A new study by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 43 percent drop in obesity
rates among children aged 2 to 5 during the past decade. Researchers found that a little more than 8
percent of children aged 2 to 5 were obese in 2011-2012, down from nearly 14
percent in 2003-2004. This is an
encouraging sign that families are trying to eat healthier and keep their young
children active. Learning the value of a
healthy, active lifestyle from a very young age will teach children good
nutritional habits, the importance of exercise and that fitness can be fun.
How can parents and toddlers remain physically fit together? Make physical activities and games FUN for
the whole family! The key to successful participation is creativity and
positive reinforcement as well as scheduling a regular time during the week as
Try incorporating these games into your toddler’s playtime
to ensure that he/she grows up understanding that fitness is fun:
Shakes – Just like the Raffi
song says, “Shake your sillies out!” If
you do it long enough, you'll not only end up getting a great workout, you and
your child will share some laughs.
Ball – Play a game of volleyball using a balloon. Tie a piece of string between two chairs and
use your hands to hit the balloon into your opponent’s territory. Or, play tennis by using old pantyhose wrapped
around a bent coat hanger to create a racket.
Playing balloon ball teaches and reinforces hand-eye coordination while
burning calories. (Although, be mindful
when toddlers play with balloons.
Non-mylar balloons can become choking hazards when popped.)
Tag – Enough said.
– Toddlers love music and dancing.
Create your own dance party. Raid
your closets to dress up and recreate your favorite music videos. Film them and, if you dare, load them onto
YouTube to send to your extended family.
Pop – I read about this
idea on MommyPoppins.com. Plant your
feet (or stand on one foot) and see if your child(ren) can budge you. If you
move your feet, he/she wins.
– Create your own bowling alley in the hallway.
Use empty milk cartons or juice boxes as bowling pins and use a ball
from the toy box as the bowling ball.
This will help your child learn depth perception and how to aim.
Stairmaster – Need a use for those diaper boxes? Create a “stairmaster” that your child will
love. Stack diaper boxes into a pyramid
and help your child climb up and down the “ramps.”
· Go to the
Playground – Playing on the swing set or crossing the monkey bars is a
great workout – for you and your child!
· Act Like
an Animal - Walk like a penguin, hop like a frog or imitate other animals'
movements while making sounds like that animal.
Use this exercise as a teachable moment to help your child recognize
animal sounds and get ready to head to school.
Catch – Include your whole family in the fun! Play catch – or fetch – with your dogs. Run around your house or backyard chasing and
playing with your pets.
Children who are active as toddlers tend to stay active
throughout their lives. Staying fit can
help maintain a healthy weight, improve self-confidence and decrease the risk
of certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
So, play with your toddlers!
Your child will have fun and so will you!Are you looking for a fun, fitness program for your child aged 3-5? Fitness for Health now offers “B” Social Preschool Motor Group! This 6-week session – beginning on Thursday, March 27 - will integrate social cognitive thinking with motor activities in small groups comprised of 6 - 8 children. Concepts will be introduced in fun and motivating ways encouraging participants to explore and improve their social thinking and motor skills. And, this class will be implemented by a team of professionals - a collaboration with Early Intervention Therapists (Speech & Language Pathologists) and Fitness for Health staff. Visit http://fitnessforhealth.org/promotions.html to learn more.