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Have you ever sat back and looked at your toddler thinking ‘What on earth are we going to do today?’ Anyone who is a parent to a toddler knows they are high energy, full on and need a lot of stimulation and attention. Research shows an active toddler not only sleeps better but is generally healthier too – which makes a lot of sense.
So when thinking of what to do to entertain your toddler for the day and when trying to find ways to keep your toddler active – keep in mind these 11 ideas:
1 – Go to your local park
There’s so much exploring to be done at local parks. Create games and challenge your little one to collect items (for example: collect 10 green leaves and 5 brown rocks) to get their little minds and little legs going. Talk about the different types of plants with them and see what colours you can learn about.
2 – Kick a ball around
Grab a soccer ball and head outside for some fun. Kicking a ball helps with coordination and stability and running around is always fun.
3 – Have a race
Ready, set, GO!! Watch how excited your little one gets when you teach them how to start off a race with ready, set, go! Grab something to mark out a starting point and teach your toddler to stand behind the line until you say go! This is not only a fun way to keep active but also teaches your little one about processes and responses.
4 – Head to your local pool
Any parent who takes their children swimming will attest that there is something about water that wears toddlers out in a flash. Water safety is something that can be taught from an early age and is a vital life skill to have. Check with your local pool to see if they have swimming lessons too – children are never too young to learn how to swim.
5 – Build a forte
Get in touch with your inner child and build a castle, forte or cubby house outside. Use whatever you have lying around whether it’s old boxes, outdoor furniture and blankets or tarps – just about anything works when being creative.
6 – Exercise with your toddler
Need to get your daily workout in? Let your toddler join in. Now I’m not saying for them to go and do 20 push ups but have your toddler close by and let them mimic what you are doing. My son has been copying us when doing squats since he was 1!
7 – Find a children’s yoga class
Some yoga studios offer children’s classes by instructors specifically trained in this area. Yoga for children has been shown to increase mood, decrease emotional outbreaks and is believed to be great for overall health.
8 – Join a playgroup
Find your local playgroup and join in. Playgroups meet regularly and not only will your toddler have a chance to run around like mad with other children, it will also give you a chance to meet new mums, catch up on a regular basis and sit back and watch as your toddler runs themselves ragged.
9 – Go for a walk
We are so lucky to have an amazing National Park only a short half hour drive away from us where we go for family walks. We head up there with our baby carrier because more often than not our little man gets exhausted and needs to be carried however as he is getting older he is able to walk further and further on his own. You don’t need a national park for this though, head out local and have a walk around your town. It’s also a great way to start teaching your toddler about road safety (look before you cross the road, etc).
10 – Head to toddler gymnastics
Most towns have a gym or community centre that will run toddler gymnastics (or something similar). They have trained supervisors teaching the children and it is so much fun to watch them run around, roll around and try to do little flip overs.
11 – Set up an obstacle course
If you get a little creative this is something you can easily do at home, you can even do this inside on a rainy day!! Set some chairs up to crawl under, lay out a rope to jump back and forth over, lay out hula hoops to frog hop into – the possibilities are endless!!
One of the major perks of having a toddler is that you get to channel your inner child and have a blast acting like a goof. Get involved with your toddlers activities and enjoy being active at the same time.
What are some of your favourite ways to keep your toddler active? Comment below and share this post with your friends so they can keep in mind some ways to keep your toddler active.