Play Activities |

Activities For Different Age Groups


For a child’s proper development, it is vital to have age appropriate toys and activities.

Read on to see our list of different activities suitable for different age groups.

You can use this guide as a ready reckoner while planning activities for your family day care.

Babies (6 – 18 Months)

  • Create a play space for the babies with interesting objects to discover. These objects need to be safe for the baby.
  • Treasure baskets for the baby to explore.
  • Small mirrors for babies to recognize their own self-identity. Babies love looking at their own reflections and pulling faces.
  • Sorting and stacking hard plastic cups and bowls.
  • Filling a plastic bottle with materials and placing tape over lid so that the baby can’t open it. You can fill bottles with materials such as glitter, water, rice, sand, and pebbles.
  • Sensory play : This can include sticking bubble wrap to the floor and allowing the babies to crawl and walk over the bubble wrap. You could also add paint between the bubble wrap so the babies watch the paint spread as they crawl or step on it.
  • Making edible finger paint.
  • Sticking.
  • Rainbow spaghetti (making with string).

Toddlers (18 months – 3 years)

  • Sensory play with sand: If you wish, you can make the sand coloured. Use materials such as funnels, tubes, sifts, bottles, scoopers, spoons, bottle tops and SAND!
  • Cardboard box creativity: Provide children with a cardboard box, materials they can stick on the box and materials to draw on the box. Let the children use their own imagination.
  • Finger painting: Make sure the paint is safe for the younger children as they may put the paint near their mouth. Remember to supervise at all times.
  • Painting, mixing colours.
  • Playing with slime/gloop (sensory activity). Make sure the slime is safe for the children who may want to taste it. You can find edible slime recipes online.
  • Art and craft: This includes creating from recycled materials.
  • Play dough: You can use plastic animals, blocks, rollers, cooking cutters etc.
  • Imaginative play: Dress ups, cooking corner, baby dolls, cars, doctors’ kits, car mats etc.
  • Story tables: You can find many examples of these online.
  • Painting with nature. The use of natural materials is extremely important!

• Special occasion activities, making Christmas cookies, making Christmas cards, making a birthday card for a friend, etc.

Outdoor play (remember any of the activities above can be done outdoors as well).

Children aged 4 years -5 years

  • These children will enjoy a lot of the same activities as the toddlers. Setting challenges for the older children is important.
  • Fine motor station; children create their own patterns and then use materials to cover them. This will help to develop their fine motor skills.
  • Sand art
  • Games with letters and numbers
  • Sight word games
  • Basic shapes’ work; children draw different shapes and name them. They can decorate them afterward with the materials provided.
  • Sorting objects
  • Paper plate art
  • Maths and English work sheets
  • World map work sheets
  • Find a child’s interest and provide work sheets around the same
  • Imaginative play (same as toddlers)
  • Pre-writing activities
  • Mixing colours; painting
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Digging for dinosaur fossils
  • Threading activities
  • Books and games
  • Advent calendar
  • Play with natural materials
  • Outdoor activities

Children aged 5 and over

  • A lot of children this age will enjoy the same activities as the 4-5 year old’s but ensure you modify the activities for these children and set some challenges.
  • Maths and English activities: Try and turn these into games.
  • Sensory with sand and slime (creating their own)
  • Fine motor and gross motor
  • Counting and sorting
  • Sorting and exploring materials
  • Cooking
  • Games with site words
  • Games with letters and numbers
  • Books
  • Spotting letters in books
  • Outdoor activities

For more games and activities, visit

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The  Education Standards Board of South Australia is the regulatory body that controls the child care  industry in South Australia.

Click on the following links to view more information:
Education Standards Board of South Australia
Family Day Care Australia
Department for Education and Child Development | South Australia