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Toddlers & Preschoolers
Last Reviewed: March 2017

Play, Learning and Development



Physical activity offers a wide range of overall health benefits to everyone, including young children.

This is especially true when we're active on a daily basis. It's also an important factor in preventing childhood obesity. Physical activity doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, if it's simple and fun, it's more likely to be maintained. Read the following guidelines for more information:

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for the Early Years 0 – 4 Years, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology – CSEP

Being outdoors gives your child many learning opportunities. She can learn about nature, the weather and birds. Here are some fantastic activity suggestions to try out and enjoy:

Spring Activities

  • Dig for worms
  • Go for a walk in the rain
  • Go for a flower walk - find different kinds
  • Plant a garden
  • Puddle jumping
  • Fly a kite

Summer Activities

  • Water play (e.g., set up a sprinkler, hose, pool, sponges, turkey basters, watering cans or pails)
  • Washing cars and large play equipment
  • Spray art (using water bottles and coloured water to spray on the sidewalk or asphalt)
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Tag (e.g., hug or freeze)
  • Swimming
  • Horseback riding
  • Potato sack racing
  • Hopscotch
  • Rope jumping
  • Catch butterflies with a net

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Fall Activities

  • Charades (e.g., pretend to blow leaves, pretend to be birds flying south)
  • "Red light, green light" (game)
  • "What time is it Mister Wolf?" (game)
  • Raking leaves
  • Jump in the leaves
  • Collect leaves
  • Make a collage with them
  • Place leaves in a box. Have children place their feet (without shoes or socs) into the box and step or jump on the leaves
  • Hide some objects in a pile of leaves and have the children find them
  • Apple picking
  • Fall clean-up (pick up garbage around the yard)
  • Make leaf angels (like snow angels, but in a pile of leaves)
  • Visit a pumpkin farm

Winter Activities

  • Skating
  • Skiing
  • Build a snowman
  • Make a snow angel
  • Shovel snow
  • Go tobogganing
  • Colour the snow
  • Follow foot prints in the snow
  • Build a snow-fort
  • Toss a snowball

More activity ideas

Visit these sites for more activity ideas:

Moving on the Spot (PDF file, 1.54 MB) makes it easy for adults to be physically active with children and get kids moving anytime and anyplace. Moving on the Spot takes away the worry of having too little time or space to be active.

Activity Ideas for Children - Newborn to Age 6
Check out Peel Public Health's website for various activity ideas for children from birth to six years.

Play Ideas from ParticipAction
Check out this mobile app. full of fun tips and game ideas for you and your family.

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For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse

Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216

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Revised: Thursday June 22 2017


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