Getting your children involved in physical activities is a great way to keep them healthy and happy, and it’s more important than ever in the age of time crunch and iPads.
Australia’s physical activity guidelines for toddlers and preschoolers recommend that your children spend at least two hours in physical activity every day, with one of those being in energetic play like running, jumping and kicking.
It’s worth noting that more is better. Children can be active for several hours a day as long as they are given time to adapt to new activity levels, and are given time to rest afterwards.
It’s hard to overstate just how important physical activity is for your child’s development. Exercise and physical activity has a range of positive effects on children in addition to improving their cardiovascular fitness and strength:
Playing and staying active is a great way to develop healthy habits and a love of exercise that will benefit them their entire lives!
Setting a positive role model is key. As their primary role models, your children look up to you and will internalise your behaviour. Lead by example by playing with them!
Finding fun activities is very important. We’ve all experienced that toddlers and preschoolers don’t have the patience for activities they don’t enjoy. Let your child choose what they want to do, whether that be running, walking, dancing, kicking a football or playing a sport.
Getting involved in physical activity early and often lets you establish routines and habits around exercise and sports. It’s harder to establish a new habit the older you are, so make sure they get stuck in early!
Give your children praise and encouragement when they try something new and difficult. Giving them positive reinforcement when they work hard and learn new skills will make them more likely to try something new next time around.
Here are some of our top tips for encouraging your children to be active. These keep a focus on fun and should be appropriate for most toddlers and preschoolers!
There’s a whole world of fun and exploring out there for your child to learn all about!