Blog: We want to hear about how practitioners are helping children to learn and play in an active way

By Allison Tyson, Senior Inspector

The Care Inspectorate is developing a new resource with the Scottish Government to inspire and motivate those working with children to increase the opportunities for children to learn and play in an active way. We know that practitioners and providers have developed many innovative ways that help children to be active both indoors and outdoors throughout the whole day and develop positive relationships with physical activity. We'd like to hear about these examples so that we can include them in a new resource we are developing.

We know that regular physical activity is good for everyone and that the early years are the best time to develop habits which will last right into adulthood. We want to encourage childcare settings to provide children with opportunities which will positively influence them to make active choices.

Active play is fun, inclusive and gives children choice. The benefits are wider than just increased physical activity – it helps to improve children's academic skills, confidence and resilience as well as motivating them to develop healthy lifestyles.

Active play helps children to develop:

  • fundamental movement skills such as balance and co-ordination, including throwing, catching, running and jumping
  • fine motor skills which support them to become dexterous
  • healthy bodies and minds and to improve their social skills, self-esteem and confidence
  • intellectually by increased opportunity to use their imaginations and be creative, including acquiring and building on problem-solving skills.

By celebrating and sharing good practice, this new resource aims to encourage and inspire people working with young children to provide a wide variety of opportunities to learn and play in an active way both indoors and outdoors from the earliest age. We want this resource to build on the success of others such as Space to Grow, Our Creative Journey and My World Outdoors by supporting practitioners working in the early learning and childcare sector to develop their understanding of why physical activity is important for children.

Active play happens in so many different ways and we want to hear about the wide variety of experiences which support children of all ages, including the very youngest, to be active throughout the whole day.

If you would like to share your experiences with us, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.