Encouraging Physically Fit and Active Toddlers

We are asked quite frequent: What you can I do at home to help my toddler be physically fit and stay active? Take a look below at some ideas to help encourage your toddlers activity around the house!

▪ Offer play equipment and toys that help toddlers get moving. Provide large blocks, construction toys, riding toys, balls and beanbags, and climbers.

▪ Schedule at least 60 minutes daily for active free play. Toddlers need more than an hour of unstructured physical play in a safe place every day. Let them set their own pace! They can walk, run, roll, climb, slide, pull, push, throw, and jump until they’re tired.

▪ Turn off the TVs, DVDs, and computers. Toddlers should not sit in one place or lie down for more than an hour at a time except when sleeping.

▪ Plan ways to make exercise fun. Up to 60 minutes a day of structured physical activities can be good for toddlers:

▪ Lead them in creative movement. Toddlers practice skills and learn new ways to move by pretending to be animals, workers, or machines.

▪ Make an obstacle course. Indoors or out, toddlers can take turns going over, under, around, and between furniture, boxes, and climbing equipment.

▪ Move to music! Bounce, sway, clap, march, dance, or play rhythm instruments. Teach musical games like “Ring around the Rosie.”

▪ Exercise together. Make it a part of your routine. Do stretches before lunch. Play in the park or take a walk before the sun goes down (but not too close to bedtime!). Set a good example. Let toddlers see you walk, run, bike, build, dance, climb, or play ball…and HAVE FUN!

 

– Josh, Physical Therapy Team

 

(Information provided by the American Physical Therapy Association)