Little Bodies, Big Play


By Trevor Newton

In preschool, big body play is crucial for skill development. As both an educator and a parent, I value providing opportunities for active play. The Big Blue Blocks from Imagination Playground offer a dynamic tool for fostering creativity and gross motor skills.

Picture this: Dashel and Vivian, two spirited preschoolers, dive into a Big Blue Blocks (BBB) adventure during center time! With boundless energy, they explore a plethora of blocks, ready to build and create. Dashel stacks blocks to new heights while Vivian imagines herself as the captain of a mighty ship. As they play, their imaginations soar, emphasizing big body play and fostering creativity in the preschool classroom.

Often referred to as “Gross Motor Play”, big body play can be characterized by physical activities engaging large muscle groups, and this type of play is pivotal for holistic early childhood development. It enhances gross motor skills, cognitive abilities, and fosters creativity through loose parts and dramatic play. Big body play is a staple in many early childhood settings as children practice catching balls, throwing scarves, or stacking their Big Blue Blocks.

Incorporating Big Blue Blocks into my preschool curriculum is deliberate and intentional. I prioritize creating a playful and inclusive environment where big body play with BBB is celebrated. Within my classroom, children can expect to use the BBB within a variety of centers or during our outside learning time. Whether counting and sorting the blocks by size or engaging in dramatic storytelling, every interaction with the BBB is purposeful. Emphasizing collaborative play fosters teamwork and problem-solving skills. Additionally, empowering children to lead their exploration with the blocks promotes independence and creativity. Through intentional planning, the Big Blue Blocks enrich the learning experiences of all my preschoolers.

As a preschool teacher, I understand the importance of addressing trending topics in gross motor development with parents. Together, we can combat sedentary lifestyles by promoting active play and emphasizing the significance of big body play. The goal is for each child to move purposefully with balance and coordination while traveling through their home or classroom environment. At times, the preschoolers and I will set up elaborate obstacle courses using the BBB. Lifting the blocks supports trunk development in young children. Although it may appear unrelated, a strong trunk promotes a strong writing posture which leads to early handwriting success for preschoolers – Big Blue Blocks for the win!

In my experience, the Big Blue Blocks have proven invaluable for enhancing big body play in early childhood education. For educators, I suggest incorporating movement-based games with the blocks, like “Build and Move” challenges, and encouraging collaborative building projects to promote teamwork. Parents can create a designated play area at home with space for active play and offer a variety of toys that encourage movement. Setting aside dedicated playtime each day prioritizes physical activity.

Reflecting on the impact of big body play and the versatility of the Big Blue Blocks in early childhood education, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of big body play. The Big Blue Blocks not only ignite imagination but also nurture gross motor skills, fostering holistic development in young children. Encouraging continued exploration and innovation in supporting gross motor development through play, I urge fellow educators and parents to embrace creativity and adaptability in promoting active play experiences. Let’s prioritize big body play for our children’s well-being and development.

Meet Trevor Newton – a dedicated father, husband, and seasoned preschool teacher with over 14 years of experience and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. As a preschool teacher, brand ambassador and educational speaker, Trevor is passionate about sharing valuable insights and resources to empower parents and early childhood educators in navigating key issues and fostering optimal development in young children. Follow Trevor for insightful early childhood content and tips for parents and educators on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn @TrevorTNewton.