Exercise for Toddlers PDF Print E-mail
Delightful Surprises





Providing enough exercise for toddlers and young children during the winter months and rainy periods of spring can be challenging if parents rely solely on the outdoors. Yet there are many fun ways to engage children in exercise indoors, which I did with my little ones each day. Here is a sampling.

~Act out the following song as you sing it together. "Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around; Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground. Teddy bear, teddy bear tie your shoes; Teddy bear, teddy bear that will do. Teddy bear, teddy bear go upstairs; teddy bear, teddy bear say your prayers. Teddy bear, teddy bear turn out the light; teddy bear, teddy bear say goodnight."

~Play "Mommy Says" by giving the children things to do and have them pretend doing them: Bend down and pick up shells off the beach and place them in your buckets. Jump in the air for the Frisbee. Crawl like crabs. Roll like tumbleweeds. Reach for the moon. How the garden. Skip rocks across the lake. Paint the picket fence. Hang the wet sheets on the line. Pick flowers for the dining room table. Feed the chickens. Milk the cow. Take the dry sheets off the line and fold them. Chase the goat around the yard and then place her back in the pen. The possibilities are endless. I just loved making up these fun things for the children to act out, and they loved it, too.

~Play Hokey Pokey. You know, "Put your right hand in, put your right hand out, put your right hand in and shake it all about. Then do the Hokey Pokey till your turn yourself around; that's what it's all about." I so loved doing this with the children, too.

~Blow bubbles for the children to pop according to your directions like, "Pop the bubbles with your head. Now pop them with your elbows. See how many of these you can catch with your hands. Catch the bubbles in theis cup. Now swat them with this Tupperware lid..."

~Play Ring Around the Rosy.

~After placing a Hula Hoop on the floor, I would have the children follow my directions: Run around the hoop; jump in and out of the hoop; do a cartwheel into the hoop; twirl inside the hoop; now twirl around the outside of the hoop; hop on one foot, first in, then out, then in, then out; touch the inside of the hoop with both hands, now out, now in; hop with both feet inside the hoop, then outside the hoop, then in, then out...

~Using tables, chairs, pillows, and boxes, I would set up obstacle courses for the children to navigate.

~Other times, I would set up a maze for crawling.

~I would have them play tug of war with a beach towel, only I would direct the tugging by saying, "Jedidiah is pulling, now Sonia is pulling, now both of you pull..."

~I would give each child one of my scarves to wave to the rhythm of music.

~Play Red Light Green Light.

~I would have them make snowballs by crunching up newspaper and then have them compete to see who could get dressed in their winter clothes the fastest. When fully dressed, I would let them have a grand snowball fight in my bedroom, using the bed, sofa, chair, and table as their hideouts.

~Wearing safety glasses, they would have marvelous rubber band battles throughout the house with their homemade rubber band guns.

~In the basement we kept a punching bag, tricycles, rollerblades, Little Tykes teeter totter, balls, baskets, and the sandbox. Ahh, those were the days of sheer delightful fun!