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Children these days are too engrossed in their computers, video games or phones. They simply do not feel naturally inclined to play active games anymore. However, children should ideally have at least three to four physical play activities per day to help them release their energy, develop and grow better.
At first, children will enjoy the company of only their parents and other primary caregivers, but as they begin to grow, they will soon start to enjoy the company of other children their age, giving you the opportunity to make your child more social by going on play dates with others and encourage them to form bonds and make friends.
Physical Activities for Toddlers
Children of this age are too young to be left alone and will require adult assistance. Keeping this in mind, here are some physical activities for 3 year olds.
Some indoor activities for toddlers include:
1. Animal Kingdom
In this game, encourage your children to hop like frogs or walk like penguins. Imitating the movements of different animals not only helps them physically but also teaches them a little about the animals they are imitating.
2. Over And Under
You can lay on the ground and form a bridge with your body that your child can crawl under, and then plank so that your child can jump over. Not only is this a fun activity for your child, but you can consider this to be a small workout for yourself.
3. Jumping Jacks
Encourage your children to do at least 20 of these to help tire them out and drain some of their energy. Not just that, but jumping jacks are a well-known and highly beneficial exercise for everybody.
4. Keep The Balloon Up
This one is a lot of fun for your children, but be sure to clear out a safe space for them by removing any breakables like lamps or glassware. The only thing you need to do is fill a couple of balloons and then tell the kids that they need to keep the balloon from touching the floor. If you want to make it more fun, you can turn it into a competition.
5. Freeze Dance
Another fun activity is to play your kids favourite dance music and just dance your hearts out. Stop the music every once in a while, during which time the children have to freeze in whatever position they happen to be in.
Some outdoor activities for toddler include:
1. Play Ball
Take your baby out to the park for a game of ball. If you have a backyard, that’s even better. You can play catch or kick the ball around with your child. Make sure you do not use any hard balls but go for the ones made for children of their age.
2. Go Cycling
Invest in a tricycle and let your little one peddle along happily. This is good exercise and also very fun for your child.
3. Garden Gnomes
This game requires you to have a few little garden gnome figures. You could also just use any other objects you want as long as it is easy for your child to find. Just hide them around the place and give your children a basket to collect them in when they find them. You can ask them to hide the gnomes around the garden for you to find as well to keep things more interesting for them.
Take your children to a playground that has things like slides, swings, monkey bars, tunnels etc. so that they have the chance to develop a few extra motor skills, but be sure not to leave them alone as they will still need your assistance at this age.
5. Kiddie Pool
A good activity for your children on hot summer afternoons is to take them to the pool. With the right gear, you can start teaching your kids how to swim, which is one of the best and most fun exercises.
Physical Activities for Kindergarten
Physical activities help to reduce the chances of children becoming overweight or developing other health-related issues. They also help in aiding your child’s overall growth and development. Pre-schoolers need at least one hour of properly structured playtime each day as well as one hour of free play. It is best if all the activities are exciting and that your children have fun in the process.
Some indoor activities for kindergarteners include:
1. Balance Beam
All you need is masking tape, which you then place on the floor and ask the children to walk only on that line. You can even place them at different angles or zigzags to make it more fun. It helps improve their balance.
2. Follow The Leader
Give the children a good workout by adding things like jumping, jogging, squatting and stomping into the mix of following the leader. This is one of the most fun indoor physical activities for pre-schoolers.
3. Musical Bubble Shapes
Take some bubble wrap and cut it into different shapes big enough for the kids to stand on and stick them to the floor. The activity is meant to teach them different shapes in a fun way. Play some music and let the kids dance, hop and jump around over all the shapes, bursting the bubbles. When the music stops, the kids have to tell you what shape they are standing on.
4. The Missing Fruit
You will need some plastic fruit that you can hide around the place and a few fruit cards that match the plastic fruit. Give the children one card to observe and then ask them to find the matching plastic fruit.
5. Proposition Obstacle Course
Set up the room to form a makeshift obstacle course. The children will need to follow instructions like “Crawl under the table.” “Climb over the chair.” In order to pass the course.
