An article on how to keep a toddler active might seem kind of ridiculous. How do you keep a toddler from not being active? But as your child slips from your arms yet again while you try to put his shoes on, it is nice to have a reminder that all the wiggling is doing him good.

In fact your toddler needs a lot of physical activity. The National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that children from 12 to 36 months old get at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (adult-led) and 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity (free play) a day. They should also not be inactive for longer than one hour at a time, with the exception of sleeping.

Be careful that your toddler doesn’t spend too much time in a stroller, car seat, high chair or in front of a TV. Children under the age of two shouldn’t watch TV at all, while children over two should watch no more than one to two hours a day.

If your child spends a lot of time at a childcare center or with another caregiver, make sure that there is plenty of time and opportunities for physical activity.

It is also a good idea to look at your child’s environment and make sure it is a safe place to play and explore. Toddlers are interested in everything and it is important for them to be able to satisfy their curiosity without getting hurt. Even if your house is childproof, supervise your toddler carefully. Toddlers can be little daredevils and need someone there to keep them out of trouble.

Need some ideas on how to get your toddler up and moving?

  • Put on some music and dance together.
  • Go exploring. There is a lot for a toddler to find in the backyard or park.
  • Play make-believe. A lot of energy can be expended while pretending to be an elephant or copying the way you sweep the floor.
  • Sing songs that have lots of movements and actions like “Follow the Leader” and “Ring Around the Rosy.”
  • Play throw or kick a ball back and forth.
  • Organize a park group with other parents.

For toddlers getting a lot of physical activity doesn’t mean that they need to be on a treadmill, but it does mean that they need time to explore their environment and learn how to use their bodies.


For More Information:

How to Keep Toddlers Active (Kids Health)


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