Toddlers like to be on the move! That’s why it may seem like toddlers get all the physical activity they need. But exercise is important for people of all ages, including children. By 2 to 3 years, children are developing more coordination and need many physical activities.
Help your child be physically active:
- Celebrate as your child learns to walk, run, swing, tumble, and swim.
- Make time each day for physical play.
- Plan ahead. Make sure your child has a convenient time and place to be active.
- Be a role model. Children who see adults enjoying physical activity are more likely to be active themselves.
- Find a fun activity. The more your children enjoy the activity, the more likely they are to stay with it. Get the whole family involved. It is a great way to spend time together.
- Allow for free-play that is unstructured but supervised. Let children explore many types of safe environments.
- Play with your child. Engage in new activities or sports together.
- Provide active toys. Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.
- Choose an activity that is appropriate for your child’s development. Don’t expect toddlers to be great soccer players yet.
- Provide a safe environment. Make sure your child’s toys, equipment, and site are safe and secure. Make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable and appropriate.
- Give children people time, not screen time.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about activities that would be best for your child.
- Don’t overdo it. Tell your children to listen to their bodies. If they are hurting, they should slow down or try a less challenging activity.
Fun activities for toddlers:
- Put tape on the floor and let your child walk the line. (“Don’t touch the floor! There’s hot lava down there!”)
- Do mazes on the floor.
- Go on a scavenger hunt.
- Play basketball with newspapers.
- Make an obstacle course (with hot lava!).