Some outdoor activities for kindergarteners include:
1. Hot Potato
This game involves the children standing in a circle with one chosen child on the inside with a ball. The ball is the “hot potato”, and the circle is the “oven.” The child has to try and get out of the circle while pushing the ball around with his or her feet. The rest of the children have to try and stop the child from getting the ball out, and they too are only allowed to use their feet. Pick a different child for the next round.
2. Hoop Hopping
One of the best outdoor physical activities for pre-schoolers is hula hooping. Place some different coloured hula hoops on the ground very randomly. Then allow the children to gather around to follow instructions such as “hop into the green hoops in groups of four.”
3. Treasure Hunt
You will need a small treasure box decorated by the children, and you will also need to find some inexpensive treasures like a few beaded necklaces and small rings, play money and perhaps some candy. Hide the treasure box somewhere in the yard and then make some instructions or clues to help the children find the treasure. The clues or instructions should also be spread about and simple enough for the kids to understand like “Go to the place where the flowers grow” or “Take ten steps to the right from the benches.”
4. Outside Animals
Line the children up outside and face the direction they will be running in. The kids basically need to go to the finish line the same way a particular animal would. If you call out “Penguin!” then they will have to race by walking like penguins to the finish line. This makes for fun physical activity for 4 year olds.
5. Blind Trust
This activity will help your child learn to pay attention to and follow instructions. Set up a simple obstacle course like a few hula hoops, cones, skipping ropes and a few small boxes. Give them a ball, blindfold them and then guide them around the obstacle course with verbal directions.
Physical Activities for Children (Ages 5 to 8)
If your children develop healthy habits that include lots of physical activities at a young age, they are far more likely to carry these habits forward with them for their entire lives. Here are some activities you can do with your children to keep them active, healthy and happy:
Some indoor activities for kids of this age group include:
A great way to harness your child’s energy into one thing. Handstands can be tricky, but fun to do. Place a pillow in a corner against the call and help your child learn to do a handstand. Always supervise as you do not want your little one getting hurt.
2. Musical Chairs
This game is well known and a lot of fun. Set up a bunch of chairs and dance around them to some music. When the music stops, quickly sit down. Whoever is left without a chair is out. This means you always need to have one chair less than the number of people playing, so be ready to shuffle those chairs about.
3. Jump Rope
Grab a skipping rope and have some fun. You can teach your kids how to skip the normal way, backwards and even have them jump rope while singing some rhymes.
4. Duck, Duck, Goose!
Make the children sit in a circle and have one of them be the “goose” while the rest are “ducks”. The child will then have to walk around the circle tapping everyone on the shoulder and saying “duck”. The goose should randomly tap someone and say “goose”. The child who got called a goose will have to then chase the other around before he sits in the empty spot.
5. Hallway Bowling
Fill up some water bottles to be the bowling pins and use any ball that you have at home.
Some outdoor activities for kids from this age group include:
Not only does hiking work out the muscles but it also builds endurance in your children. Hiking is a way to also show your children the outdoors and take them away from their screens. It is one of the best ways to get your children to interact with nature, which is so important these days as nature is rapidly vanishing.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for those who are not able to cope well with too much stress on their muscles. The water soothes the muscles and also provides an element of fun in the midst of this incredible workout. It is a very good physical activity for children.
3. Walk The Dog
Dogs are the best companions for children as they are loving, playful and, if well trained, obedient. Your child will have a great time playing with the dog, especially if they are an only child. Getting your child involved in exercising the dog will help them to get more exercise, while also teaching them how to be responsible for another living creature.
4. Roller Skating
Take your kids to the rink for some roller skating as this form of exercise is fun as well as will teach your child some confidence.
Another fun way of exercising your child while keeping the element of fun. Practising badminton now will definitely help improve your child’s game in the future.
Not only do these activities provide your children with exercise but they also gain more self-confidence, and they are better able to cope with different situations later in life. However, despite all the other good benefits that physical activities have, the best one by far is that they have direct and immediate contact with other individuals making them able to bond with others on a deeper level.