Active Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Disabilities

March 16, 2017 at 1:00pm EST


About Active Play Opportunities for Children with Special Needs:

Learn to lead physical activities that help young children with disabilities develop their movement skills while playing with typical peers. These inclusive developmentally appropriate and FUN activities require only inexpensive equipment and small spaces. General teaching strategies are shared for leading these physical activities in living rooms, backyards, and preschool classrooms. Ideas for modifying these activities to include children of varying ages and abilities are also presented. 


About the Presenter:

Diane H. Craft, Ph.D., Professor, is on the faculty of the Physical Education Department at State University of New York at Cortland where she teaches courses in elementary and adapted physical education. Since 1998 she has been promoting developmentally appropriate, inclusive physical activities for toddlers and preschoolers with and without disabilities. Toward that end, she has given well over 175 highly acclaimed presentations, workshops and keynotes on physical activities for young children to audiences across the nation. She has also co-authored four books on preschool physical activities including Active Play: Fun Physical Activities for Young Children. Craft is a past-president of the National Consortium of Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities. In 2005, she was recognized as the National Professional of the Year in Adapted Physical Education. A former elementary and high school physical education teacher, Dr. Craft is a committed advocate of inclusion. Craft is currently consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the subject matter expert on Physical Activity in Early Care and Education.


About Active Play Books:

The young children in your care need encouragement to explore and experiment with movement in safe and fun ways. The physical activities in Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children are safe, easy to lead, and fun for the children. Most activities can be set up quickly and need little equipment. The DVD accompanying the book shows just how easy it is for child care providers to give young children the developmentally appropriate movement activities they need. Over 13,000 copies of Dr. Craft’s book/DVD set Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children are being used by organizations including CACFP, WIC, Head Start Body Start, Nemours National Office of Policy & Prevention, Head Start/Early Head Start, school districts and hundreds of local child care resource agencies.



  • Preservice Teachers Learn to Use Be Active Kids in Limited Spaces

    I really enjoyed our class meeting. It was interesting to discover that you can do just about anything with children in the classroom where there may not be much space to encourage them to be active.  A change that I will make in my own life is to be more active, as well as my daughter. I will share this information with my friends that have children such as yoga animals, or Simon Says.

    Cathy Sesta, Parent & Child Care Provider
  • Early Childhood Physical Activity Institute

    Thank you for inviting me to be part of this year’s Institute. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the experience. You’re doing amazing work and I hope I’ll be able to continue contributing to it a bunch in the future.

    Rae Pica,
  • Plenty of Resources That I Can Use and Share

    This class was informative, and I look forward to being physically active with young children. On Friday, I volunteered at a Parents Night Out through my daughter's school. When I got there the kids were watching a movie. I got them up to play Simon Says and Red Light Green Light, however, after that I was stuck on what to do. I wish I had the knowledge I gained from this class, to have made it more exciting.

    I enjoyed your Land and Lake Activity.

    Venessa Wright, Parent & Child Care Provider
  • Be Active Kids Trainers Rock!

    I loved the training.  I would have loved it more if I had the other teachers from my center there also.  I am really looking forward to taking my kit to work and sharing it with my staff.  I liked Brittney, she reminded me of myself as far as being very active and motivated.  When I am at work with my little ones we stay busy all day.  I feel like singing my instructions and dancing my actions helps them to focus better on what I need for them to do.  Britney was great and I learned a lot from her. I am always trying to find new little ways to get the kids moving.

    Tiffany Daniel, Sandhill Community College

    The Early Childhood Physical Activity Institute was just wonderful!  Thank you again for including me in such an important effort to create and sustain leaders in EC physical activity. I would love to return to NC anytime that you think I can help. I enjoyed meeting the folks who work with you and hearing about all of the great things that are planned. 

    Linda Carson, Choosy Kids
  • Be Active Kids has Much to Offer

    Congratulations to you and everyone who has been promoting PA for young
    children in NC. You have much to be proud of here. Be Active Kids is an excellent source of ideas for promoting active play in unstructured settings. The Be Active Kids website also has resources on promoting unstructured active play. I encourage folks to review these resources. 

    Diane Craft, SUNY Cortland & Active Play Books