Parents know and understand how difficult it is to keep their children occupied and calm, which is why they reach for technology. As a result, children spend a lot of time in front of a TV screen or a tablet.
We live in a time when sitting in front of a TV for hours is considered fun, and sadly, parents and teachers both forget the importance of movement activities for toddlers and preschoolers. If you’re hoping to incorporate more movement activities for kids into your family’s daily routine, we’ve put together some ideas you might find useful.
The best thing about scavenger hunts is that they can be done both in the house if it’s cold or raining outside, or out in the garden if it’s warm and sunny. You can prepare a list of things your toddler should find on their hunt, and prepare a prize for them if they manage to find everything.
Make sure you include things such as fallen leaves and pebbles, twigs, flowers, and feathers so that their movement activities include bending, crouching, crawling, and perhaps even climbing.
One of the oldest and simplest games in the book, but it’s precisely this simplicity that makes the game appealing. Children should move around the room without ever touching the floor, or they lose. You can make it more interesting for them by allowing them to prepare the ‘field’ in advance: they can move the chairs and cushions around, thus creating little ‘islands’ where they can rest.
In addition, you can also give them a task to reach something you’ve put in the middle of the room without touching the floor. This way, they will improve their gross motor skills and have loads of fun in the process.
This is one of the games that will keep the children occupied for a long time. Use a roll of crepe paper or a string (crepe paper is better as it’s safer) and tape it on the wall in a zig-zag pattern. Encourage your toddler to jump, skip, crouch, crawl, climb, and tiptoe back and forth between ‘lasers’.
To make the game even more interesting, you could also place small toys or cards at random places and ask the child to pick them up on their way through the maze.
Movement activities for toddlers don’t necessarily have to be only running and jumping. Even the smallest movements are important and significant, especially so early on in life. To improve their balance and prevent flat feet, have them do activities and movements with their toes.
You can fill a bucket with dried beans or rice and burry small toys throughout, and then you can invite the child to remove their socks and step into the bucket. Have them find the toys using only their feet and to pick the objects out by curling their toes to pick them. The movement will activate their arch muscles and align their feet better.
Music makes movement activities for kids much more enjoyable and even natural, and by using accessories such as ribbons, you can make it even more exciting and inviting. You can make your own dancing ribbons by cutting several colorful old tablecloths and tying (or gluing) them to a ring. You can make a ring for dancing ribbons out of anything: old jelly bracelets or you can cut out the center of small paper plates and plastic lids.
This is a perfect outdoor activity for kids during hot summer days. Fill out the balloons with water, place them in a bucket or a bowl in the yard, and encourage children to pick up and throw the balloons around. They will practice both their fine and gross motor skills, but they will also learn how to aim and how to hold a balloon that’s filled with water carefully.
You could also add a few drops of paint in the water and have your child play with both water as well as colors, thus encouraging their creativity as well as their physical development.
We can’t stress enough just how important are music and movement activities for toddlers, and parents, guardians, and teachers alike should try to encourage children to move more.
All toddler movement activities are useful for their development, and by playing different games that make children use both their minds and their bodies, you will ensure that your child grows up into a healthy and happy adult.