I am a bookworm.  To get the full illustration of my obsession, check out last weeks post on managing children’s books.  Anyway, I’ve been this way since birth.  I remember driving to the nearest town with a book store & by the time we were home an hour later, I had read all 3 new books already.  Play?  What’s that?

While I’m still pretty much a bookworm, I know it’s super important to get out & move and we ALL need to do that more, me included.  But I’ve got nothing.  I’m just not a playful person.  So when the opportunity came up to review one of Dr. Crafts Active Play Books as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I leapt at it!   Especially since we are locked inside so much in the winter.

Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children

Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children is a spiral bound book that is a little bigger than 100 pages long.  It also comes with a DVD demonstrating 30 of the 52 activities. The first third of the book talks a good deal about the importance and the how to of physical activity for young children.  What was once common sense, now needs to be spelled out in great detail :).  They talk about how children learn to move and how to lead physical activities for small children as well as how to make modifications for children with special needs, whatever those may be.

A good portion of the middle of the book is a description of 52 different educational, yet active games for small children to play.   While most activities are aimed at children from 2 – 5 years old, there is also a chapter on physical activities to do with infants from 6-18 months as well as information on modifying activities to keep older children interested, too. If you run a daycare and have older children afterschool, this could be a valuable tool.   Finally, the book ends with a 20-week schedule of an activity a day.   Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children is available for $39.00.


active play copy

Likes & Dislikes

My girls, 5 & 2-1/2, loved this book.  I’m not sure if it was the activities or if it was the fact that mom was pretty silly for some of them, but I haven’t found one they didn’t like yet.

Since they both enjoyed it so much, I incorporated it into ‘Circle Time’ at the very end before “school” starts.  It helps them both burn off a lot of energy before settling down and since its at the end of circle time, I let them go until they are sick of it.

I like that not a lot of materials are required to use it.  I mean, I do have things, but its really nice that I didn’t need to buy a bunch of things.  They do require a little prep to gather props needed, but I’d say 5 minutes would be plenty most days.

The longest prep so far was the activity using fruit & veg pics.  I decided that if I was going to bother, I’d make them duel purpose.  I ended up printing these fruit and vegetable cards from Homeschool Creations on card stock & laminating them for durability.  It’s not the only project I’ve come across using pairs of fruit & veg pics :).


Overall, my daughters really liked the activities in this book.  I liked the modifications to make them easier or harder, as well as the low prep time.  I hate prep & if I have to spend a lot of time on it, I won’t do it.

I’m also grateful to have another resource for incorporating physical activity into our day regularly.  It has variety, it’s just as easy to do indoors and most activities have a learning element to them besides just motor skills.  Plus I don’t need to buy a ton of expensive equipment & it even has a 20-week schedule that you can just keep cycling through.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy — just the way I like it.

While I think everyone could find this useful, I would especially recommend this to anyone in the colder northern climates looking for relief from winter cabin fever–especially since it was still snowing here last week!  This is a great resource for anyone who is not a naturally playful or active person, too.


Jen S.
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