Structured activities vs unstructured activities

As you know, all physical activities are good.  I thought you might like an overview of what exactly the difference is between structured and unstructured activities – so here is a brief summary for you :).

Structured activities are taught or directed by a knowledgeable adult.  Activities that are structured, help enhance a child’s basic motor development and, if done correctly, help children learn to love activity.  Structured activities can be either indoor or outdoor activities.  Here are some examples:

  • musical games
  • games such as “Simon Says” or “Follow the Leader”
  • classes such as gymnastics, dance, karate, soccer, bowling

Unstructured physical activities are not directed by an adult.  Sometimes these activities are called “free time”.  Even though they are not directly taught by and adult, these activities should still be supervised.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • children playing on a playground
  • children stacking blocks inside

Either structured or unstructured physical activities should occur daily for children to learn to associate movement as a part of their normal lifetime routine.  As we know, movement is very beneficial to health and also enhances learning. 

Did you know, studies show that by doing movement activities as gymnastics once per week, reading and math skills can go up by 10%?  Good to know, right?

Let’s keep moving, both in structured and unstructured activities and have a great fall season!