Children's Health and Wellness

Preschool Play

What can I do to help promote play in my child?

Picture of a father teaching his daughter to ride a bike

Although each child is different and may enjoy different toys and interactions, the following are suggestions for activities and toys for the preschooler. A preschooler:

  • Needs space in which to run and explore

  • Enjoys simple sports and other activities

What you can do as a parent:

  • Read to your child.

  • Take trips to the park, beach, and other places.

  • Encourage play with other children.

  • Limit how much TV your child watches.

Toys for the preschooler:

  • Slides

  • Seesaws

  • Toys that can be ridden

  • Small, supervised pool

  • Wagons and wheelbarrows

  • Skates or scooters, if you keep a close eye while your child uses them

  • Dolls

  • Playhouses

  • Trucks, cars, and airplanes

  • Clothes to use to play dress-up

  • Doctor and nurse play equipment

  • Nails, hammer, and saw

  • Play makeup and shaving supplies

  • Books

  • Puzzles

  • Toys that play music

  • Art supplies

Print Source: Prevention of Falls in Children. UptoDate.
Print Source: The Importance of Play in Promoting. Ginsburg, Kenneth R. Pediatrics, 2007, 1;119, pp. 182-91.
Online Source: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know about Play, National Association for the Education of Young Childrenhttp://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/child-development/10-things-every-parent-should-know-about-play
Online Source: Why this toy? National Association for the Education of Young Childrenhttp://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/child-development/why-toy
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatricshttp://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/preschool/pages/developmental-milestones-3-to-4-year-olds.aspx
Online Source: Summer safety tips, American Academy of Pediatricshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips-Staying-Safe-Outdoors.aspx
Online Source: Tips for choosing toys for toddlers, Zero to Threehttp://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/play/tips-for-choosing-toys-for.html
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 4/29/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.