When children stay active every day, they develop skills that boost their self-esteem; they run, jump, climb, kick and throw a ball with confidence. Once they start grade school, confident children are more willing to participate in organized physical activities and team games.

Outdoor play can be a challenge on rainy or snowy days, so help your preschooler burn some energy and stay fit even on rainy days. Try some of the following ideas that require inexpensive material and a few household items.

  • Cardboard Box Tunnel. Collect cardboard boxes similar in size, cut off tops and bottoms, then tape them together to make a tunnel. Have children crawl through it.
  • Play Basket. Place a cardboard box or a plastic container on the floor or table. Have children throw colorful balls of different sizes and textures into the box.
  • Jumping Game. Set up several targets on the floor using colorful tape, have children jump on two feet from one to the next and back to the start line. Have them try jumping on one foot next.
  • Catch a Teddy. Have children hold a cardboard box or a small plastic bucket. Have them stand at a close distance the first time, throw a stuffed animal aiming for the bucket and let them try to catch it. Have children move further away after each try.
Weigel, D. 2022, Eat Smart Be Active - Active Preschoolers: Indoor Play, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno

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