It’s important for parents to make sure that their child is getting enough exercise throughout the day. With the growing concern around the world about childhood obesity, it’s very critical to encourage and motivate our toddlers to make sure that they stay active while also slowly teaching them the importance of physical health, balance, coordination, physical strength and endurance. Which is why it’s also completely necessary to give your child toys that will help young toddlers to stay active. This is why we also came up with the best 10 toys in today’s market for your active toddler that will be instrumental and help guide in your child’s overall development.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball
- Adjustable height
- Little Tikes First Slide
- Safe & sturdy
- LeapFrog Learn & Groove
- Helps develop motor skills & rhythm
Tips to Help Your Toddler Stay Active
It’s understandable that some parents simply have inadequate or insufficient knowledge as to how they can help encourage their young toddlers to learn how to appreciate and enjoy a variety of physical activities. For those parents who want to know more about how to encourage that kind of behavior in their children, here are some friendly tips on helping your toddler stay active.
Be a good role model for your tot
Toddlers are at that stage in their lives in which they look up to you and imitate most of what you or their older siblings do. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to be a good role model for your children. If parents want their child to be physically active, then it is important that he or she sees you being physically active too. You know the saying–monkey see, monkey do. It wouldn’t make sense for you to expect your child to do certain things if he or she clearly doesn’t see you doing the same thing. Even though they can’t verbalize it yet, it’s completely unfair. That’s where good role modeling goes a long way towards shaping the healthy lives of your children.
Talk with your pediatrician about your child’s developmental level
We know that different children have different developmental levels. For instance, just because your child is 2 years old really doesn’t mean that he or she will be exactly the same or on the same level as another 2-year-old toddler. For example, a child whose muscles are not fully developed yet even though he or she is already 2 years old, simply cannot be expected to run, jump or even hop on the ground. It’s extremely important that you have a talk with your child’s pediatrician to know exactly what kind of physical activities your toddler can and cannot perform. While physical activities are beneficial to children, it can also bring more harm to your child and then it’s simply not worth it. This is why finding the appropriate activities for your child can be beneficial to them.
Choose a physical activity that is appropriate for your toddler’s developmental level
If you asked your pediatrician and he/she gave you the go-ahead to let your child engage in games, sports or even exercises, parents now have to choose which activity is appropriate for their child’s level of development. You’ll be able to provide your child with toys that we’ve shared on our list.
It’s important to recognize that your child is largely different from other children. You could try singing nursery rhymes to encourage your child to move about with their legs and even arms or make up simple games that let them jump, run or hop.
By doing activities, especially as a family, it is a lot more fun and meaningful for your active little one. What your child sees is that everyone is working together to achieve a particular goal. For example, you can fly a kite as a family, go on picnics, as long as you’re doing it together and your child sees you doing it too, they are more than likely to follow your actions.
Limit exposure to digital entertainment
Limit your young child’s exposure to digital forms of media to no more than two hours per day. This way, they will be more motivated to look for other ways to have fun, preferably engaging in sports for tots or even in traditional games and activities in the great outdoors. They may go fly a kite, ride a big wheel, drive a pedal-powered ride-on car, or even play kiddie soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, or football. At any rate, this will help limit the “sedentary” lifestyle of these kids.
Benefits of Active Play for Toddlers
Kids can rightfully benefit from increased levels of physical activity. While these are not primarily geared for weight loss, overall fitness, or even bodybuilding purposes, toddler activities can still have a tremendous effect on their overall growth and development. That’s why it’s imperative to get them physically active. Just in case you’re wondering, here are some of the benefits of active play for toddlers.
Helps in the continuing development of bones and muscles
The different tissues of the body grow and develop in response to a stimulus. One of the most effective ways of stimulating the continuing development of muscles and bones is through exercise or increased physical activity. When kids jump, run, or hop, the impact generated by the feet against the ground sends electrical impulses to the brain to tell the bones to continue depositing minerals into its matrix. This hardens the bone and makes it more resilient against fractures and other types of injuries. The same thing can be said of the muscles. Since these tissues move the bones so we can walk, run, and move in general, muscles continue to evolve by becoming stronger and more efficient in their contractions. Without movement, however, muscles lose their tonicity and strength.
