Testing Limits Through Play

testing limits through play

Do you have a child in your daycare group that seems to always be testing the limits? This is a natural part of being a toddler and preschooler.  I have found it is very helpful to set up play materials so children can test their limits in their play.

How many big blocks can they load and push in the wheelbarrow? How deep of a hole can they dig in the sand?


Little children love physical play that is hard work. They enjoy testing their strength and endurance.  Children who have had a chance to play vigorously and test their physical abilities on a daily basis seem to be less likely to test limits when it comes to behaviour or routines.

When the weather is poor I provide my group with materials to test their physical limits indoors.  How far can they jump from one pillow to the next? How many times can they hop around the hula hoop?

This week I taped together a large box and turned a table upside down.  I gave them some skipping ropes and challenged them to transport the box from one end of the room to the other.


One of my daycare children loves a good challenge!


I helped him tie some secure knots.


Heave ho!


They all took turns dragging it across the carpet.


Quiet truck play can also become a challenge. Can you transport all the beads from one pile across the area rug to the other side using the trucks?


These games appeal to many different personality types. It only took a few suggestions from me before they were engaged in testing the capacity limits of each truck.


May your daycare children test their own limits in play instead of testing your patience! 🙂