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Teacher-report of where preschool-aged children play and are physically active in indoor and outdoor learning centers


The childcare environment impacts physical activity participation, but little descriptive information is available in different types of programs. Most studies focus on the schoolyard despite children spending more time indoors. This study identified which learning centers were available, used by children, and promoted physical activity, both inside and on the schoolyard. Teachers (N = 139; licensed centers, n = 59; home-based programs, n = 80) identified available learning centers and ranked locations where children spent free-choice time and participated in physical activity. Indoors, blocks, books, and dramatic play were frequently available, and dramatic play was ranked as an area where children spent time (87%) and were active (63%). Outdoors, open/grassy areas, fixed equipment, sandbox, and seating were available, and open/grassy areas and paved areas for balls/objects were locations where children spent time (73%–100%) and were active (87%–100%). Addition of learning centers that were unavailable but promoted physical activity (e.g. lofts) may be a point of intervention. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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