Helps prevent childhood obesity and maintain a healthy weight
Increased physical activities help promote the more efficient use of calories. Because muscles are continuously moving, they require more calories to burn. This helps prevent the abnormal accumulation of calories in the body. As you may already know, excess calories are often converted into fats which are stored in various parts of the body. This leads to the development of obesity and an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future. While we are not saying that physical inactivity leads to obesity, it is one of those factors that experts claim to play a major role in the development of childhood obesity, the others being faulty eating habits, poor food choices, and genetics.
Facilitates toddlers’ curiosity and exploratory nature
Infants are generally known as very dependent on parents and other caregivers. Now that they are toddlers and can start walking, running, hopping, and jumping, their sense of exploration and curiosity can really take off. They’re now more curious as to what lies behind the bushes, on the other side of the fence, or even beyond what they can see. By letting toddlers engage in physical activities, we are essentially providing them the means to explore their world. This is made possible by stronger bones and muscles which allow them to cruise and go where they couldn’t when they were babies.
Builds children’s self-confidence
One of the most important benefits of physical activity for toddlers is that it gives them confidence in themselves. Being able to jump or hop is already considered as an amazing “feat.” This boosts their ego and thus, helps them to try out other things.
Helps promote better sleep
We tend to sleep better after a good workout for the simple fact that our muscles are more relaxed. The same can be said of your toddler. If you’re having difficulty encouraging your child to nap, try playing with him or her. Jump, run, or hop. Within 30 minutes, he or she may be napping. Aside from muscle relaxation, the improved oxygenation to the tissues also helps promote better sleep, especially among young children. Whether it is to prevent childhood obesity, strengthen their bones and muscles, or develop confidence in your young child, getting them to appreciate and really love physical activities can go a long way to improving and ensuring optimum development of your child. With the best toys for active toddlers we’ve shared with you, we’re confident you’re now in a much better position to look after the welfare of your kid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are these good toys for a preschooler?
A: Yes! Active play is necessary from the time kids start walking all the way on up until they’re adults. Preschoolers benefit from active play with improved flexibility, better coordination, and stronger muscles which will help them to prevent injury later on in life and maintain a good health and fitness level.
Q: How can I get my child to play with these toys for a longer period of time if they get bored?
A: Toddlers are known for having short attention spans. One trick to get your toddler to play long is to play with them. Often if they have siblings or friends who are engaging in active play with them, they’ll be more prone to longer play sessions. You can have the same effect by taking an interest in what and how they’re playing and extending their interactions with their toys.
Q: Are these products good for a more than one child?
A: Most of the products listed here are perfect for group play. Some of these toys even need to be played within a group, such as the basketball hoops. Group play will always last longer and be more entertaining and interesting for your toddler while teaching them better social skills.
Q: Can these toys be used outdoors?
A: Most of the toys listed here can be used outdoors. Any toys that can’t are otherwise specified but for the most part, unless they have an electronic component or become dangerous (i.e. the trampolines, they may become slippery after rain), they can be used in both environments.
Q: What’s the youngest age that a child can use these toys?
A: Active play is encouraged in kids from ages 1 to 2 and up. All of these toys are suitable for toddlers, but some can even be used for even earlier age groups than that while others are specifically targeted for toddler age groups.
Q: Where can I find replacement parts (like the soccer ball or basketball)?
A: The easiest way to find replacement parts for these products is to contact the manufacturer. They should have a helpline that will direct you where to purchase replacements. You can also check the websites of these toys or conduct a search on Amazon for them.
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- Benefits of Physical Play in the Early Years [+ 5 easy ways to get kids moving!], online article, ,