Simple physical activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Parentree-editors 2009-01-21 10:59:41

Here are some ideas for physical activities that can be accomplished easily.

Dancing to music (Children of all ages)

Kids love rhythms. Find some great music with nice fast paced beats and move your body to show them how its done. It can involve shaking their hips, moving their hands and feet, jumping etc. Anything is a dance step,as long as it is a movement. Kids love music and as they learn this, they will start dancing the moment they hear their favourite songs.

For high energy children, this is a great way to divert their energy and enthusiasm.

Dining table tunnels (1 year+)

Pretend that your dining table is a tunnel through which a train or bus has to go through. Make your child pretend to be the train or bus and have them crawl under and through the table. Use the chairs as bridges and then you can have children crawl over them.

Cycling (1 year+)

This is one of the best physical activities for your children. Start with tricycles. You can train children to ride anywhere. It can in be your driveway, on your house's terrace, in your apartment complex's parking lot, or in a small stretch of nearby road which has relatively fewer cars. Parents will also benefit by running behind their children when the latter are learning.

Swimming (3 years+)

Its never too early to start swimming. Kids even at the age of three can benefit from the exposure to the water. We have also heard from swimming coaches that an early start helps the child learn swimming before the fear of water starts in them.

Beach or park visits (2 years+)

Go to the nearby beach (like Marina in Chennai or Chowpaty in Mumbai) or a large park (like Lal Bagh in Bangalore). Find a time when the place may not be crowded (like early in the morning) so your children can run around a bit. This may require you to take the effort on a weekend, just when you want to rest. However, you know by now that there is no better energy booster than spending time with your children.

Walk to a place of worship (2+ years)

Visit your local temple, church, mosque, gurdwara or other place of worship with your children. In most places, there is one within walking distance. Walking is also a great way for you and your children to spend time talking, without distractions.

Climb a hill (3 years+)

In India, there is no dearth of places of worship located on a hill or a mountain. Climb up the hill instead of driving up. Score two birds with one stone - Blessings from God and physical activity.

Visit the zoo (2+ years)

Visit the local zoo in your city.  Walk around the zoo to get some physical activity for your children, while keeping it enjoyable by looking at animals.

Play dates (2+)

Arrange a play date for your child with their peers in school, in the neighborhood, in the same apartment etc., When two children get together, physical activity usually increases a lot.

Hide and Seek (1 1/2+)

Play hide-and-seek with your child. Initially you may have to do all the hiding and let her do the seeking. Initially, you may want to do all the hiding, for safety reasons. Also, initially, she may too excited and will not be able to hide quietly. She may find it more fun to seek you. Make some sounds like calling out to her, to help her find you.

The importance of physical activity and outdoor activities for young children is clear. A sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems .

There are a lot more ideas in the journals and in groups. Find them with our site search.


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