Big body play helps children learn body awareness like—how fast their bodies can move and how strong they are. To be successful in this type of play, children must learn to control their movements to avoid hurting themselves or others. Children quickly understand if they are heavier or stronger, they must adjust so both parties are safe. These experiences help children understand appropriate force in daily situations, (i.e.; playing tag, giving a hug, holding a flower).
Social development grows as children learn to take turns, cooperate, and compromise. For example, even though a child may be stronger than their peers, they should still take a turn being wrestled and “captured” for play to be enjoyed by all. This helps children think about another’s perspective.
Assertiveness is yet another benefit that comes from this play. Children may need to let peers know if the play has become too loud or gone on too long. This can build confidence as they successfully set limits. As loud as big play can be, it can actually support focus and calm later in the day, strengthening attention and concentration.
Children at Kinderberry Hill regularly enjoy big body play in our playrooms and on our playgrounds. These spaces are full of toys to push, pull, ride, scoot, throw, and climb. Our outdoor classrooms are also designed with big body play in mind. They offer tons of physical opportunities for children to use milk crates, sleds, wagons, wheelbarrows, shovels, logs, and tubes to create and build.
We love seeing big body play at Kinderberry Hill and know how much children are learning about themselves and others. And, when we see our teachers actively engaging in their play, that’s even better!
So try the monkey bars at the park, play tag, or try rolling down the hill. If you’re inside, make an obstacle course, play ‘The Floor is Lava’, or do the Hokey Pokey. Get the whole family moving in big body play together!