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Early Childhood Play in Motion

Early Childhood Play in Motion

Little minds are constantly gathering information as they play, and one of the best ways to learn is through play in motion! We easily think of activities that involve physical movement – from jumping, swinging on the monkey bars, pushing a toy car, or balancing in a yoga position, but bodies in motion is only one small part of the play-in-motion concept!

Manipulatives take on a new level under the concept of play in motion, and become a great item to work with to put those minds in motion–matching, sorting, counting, and more! Which color box should we put this one in? How many red do we have vs. blue? Is this one the same or different?


The element of "motion" also encourages imagination and strong communication skills when in small-world play, creating a "scene" with characters moving from place to place. Where are they going? How will they get there – running, walking, or driving?

Movement allows children to connect concepts to action and learn through trial and error. Why did the blocks fall down when it got so high? How many cups of water will fit into this bucket before it overflows?

Watching a marble journey through the maze, learning why it might go slower or faster, or actually not move at all, is so important for children to test and see!


Following a car as it is moves along the track–mastering pushing and pulling skills as the car circles the curves and ducks under the bridge. Here we see those wheels in motion!


And what about those traffic signs found along the roadway – "stop", "slow down" and "alert, there are people crossing"! It takes concentration and focus to process those directions as the child moves forward with the original task of "driving" the car. 


The possibilities are endless.

How are you putting play in motion in your classroom? We’d love to hear about it!

Have a moment to share with us? Be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #constructiveinsights in your post. We’d love to potentially feature you on our social feeds and/or in an upcoming email!