An active child is a well-adjusted child because physical activity improves their mental health, and decreases the risk of anxiety, pain, and loneliness. Moreover, developing your child’s physical skills gives them tools they can use throughout their lives like positive body image.
Getting your kiddo up on their feet can turn into an impressive feat once you teach them how important moving around every day is. How do you get your little one to [cue the music] Move it! Move it! in a way that’s fun and exciting?
We’ve got activities you and your child can do together and info on how a cute and cuddly smart companion named Snorble® can provide a little push to get your kiddo up and at ‘em.
How much exercise should children get?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following:
- For toddlers (kids aged 1-2 years), they should also be active for about three hours per day. Anything from jumping, running, hopping, light energetic movements like dance, and active play are encouraged for this age group.
- Preschoolers (children aged 3-5 years) should be actively playing throughout the day. Active play includes about three hours a day of light, moderate and vigorous activities. Those three daily hours should include free play, planned play, and adult-led physical activity.
- School-aged children (6-8 year-olds) should get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. This age group can benefit from muscle and bone-strengthening activities like stretching and walking (at least three days a week) on top of traditional physical activities for school-agers like swimming lessons, organized sports, gymnastics, and dance classes.
Ideally, no child over three years old should be inactive for more than 1-2 hours at a time (unless they’re sleeping). But, there are long road trips to grandma’s house and other circumstances that may keep them from moving around. It happens!
Benefits of developing your child’s physical skills through activity
Bopping around, dancing, running, jumping - these are all essential aspects of your little one’s growth. Physical activity promotes:
- Brain function - Essential mental functions are supported when kiddos exercise. Kids who move have better motor skills like hand-eye coordination, may be adept at problem-solving, have stronger attention skills, and are overall better learners.
- Good health - Physical literacy is like reading: it’s fundamental to your kiddo’s growth. When we’re active, our bodies produce endorphins, a hormone that acts as a natural painkiller. When endorphin production is in full swing, we may feel less pain and experience an overall sense of calm with an improved mood. Active children have higher energy levels during the day and sleep better at night. Couple daily exercise during the day with Snorble’s Magical Bedtime Experience™ and you’ll have one well-rested kiddo on your hands. (More on that in a bit.)
- Interpersonal and intrapersonal communication - Physical activity, especially team sports, shows children how important communication is. When children play in a group setting, they learn how to communicate with their teammates and work towards a common goal of winning the game. Although winning doesn’t matter, the journey of how children work in tandem and focus on the outcome of each step in whatever game they’re playing gives them the tools needed to relieve social pressures, develop a rapport with their peers, and offer words of encouragement to their teammates and even themselves.
- Better relationship with their own body - As children get older and puberty kicks in, their bodies go through changes that they may have a hard time coping with. But, when kids are active from toddlerhood on, they can develop a great relationship with their bodies leading to improved body image, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. If you instill an appreciation for the human body and what it can do instead of how it looks, you’re helping your kiddo understand that what they weigh or how they’re built doesn’t matter as long as they’re healthy and active. Positive body image goes a long way and it’s something your little one can carry with them throughout their life.
Physical activities for little ones
You can do many exercise-related activities with your youngster like going for a walk. This is especially easy to do when you have a dog or another pet that needs to be walked because you can make this a daily ritual for you and your child. Besides you and your little one taking your pet out for bathroom duties, you can:
- Teach your kiddo to ride a bike.
- Play outside with them when the weather permits. And if the weather doesn’t permit, build an indoor fort using your couch cushions and towels.
- Games like tag teach your child endurance as they try and escape the dreaded “It!”
- If you have a park nearby, equipment like monkey bars provide strength training for your kiddo.
- For little ones, learning to bend down and tie their shoes can improve their flexibility.
- Community centers sometimes have affordable programs for children like gymnastics, dance, soccer, swimming, and basketball where it’s not about how well they play but how much they move. Plus, organized sports and activities give children a chance to interact with their peers and learn teamwork skills.
Snorble’ll get your child moving
Our smart companion is designed with children’s development in mind. When we created Snorble, our goal was to prepare children for the world they live in and equip them with the tools necessary to pick up healthy habits, develop their social-emotional skills, instill a love of learning, and get a good night’s sleep. With a customizable bedtime routine with soothing soundscapes and a nightlight that ushers in sleep, educational games, yoga and mindfulness activities, and fun tasks to get your kiddo moving around, you’ll have everything you need for their positive development.