Top tips to get your toddler activeTop tips to get your toddler active

A recent report showed that toddlers need half an hour of structured activity and an hour of unstructured activity every day.  If you are a parent, this sounds exhausting!

So how or what can we do to keep our children enriched, happy and most importantly active.  It is very worrying that inactivity is on the increase, we seem to lead more sedentary lives than in the past.

I am very lucky that I teach and examine dance for all ages and it fills me with joy that those who attend active sessions are well co-ordinated, have good confidence and are developing essential life skills, learning that listening, practice and repetition achieves results even from a very early age.

How can we keep our children interested? A toddler’s attention span can generally be about 2-3 minutes, so moving quickly through a series of achievable and easy to follow activities before they get bored or lose interest is the key!

Balancing: (Great for core strength) start by standing on one leg and asking your child to do the same. If they are around 18months – 2 years they may need you to hold their hands, to assist them and always try to encourage both sides/legs.

Place a bean bag on your child’s head and encourage them to walk around the room.  At around 3 years, they will understand the concept of walking slowly and “keeping tall”, up until this time, they have great fun trying!

Hand to eye co-ordination: With a bean bag, play a simple game of throw and catch; they will learn very quickly that in order to “catch” they have to watch the bean bag.  Make up a simple circuit of baskets/buckets etc. in which they can then throw the bean bag into.  Also try rolling a ball from you to your child.

Everyday actions can be limiting and these movements can be small and restrictive. It feels fantastic to use movements that are large and out of our normal everyday range, stretching, reaching and so on, and feels great!  Team this with some “feel good” music and your day just got better!

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