Play Environment

Having a safe and appropriate indoor and outdoor environment for play is important to encourage play and keep everyone physically safe as well as help promote muscle development. Below you will find resources about making the best play environment you can!


Best Practices

The resources in this category are the same for all of the following best practices.

  • "Make a large variety of portable play equipment (wheel toys, balls, hoops, ribbons) available for children to use at the same time."
  • "Make a wide variety of fixed play equipment (tunnels, balancing equipment, climbing equipment, overhead ladders) available that accommodate the needs of all children."
  • "Make indoor play space available for all activities, including running."
  • "Make outdoor portable play equipment freely available to all children at all times."
  • "Provide outdoor play space that includes open, grassy areas and a track/path for wheeled toys."



GO Noodle For Schools-Indoor Physical Activity Ideas

Summary:  Ideas for indoor physical activity for providers in schools and child care providers.
Source:  GO Noodle, Inc.

Indoor Physical Activity Ideas for Kids

Summary: Ideas for indoor physical activity options for kids.
Source: University of Rochester Medical Center

Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) Manual

Summary:  This manual provides the best practice recommendations for each question on the self-assessment. The manuals also include the rationale behind each recommendation, challenges to implementing recommendations, and tips for changing current practice.
Source:  Michigan Healthy Child Care

Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children

Summary:  Collection of tip sheets for nutrition and physical activity. Each tip sheet focuses on a specific topic and includes a practical application section to help apply the tips to a child care program for children ages 2 through 5 years old. See pages 63-68.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service


Sample Child Care Physical Activity Policy

Summary : This is an example of a physical activity policy for a child care. It outlines the daily play, role of staff members and times of play. 
Source:  South Carolina Early Child Care and Education

The 3 Ring Food Circus: Easy and Fun Food-Related Activities for Preschoolers and Young Children

Summary :This book contains activities that teach young children about trying and learning new foods, having fun being physically active, and using MyPlate to fill a healthy plate. You can download a PDF from this site.
Source:  United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Access:  https://www.milkmeansmore/3-ring-food-circus

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