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Deliberate Play games for toddlers

  • 4 min read



Deliberate Play is a technique that is widely adopted in the US, Canada and Australia. The theory is that when play becomes meaningful and deliberate it is a precursor to a lifetime of activity. In Deliberate Play, adults engage in the child’s activity, support and guide. When a child is encouraged to find unique solutions to movement challenges, given goal specific tasks, creative themes or ‘family’ rules to traditional games, the play becomes more challenging, stimulating and rewarding.

Our illustrated guide provides an easy walk-through of the developmental process and the movement milestones that each child must master at each stage, before moving on to the next stage. 

Micro Scooters nursery and preschool product ranges are designed to support the critical developmental stage of 12-36 months. Our Deliberate Play games have been designed for children during this developmental stage, using our products that are best suited for their ability. 


At this early stage of development your child is mastering their posture and balance, standing up and taking their first steps. A broad array of movement activities, in a supportive environment gives the child the best chance of becoming a successful, confident mover. Games that involve successfully reaching for objects is a precursor to developing confident arm movement and catching skills, games that challenge new ways of getting from A-B are a precursor for problem solving and confidence in physical sports. Even everyday activities, such as crossing a busy road, require a confident competence that is developed during this developmental stage. 

The Mini Micro 3in1 in Stage 1 with seat and o-bar enables children to explore a range of movements, develop dynamic balance and build confidence in their ability. The o-bar is specifically designed for little hands to easily grip and the seat enables the child to explore movement and travel building a subconscious confidence in their ability to get from A to B. 

The purpose of our games at this stage is to support the child in progressing from wobbly first steps to confident walkers with improved posture, balance and co-ordination. 



Purpose of game: 

Develop spatial awareness, balance, cognitive challenge, co-ordination, muscle strength

• Adult holds a toy / ball / cushion across the other side of the room from the little one, waiting with their scooter, and encourages little one to scoot across to grab it 

• Provide lots of noise, praise and movement to keep the child’s attention on the objective, the child will be subconsciously honing their movement skills as they scoot to manoeuvre across the room


Purpose of game: 

Develop balance, fitness, acceleration/deceleration control, cognitive challenge with changes in command and spot order

1. The children pick four ’spots’ in their play area. 

2. These spots are now your ‘dots’. Join the dots and between each, the leader (adult) chooses a way to move and everyone else has to follow what they do.

3. The children point to the next dot they want to join and off you go.

4. Next time, join the dots in a different order.


Once your child is confident in standing upright, toddling and picking up a pace, they will start to apply the fundamental patterns they have already developed to specific tasks. At this stage, children will continue to develop movement skills determined by their engagement in an activity and those who experience a broad base of movement at this stage will build confidence in their physical ability. 

Take the seat away from the Mini Micro 3in1 but keep the O-bar so the little hands can grip confidently. Introduce the Micro Scooter Balance Bike with smart, flexing stabilisers that create a larger surface area. This will help the child to develop co-ordination, balance and improve their spatial awareness as they start to move more quickly.

The purpose of our games at this stage is to support the child in progressing from confident walking to running with purpose. They will help the child to develop core strength and muscle and hone spatial awareness.



Purpose of game: reaction time, balance, change of direction, evasion, acceleration/deceleration control, decision making, fitness

• Divide the players into two ‘teams’

• Create two home areas.

• Give each player a different coloured flag / handkerchief / napkin

• Each player puts their flag / handkerchief / napkin, on the ‘home’ line of their territory

• Everyone lines up at one of the team’s ‘home’ line

• On ‘GO’ everyone scoots across to the other team’s home line and the opposite team tries to capture the other team’s flag / handkerchief / napkin before that team gets to it to defend it first

• The player with the flag must get back to their home territory before being tagged by the opposite team

• The object is to be the first to capture all the opposing team’s flags


Purpose of game: spatial awareness, balance, change of direction, acceleration, fitness

• Every park and garden is full of nature, the idea with this game is to spot a squirrel, or bird and follow it

• The young child will be subconsciously honing important movement skills while focusing on the nature at play .