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Play Circuit: A fun PSED activity to try

Our play circuit can be used for single children or groups of any size. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this PSED activity today!

photo credit: kong niffe

What you will need:

  • Three or four toys that can be played with both alone or with multiple children (more can be used if the group is larger).
  • A space large enough to have the toys set out separately, so a child playing with one would not easily be able to reach another.
  • Pieces of paper with large arrows drawn on.
  • A clock or timer.
  • Something to alert children to the end of their play session, such as a bell or whistle.


Preparing the activity

  1. Set out the toys at different ‘play stations’ around the room. Try to make sure the toys are different and present a variety of play options, meaning some will appeal more to individual children than others.
  2. Arrange the arrows between the play stations, creating a circuit around the space.
  3. Set a timer to mark 5, 10 or 15 minutes (depending on your assessment of the children’s attention spans) to allow you to regulate the time spent on each play station.

Doing the activity:

  1. Explain to the children that they will have a short amount of time, according to the timer, to play with each toy. If it is a larger group, separate the children into smaller groups (as many as there are play stations) to travel around the circuit with, and emphasise that they must stay with their group.
  2. Assign a play station for each child/group of children to start on and explain that, when the bell/whistle is heard, they must follow the arrows to the next play station. Make it clear that the children must stick to their assigned station and the order of play, and cannot go back or miss a station.

Tracking the activity

22-36 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour; “Shows understanding and cooperates with some boundaries and routines. Can inhibit own actions/behaviours, e.g. stop themselves from doing something they shouldn’t do.”

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour; “Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met, and understands wishes may not always be met.”