Run-Away Toddlers

Even little kids need exercise. Make sure yours gets enough.

By FamilyTime


Your toddler may never stop. He’s constantly on the go, getting into this, reaching for that, exploring something else. This is good! Children need to move a lot and parents should make sure their youngsters have ample opportunity to stretch their muscles.

However, studies show that many preschoolers are not getting all the exercise they need. These small children require at least an hour of vigorous activity every day, stretched out over their waking hours, and they should never be sedentary for longer than 60 minutes at a time (except when they sleep).

To make sure your little one is getting enough physical activity, here are 3 tips for parents:

1. Don’t confine your child unless necessary: Sometimes we must strap our kids into car seats and strollers. At other times, the playpen is the safest place for the baby, but be aware of how long your child’s movement is restricted.

On long car trips, make stops every now and then and let your little one run around in a grassy area or take her for a hand-held walk up and down a sidewalk.

When you run errands with your toddler, take him out of the stroller now and again and let him walk beside you. This will slow you up considerably, but your little one will feel better and enjoy himself more.

2. Play with your child: Take your youngster to the park or playground whenever you can. These times can be boring for some parents, but if you play with your offspring — run races, climb the playground structures, whiz down the slides — both of you will have fun and work off steam. You will surprise yourself with how good you feel!

Start impromptu games of tag and similar games indoors. Even a few minutes of running from living room to kitchen and back again will be fun for both you and your baby. Encourage your older kids to play with the toddler and if the noise levels get a little high, let it!

3. Limit television: Most parents don’t realize how much time their little ones actually sit in front of the TV. An hour can slip by without much notice when you are trying to get dinner on the table, fold laundry, or clean the bathroom. Make an effort to rouse your kids after an hour of television and suggest some active playtime.

If all caregivers — moms, dads, grandmas, older brothers and sisters, and babysitters — paid a little more attention to insuring the toddlers and preschoolers in their care got up and moved more often, not only will everyone have a better time but our kids will be healthier and happier.