Exercise Ideas For Toddlers

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Exercise Ideas or Toddlers

Toddlers have boundless energy. Boundless. I swear most of my days are spent thinking of ways to burn energy in a way that doesn’t require me running with her. (Did I mention I’m ridiculously lazy and hate anything that causes me to sweat?)

We call them the ‘Wiggles’, and when she’s too energetic, can’t focus or it’s been a lazy day and she needs to exercise we say she needs to ‘get her wiggles out’. Sometimes she uses the phrase to try scam some extra play time before bed – but I’m wise to that!

I try and do as much physical activity as possible in the mornings after her regular eat-brush teeth-get dressed routine, so that she has burned all her ‘wiggles’ before we sit down to do some school work. In the afternoons we usually go for a nice long walk, or she rides her bike, and then we jump on the trampoline for ages until dinner is ready.

Trampoline

I will swear up and down by a trampoline. We bought her one for her 2nd birthday and it was the best thing we’ve ever done. She still loves it and can spend ages on it (even by herself!) And though I’m over most of my nerves about it, I still insist on one of us parents supervising her when she jumps.

While we looked at the smaller, toddler sized trampolines, we finally settled on a bigger one for 2 reasons:

1 – so that we could climb in with her for family fun.

2 – so that she could use it for longer than a year or two.

We went with the Bounceking 8ft Trampoline with the safety net and spring cover, because we have a small garden, and it ended up fitting perfectly. It’s big enough for her to really have a go, and I get in there with her often and jump around. On days when I need a break for a cup of coffee, or lazy days when I need her to burn energy without having to get involved, our trampoline is tops. Chuck a few soft toys in there and she has a real party.

Yoga

As much as possible, after her morning routine, I’ll switch on YouTube and put on yoga. I like to get involved with this, to help her get into the positions until she masters them. The best I’ve found by far is Cosmic Kids Yoga, led by instructor Jaime. Jaime is awesome, she teaches yoga as well as mindfulness and breathing exercises for little kids. Olivia loves the Yoga stories, where Jaime uses yoga poses to tell a story such as camping in the woods or a visit to the farm. You can find out more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ImHIWzP49M

Good Old Blankie

For another energy-burning exercise, you’ll be amazed at how far a small blanket and some toys can go. Olivia loves her stuffed toys and she has loads (no matter how many times I do a stuffed toy clean-out, we always have too many!). Show your child how to lay the small blanket on the floor and put a stuffed animal or 2 in the middle. They then grab 2 corners and run – pulling the blanket like a sleigh behind them. This works best on smooth floors, and your child can run up and down to their heart’s content, taking their toys for a ride.

Animal Flash Cards

For some real fun we’ll play animal movement flash cards, and she really enjoys this. It’s especially great if there’s bad weather and we’re stuck inside because the fun of the activity is a great distraction.

I have a set of flash cards which I fan out face-down, she picks one and does the movement (as energetically as possible) on the card before picking another one and so it goes. As I said, she really enjoys this game so we usually have a good laugh. I get involved, Daddy gets involved, it becomes a whole thing. I’ve added free printable flashcards HERE; you can print them, cut them out and laminate them – I hope they bring your family as much joy as it does ours!

Obstacle Course

An obstacle course is a great way to burn energy while also encouraging different movements of the body. You can use your child’s little plastic chairs/table if you have, or even your own dining room chairs. Boxes, pool noodles, balls, toys, eggs, the options are endless! Set up an obstacle course in the garden (or even in the living room if you can’t go outside) and get your child to do the course. They can do it multiple times, trying to beat their time, or take a stuffed animal through the course, there are loads of ways to have fun with it.

Here are a couple of ideas to add to your course:

Crawl over the chair, balance across the pool noodle, jump over the toys, carry the ball over your head and dunk it in the wash basket.

These are just a couple of ways to make sure your little one does enough body movement throughout the day. It will go a long way in keeping them calm, avoid tantrums and helping them to focus.

If you have any different ways of exercising your kids please let me know, I’m always looking for new ways!

Until next time,

Candi


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