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Great Toddler Exercise Options

Great Toddler Exercise Options

Great Toddler Exercise Options

Jumping

The easy exercises below will get those feet up and off the ground. Jumps are great for building muscle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. It is also a lot of fun to compete against a sibling, friend, or even an adult to see who jumps the highest.

Fun jumps that children can try include:

Hurdle Hops: Jump front-to-back or side-to-side over a pretend hurdle.

Criss-Cross Feet: Jump straight up, then cross one of your feet in front of the other; switch feet on your next jump and continue.

Tuck Jumps: Lift heels high and bend knees while jumping.

One-Foot Hops: Lift one knee and then jump on the standing leg and then alternate.

Jumping Jacks: Stretch both arms and legs out to the side while you jump and on the subsequent jump, return arms to the sides and legs to the center on the landing.

Exercise Games

Turning exercise into games is a great way to make it fun for children. Here are some options:

Corners: Split up the children so that each one has a home corner. Next, have them run around the room in a circle. Tell them to return “home” on your cue and do a couple of simple exercises (say one 30-second plank or 5 jumping jacks). It is generally advisable to let children decide the exercises they do in each corner thus giving them ownership over the game.

Squat Relay: Have the children line up on opposite sides of the room, facing one another. On your cue, all children should run towards the center of the room thus meeting in the middle. Then, they should do 3 squats, giving one another a high-five with both hands between reps. Then, they need to return to the starting point and repeat. Social interactions and the high-fives are the focus. 

Go Back & Hit It: On your cue, children run forward in the designated lanes. You should then call out “back” prompting them to run in reverse. Finally, say “hit it”, which is a cue for incorporating a different skill (e.g. a squat or tuck jump). Again, you should give children input on choosing the skill to be incorporated with the “hit it” cue.

Traffic: In this unique variation of “Red Light, Green Light,” there is a lot more happening on “the road.” Children start and stop at the green and red light respectively, but they also shuffle sideways for a yellow light, do bunny hops at speed bumps, and run with a partner for “carpool,” and actually gallop when the cue is “deer crossing.”

Indoor Ball Games

Playing ball games either indoors or outdoors can be great exercise for children. Take a look at  Soccer stars academy toddler football. Some benefits include balance, aerobic exercise, and coordination practice. Furthermore, children are usually attracted to any activity involving a ball.

Examples of indoor ball games that do not require the use of too much space include:

Kicking, rolling, or throwing a ball against the wall

Using a plastic mixing bowl to catch balls

Using a household object to hit balls at a target

Tossing balls into laundry baskets

Other ideas include passing, dribbling, and rolling a ball back and forth between partners.

It is important for parents to always find a safe location for their children to play with balls inside (i.e. a place with ample distance from fragile items).

For indoor play, it is advisable to use a soft ball, like a foam ball, a squishy yoga ball, or even bean bags, to keep games both safe and injury-free. If you are using a hard or small ball or your child is still working on his/her coordination, it can be a good idea to wear properly fitting protective gear.

Skipping

Skipping can be a fun aerobic activity that can also challenge skills such as coordination and balance.

Skipping games that you should consider trying include:

Jumping Rope: Have children jump rope for a set duration of time. Amp up the difficulty by asking them to go forward and back or make it competitive by seeing which child manages to get the most skips in a set amount of time.

Hopscotch: Set up a grid of numbered squares, which is known as a hopscotch board. If you are inside, use masking tape, but if you are outside, use chalk. There are many different ways to play, but all of them involve a player essentially throwing a small object such as a bean bag onto the squares. Then try to hop, skip, or jump their way through the course without ever landing in the square.

Skipping Tag: Play tag with a twist. Instead of walking or running to catch their opponent, everyone should skip. A variation can be added by switching to hopping on all fours, on one foot, or some other way of moving.

Obstacle Course: Use easily accessible items such as a chair for skipping around and a pot for skipping over to set up a simple obstacle course. Then, set a time and have the children aim to beat their personal records.

 

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