the child and ways to adapt certain activities to meet the child’s active play needs.


For the main article Opportunities for Active Play, CLICK HERE

For the article Types of Active Play, CLICK HERE

For the article Active Play Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers, CLICK HERE

For the article Active Play with Staff Members, CLICK HERE