“The earlier infants, toddlers, and preschool children get exposure to daily movement and exercise, the better the likelihood of healthy development later in life.”
— Jane Clark, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Kinesiology, University of Michigan
Your children’s physical health depends on your ability as a parent to choose the right activities for them. Lack of physical activity makes children prone to illnesses such as coronary heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic problems when they become adults. Provide toddlers with at least 30 minutes of adult-supervised movement activities, and preschoolers with 60 minutes of structured play.
TIME FOR PLAY!
Make the most of your kids’ intrinsic thirst for movement with our list of age-appropriate exercises. Exercising with your child not only develops his motor skills and self-confidence, but strengthens your parent-child bond as well. Have fun with your child and don’t be afraid to try out games that also challenge their social and cognitive abilities.
Games for Infants
0 to 18 months
What may seem simple and trivial activities are actually essential in supporting your infant’s motor development. Reaching and grasping toys and other objects, rolling over, crawling, and standing are only some of the motor exercises that boost your baby’s fitness.
1. Beach Ball Balance
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Developmental stage: From birth to 3 months, your baby will begin to steadily hold his head up while lying on his stomach and to lift his head and shoulders more confidently.
Place your baby tummy-down on a lightly deflated beach ball. Hold him securely as you rock him back and forth or side to side. Be sure to support your newborn’s head all the time. Sing and talk to your baby while you play. This will keep him focused while the gentle rhythm and pressure soothe his tummy. Allow for some rest in between.