Daily Physical Activities For Young Children
Infants, Toddlers And Preschoolers are identified in different age ranges.
Infants (0-12 months of age) should be physically active daily, with at least 30 minutes tummy time through the day.
Active play starts from the day they are born which are:
Toddlers (1-2 years of age) should be active 180 minutes daily, furthermore these activities should be fun and encouraging. Main purpose is for them to explore new things.
Preschoolers (2-4 years of age) should progress towards 60 minutes of active play by 5 years of age.
- Children at this age are not coordinated enough and doesn’t understand rules of organized sports
- Growing older they might be interested in skipping rope and riding a bike
- Tumbling, catching, throwing, walking, running, swimming are good physical activities to enjoy
Physical Activity is essential and necessary for babies to grow healthy and develop basic functions. Furthermore it’s good for their body and mind! Benefits of physical activity are such as:
- Better understanding at school
- Improved brain development
- Stronger bones, muscles and joints
- Better coordination, flexibility and balance
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Helps to reach relaxation state and better sleep
- Makes more confident, happier and improved social skills
Not to mention that it is good for their health.
Furthermore Physical Activity leads to amazing health benefits such as:
- Strong bones and muscles
- Healthy heart and lungs
- Better flexibility and posture
- Prevents overweight
- Prevents obesity and diseases, for an example type 2 diabetes and later in life.
As a parent it is Your responsibility to encourage Your child to be physically active.
Being active as an infant means:
- Lifting head
- Reaching during tummy time
- Reaching for toys or objects
- Playing and rolling on the floor
- Crawling around the environment
When your baby learns new skills smile and applaud. Encouraging promotes self-esteem in babies, furthermore it develops language and communication skills.
It is important that You as a parent provide safe environment for baby. Consider restricting dangerous areas and clean floor is a must!
Provide only safe toys, ideal are soft and light ones. Encourage child to reach and grasp things.
Toys that should be avoided are as follows:
- Toys with small parts
- Buttons that can be removed
- Stuffing that can be removed
- Toys with strings or cords
Activities depending on development of Your child, based on developmental milestones:
Motor skill development, head and trunk control by:
- Give supervised tummy time, interact with him during tummy time (2-4 minutes), however if infant is enjoying it then increase the time.
- Encourage rolling over, reaching and body movement. For reaching exercise You should place bright toys just out of reach.
- Place infant on tummy to encourage kicking reflex and rolling over.
- Place infant on tummy across your legs while in sitting position
- Show the infant how to clap hands by holding her hands. Do hand clapping Yourself and let infant imitate.
- Place him on your lap, facing you. Hold his hands and help him stand. Gently pull him into standing position.
- Place infant hands on the ball and help him roll it
- Stimulate hand and foot play. Place him in sitting position between Your legs and with his back against Your stomach. Support elbows and the head while bringing one arm forward to reach for the opposite foot.
- Help infants to associate words with the movement. Talk to him as You perform certain moves.
- Move to music with the Infant
- Allow Infant to explore new things on clean and safe floor. Encourage crawling.
- Encourage Infant tin standing position, help with the balance and strength development.
- Help to increase coordination of movements as Infant reaches, grabs and transfers objects from one hand to another.
- Encourage hand to eye coordination and develop fine motor skills as he tries to feed Himself.
- Infants are much more mobile and need to explore new things.
- Provide safe environment
- Give as much opportunity to crawl and play as You can
- Help with the balance as He is tries to get up
- Allow Infant to walk barefoot, therefore develop foot muscles
Toddlers should be physically active atleast 3 hours a day, however the more the better! This time should be spent through all day including the outdoor activity.
Activities can be of different kind:
- Moving around
- Standing up
- Energetic play
Active play – riding a bike, ball games, playing in the water.
Worst thing that You as a parent can do for Your child is to let him use a smartphone! Avoid him from seeing bright screens.
Same goes for preschoolers – 3 hours of Physical activity daily. And they should progress toward 60 minutes of energetic play each day.
Preschoolers don’t need just a movement they need different kinds of movement, therefore it’s essential to get active unstructured playtime. It is also important for parent to notice that activities must be fun for child to not lose interest.
Simple activities will get them to develop their skills in different ways.
Kicking The Ball
Ball games can be used in different kinds of activities. Try using different sizes of balls with different hardness levels and see how far Your child can hit the ball. These exercises develops kicking skills in Your child.
Throwing A Snowball
Draw a circle like on a dart board and throw those snowballs! It’s something that all family can do. This exercise develops throwing skill.
Options for this activity are nearly endless. Simon can make You do all sorts of stuff. Standing on one foot, jumping like a kangaroo, waving hands over the head, making funny faces.
Riding A Bike
Either it’s a tricycle or a bike with two wheels, kids love it! Perfect physical activity to use all that energy. Exercisie develops balancing skill.
Build Paper Airplanes
Throw them inside or outside, follow them with eyes, watching how high they fly, how far they fly. Develops throwing skill.
Climb A Tree
Find a tree that branches are not too high from ground and let Your child climb it and see how far he can get. Be close nearby to be able to help. Develops balancing skill.
Remember That Your child learn all things from You, so be a good example!