Ideas for play – things to do

Play Ideas

Ideas for play – things to do

Your child will play independently but sometimes they will welcome your help in getting started, finding stuff to play with or thinking of ideas for games.

Finding stuff to play with

Giving your child everyday things to use however they want is often the starting point for lots of imaginative and creative play.

These could be things like:

  • Household items like cardboard boxes, old newspapers and clean food containers
  • Things from around the house like old sheets, pegs, pots and pans
  • Larger stuff like bits of rope, old tyres and tarpaulin
  • Natural things like pebbles, twigs and puddles.

Thinking of games to play

You can get play ideas by thinking about what you played as a child. Asking friends and older relations can be helpful, too. Here are a few ideas to get you – and them – started:

  • Fill a box with old clothes for your child to dress up
  • Get some chalk so your child can draw on the pavement
  • Draw a pattern for a hopping game like hopscotch
  • Build a den
  • Build a sandcastle on the beach
  • Make mud pies
  • Hang a swing from a tree
  • Go for a walk in the dark
  • Sit round a campfire
  • Organise group games like rounders and tag with neighbours or friends
  • Get a rope for skipping
  • Get some marbles
  • Keep a supply of things like string, chalk, newspaper for your child to use
  • If you have space, keep a corner for bigger and unusual items you find and that your child will enjoy playing with.

Sometimes your child might like you to join in. At other times, seeing that you’re clearly happy they are playing will be enough for them. The most important thing you can do is make sure play is part of their everyday life.

If you’re looking for more fun and low-cost suggestions take a look at our 30 play ideas list