February 16th…. according to that silly groundhog, we still have 4 weeks of winter left. If you are like me, you are probably thinking, “how am I going to get through 4 more weeks of winter with this rambunctious toddler?” Plus, I am not confident that it will only be 4 more weeks: March in Indiana has let me down with large amounts of snowfall one too many times.
Winter is hard on all of us: big and small people alike. Come the middle of February everyone is sick of being inside, longing for those lighter jackets, some sunshine, time at the park and even just a quick walk around the block would be wonderful. Keeping an energized toddler busy and active during the winter months can be tough. Exercise for our little ones is just as important as it is for us. It is recommended that our toddlers be active for 2-3 hours per day! I know this seems like a lot and sometimes it is easier to just allow them to watch one more episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (guilty mom right here), but we need to make sure our kids are MOVING. The good thing is that it is easy to turn play into physical activity.
Try these indoor energy burners to keep your kids moving for this last, long stretch of winter. Everyone will be happier with a little more movement.
1. Dance- Toddlers love to dance and it can be a great for parents to let loose too. There are so many toddler songs that encourage movement and following directions. Download these songs and get moving.
2. Tumble- Teaching your toddlers basic tumbling moves such as a forward and backward roll are great exercises for developing those core muscles as well as working on their coordination. Have them place a bean bag underneath their chin in order for them to understand to keep their chin down when doing a front roll. Don’t have a bean bag? No worries, a sock or dish sponge will work just fine. You can also find a wall you don’t care much about and have them put their hands on the ground and feet on the wall to practice a hand or head stand. Try it with them, it is great for your core!
3. Balance- Play a balance game and see how long your toddler can stand on one foot. You might be surprised that they can’t at all! This is a skill that is difficult for our little ones- keep practicing. Find some fun duct tape at the dollar store, put it down in your hallway and have them practice one foot in front of the other and staying on the line. Another balance activity would be taking that bean bag, sock or sponge you used for those rolls and putting it on their head and having them walk on the line. Toddlers could stay busy for awhile doing this!
4. Run & Bike- Yes, run and bike… IN the house! Trust me, it isn’t going to hurt your house. We have a long hallway upstairs and C likes to run back and forth from one end to the other and I like it too because she is burning energy. I also recently brought in her tricycle and have been letting her ride her bike downstairs (we have wood floors).
5. Paper Plate Activities- Place the paper plates in a circle or line and have your child do something different at each paper plate- and you do it with them! Hop, jump, spin around and even have them try a jumping jack- it doesn’t have to be complicated, just get them to move. Place them around the house and have them go from one plate to another. You can add learning in and make the plates colored or have letters or numbers on the plate. The options are endless!
Don’t just make fitness a priority for YOU, let your children participate in it too. Incorporate physical activity in your house each day with these 5 Toddler Energy Burners. I promise you will have happier, well behaved and better napping munchkins. Pick 2 and try them out this week, and I will be back next week with another 5 for you!