Activity chart

This chart gives a summary of the kinds of experiences used to enhance children's development at different stages.




3 to 5 years

Opportunities to develop relevant physical skills

Objects to explore by mouth, swinging toys, rattles, toys to encourage sensory exploration, poke, squeeze, push along floor
Outdoor play

Opportunities provided indoors and outdoors to practice new skills of walking, climbing, balancing and pushing and pulling wheeled toys, dancing and toddler cycling

Opportunities to develop fine motor skills such as puzzles, peg boards, beads to string, construction sets, crayons, brushes, scissors
Opportunities through indoor and outdoor play to practice large muscle and fundamental movement skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching a ball, dancing and cycling


Experiences that promote social interaction


Create opportunities for children to play together and in small groups
Adults encourage independence and give support when children need it
Provide enough equipment for several children to play with similar toys
Adults demonstrate understanding that children develop the ability to share toys at varying ages

Create opportunities for children to work together in small and large groups
Give children culturally appropriate materials to use creatively and for role play
Adults support children who find it difficult to play in a group

Ways to encourage a child to develop emotionally and psychologically

Responding to non-verbal communication and crying

Expression through activity as well as verbally
Encouraging children to name their feelings

Expression through activities such as clapping, stamping
Expressing their feelings verbally
Expressing feelings through paintings, drawings and other creative activities

Ways to encourage a child to develop cognitively

Responses of caregivers are prompt and consistent
Use routines to provide sensory experiences
Use toys that stimulate all the senses are available for touching, looking, listening, smelling and tasting
Provide opportunities to perceive similarities and differences

Provide equipment to explore the concepts of size, shape, number, volume, weight, temperature, time and all senses
Provide songs, rhymes and stories to help develop memory
Provide opportunities to help with household duties and explore built and natural environment

Allow time for children to explore
Provide opportunities to interact with real people and objects to gain an understanding of themselves, others and the world around them
Provide a variety of materials and resources
Alert children to aspects of the environment they may have overlooked
Respectfully respond to children's reasoning.

Opportunities to develop problem solving skills.

Give opportunities to explore cause and effect

Provide equipment such as spades, spoons, buckets and baskets to explore the environment.

Make time available for children to investigate a topic that interests them, for example, how a syphon works

Opportunities to explore their local environment

Observation and exploration.

Introduce them to natural materials from local environment
Introduce them to a range of people in community.

Exploration of local environment through visitors, excursion, bringing experiences to children is made available for children to investigate a topic that interests them, for example, how a syphon works

Creative and challenging experiences

Select toys with different textures, colours and size
Toys are large (cannot be swallowed) and have no sharp edges, and easily washed/cleaned
Use different kinds of experiences e.g. water play, sand play, outdoors time

Experiences can include indoor and outdoor experiences
Experiences reflect a toddler's interest in the world around them, and the desire to explore it, feel it, see it and touch it e.g. nature walk to look at leaves, collect them
Experiences reflect a toddler's growing mastery of their own body e.g. small slippery dips are used, outdoor area can be a little more involved

Experiences can include cooking, sewing, carpentry, washing
Experiences can be more varied and complicated to reflect a child's developing cognitive and physical abilities
Choice not to participate is respected and alternative activity is negotiated

Creative and challenging experiences for 6 to 12 year olds:

Experience planned may include specific suggestions of children themselves
Development of hobbies
Self selected peer groups
Individual, small group and larger group experiences
Resect child's choice not to participate and negotiate an alternative activity