Looking for active physical activities energetic toddlers should do every day? There are 12 gross motor activities that I do with my active toddler every day. I know, that if we skip them, he won’t sleep and I won’t sleep either. So, even if my energy level is down, there is no way for me not doing them, because I have at home a very active toddler.
Besides, physical activity is crucial for the physical and brain development of toddlers.
In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued their Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. In short, to grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more.
How much exercise does a 2-3-year-old need?
So, if you are wondering how much exercise does a 2-3-year-old need, the answer is simple. Toddlers should be active at least 3 hours a day, including light, moderate, and vigorous activities. That’s not only according the WHO Guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age, but also according to physical activity guidelines for children in UK, Canada, Australia.
The US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition did not review evidence for children younger than age 3 years and provide very general physical activity guidance for children and adolescents 3 through 17 years old, specifically to be active throughout the day. However, in the first edition, the activity guidelines for toddlers aged 1-3 years recommended that toddlers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours per day of unstructured physical activity. Additionally, toddlers should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping. Moreover, at least 30 minutes should be a structured physical activity each day and supervised by an adult.
In conclusion, a minimum of 180 minutes of physical activity a day for toddlers under the age of 3 can be regarded as standard, no matter where in the world your toddler grows up.
So, what’s our solution for these minimum of 180 minutes? What activities do active toddlers love? How do you keep an energetic toddler busy?
Active and energetic little ones love quick, easy and simple toddler activities with instant results. And the best thing is, once they are hooked on an activity, they want to repeat it over and over again.
12 Physical Activities Energetic Toddlers Should Do Every day
So here they are 12 physical activities energetic toddlers should do every day.
I spread them out during the day, but you can mix them up as you like or need to.
If your toddler spends at least 15 minutes on each activity daily, they will accumulate a daily physical activity of 180 min. And that matches exactly the recommended minimum of 180 minutes of daily physical activity according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Children around the world.
Additionally, those activities are easy, fun, no-prep or low-prep activities for toddlers and burn off lots of energy! And besides, it’s great also for us parents to get some active time each day additionally to our routines.
Active Activities Before Breakfast
1. Dancing Queen
Start the day with a dance and do it for 10-15 minutes. From nursery rhymes, though Flashdance to Baby Shark, everything that makes your toddler happily move, is a great idea to get some exercise and fun.
What can you do to make dancing more fun? Try to spin in a circle until you get dizzy and then fall laughing on the floor. It’s a great exercise to improve balance and start your morning.
Additionally, there is one bright idea to improve the dancing experience. Turn your toddler clockwise in a circle, while holding their hands like a flying clock. A variation is to hold them with the head upside down and spin with them clockwise in a circle.
Physical Activities before Lunch
Breakfast was short, we painted, counted and did some scribbling. So, we sat for a while now. Therefore, let’s get up again and start some chasing. That involves a lot of running around the house and its great fun.
3. Up and Down
After you’ve warmed up, let’s go up and down. If you have stairs – stairs up, stairs down, up and down. Let’s do it again! Lucky us, we’ve got stairs! Indeed, we love repetition, and it seems that we will never get tired. In the summer, let’s do it outside!
3a. Climbing on Furniture
If you don’t have stairs, use your furniture! Couch, chair, table, bed, and anything that’s safe to jump from, is great way to practice gross motor skills.
Turn your couch into a slide…
or your table into a dancing experience…
After we ran up and down the stairs for a while, we got tired. So, now let’s throw some balls in a basket. We can do this at home as well as outdoors.
5. Playground Time
Rain or shine, playground time is a must. In the summer for long hours, in the winter depending on the weather, somewhere between 30 min and 1 hour is great.
Physical Activities After Lunch and Nap Time
6. Jump and Kick
The nap was good. The energy level is up again, but only for the little one. Mom is tired. So, let’s do some jumping and to make it more fun, combine it with kicking.
7. Indoor Tennis – Ball on a String
We love tennis not only outdoors, but also at home! Super easy to set up with ball pit balls this activity improves not only balance and hand-eye coordination, but it’s a great start of the day.
8. Crawling through Tunnels
Yep, tunnels! Above all, build them everywhere around the house with everything you can – chairs, tables, drying rack. Crawl and run underneath, and just have fun. And look here, I can be a tunnel too!
8a. Boxing Toddler
If you don’t like tunnels or crawling, use boxes. Going in and out, in and out, is fun, easy and burns good amount of energy.
9. Jumping over Obstacles
Can you jump over this? Can you jump over that? Putting small obstacles like for example paper tunnels, egg packaging etc. is a great way to help me learn to jump better. You can also use a step board, so your toddler can go up and I go up and down, jump up and down, run around it.
No matter whether indoors or outdoors, with rules or no rules, hopscotch is an activity, that’s part of childhood. Do it daily, since it improves balance, muscles and bone strength.
Physical Activities after Dinner
11. Toddler Yoga
Most importantly, if your toddler is still not tired when it’s almost bath time, let them do some free style toddler yoga. Always, when I try to make a 10-minute yoga at home morning or evening, Aiden joins with or without invitation. He imitates the yoga poses with precision and concentration. So, give it a try!
12. Bedtime exercise – Roll over
And then, it’s bedtime! So, let us finish the day with some light exercises in the bed or almost in the bed. Legs up and down, up and down, while mom is trying to read a bedtime story. Roll over and roll and roll…until you get tired.
Now, should be finally time for some goodnight sleep.
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