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4 to 5 year olds should be physically active for at least 3 hours, spread out, throughout the day.

For children 4 to 5 years of age, sitting and watching television and the use of other electronic media should be limited to less than one hour per day.

Physical activities

4 and 5 year olds love to be active and involved. They love to try new things and be challenged. They need to learn to problem solve, develop social skills, sit and listen, follow instructions and understand boundaries in order to get ready for school.


Physical activities for 4 - 5 year olds

  • Hopscotch
  • Beanbag balance
    If you have a low wall or beam or curb or even a length of rope on which to balance, have your child carry a beanbag on his head while walking along.
  • Skittles/bowling
  • Water play
    With squirt bottles, sponges, buckets. Put shaving cream all over a balloon and get the child to squirt the shaving cream off with the water.
  • Hide and seek
    One version is 'it' places a stick or bat or ball by a tree, counts to ten, the other children hide. The aim is for the other children to run and get the stick and not get caught by the 'it'.
  • Box work
  • Box games
    Give the children a collection of large boxes and they will come up with all sorts of games.
  • Treasure hunt
    Hide things for the children to find.
  • Colour hunt
    Get a collection of paint card samples from the paint shop. Give each child a colour and they have to go and find things of that colour.
  • Parachute games
    Or if you haven't got a parachute then use a blanket or old sheet.
  • Tent peg join the dots
    Put tent pegs or sticks in the ground, like a dot to dot picture the children join them up with toilet paper. This is fun and they can use their own imagination as to what the 'drawing' is.
  • Stepping
  • Newspaper relay
    Each child has 2 newspapers, they stand on 1 newspaper then place the other one out in front of them and then step on that, they then pick up the first newspaper. Continue on your stepping stones until you get across the room or make-believe stream.
  • Balloon games
    Have a pile of balloons in one room and put a bucket in each of the other rooms in the house. The children have to carry the balloon between their knees and carry it to a bucket. Continue until all the buckets are filled.
  • Outside
  • Exploring
    Give the child a magnifying glass, a camera, container, and sent them to find something amazing outside or inside.
  • Gardening
    Help a child develop a garden of their own, they then can go and potter in it any time. Have a display table where they can put things they have found outside, in a park, the beach etc.
  • Stop and go
    Have some stop and go signs and get the children on their bikes and they have to follow your instructions.

This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing