Most pre-kindergarteners get enough physical activity from simply doing the things they enjoy most, such as playing, running around, and dancing to music. However, there has been a constant increase in the number of toddlers and preschoolers attached to electronics and, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen. If you are concerned that your child is not active enough, seek out ways to make physical activity more fun. Here are five easy ways to boost his or her activity level:
Everything’s better with friends:
Children love playing with other kids, so invite a friend for a playdate at home or at the local playground. Or get into the action yourself, by kicking a ball or playing catch with your child.
On your feet, soldier!
Encourage your child to walk distances and not to rely too much on being carried or even using a stroller. Try to set good examples of active behavior for your child, for example by opting to use the stairs and walking as much as possible.
Explore the outdoors
Try to make sure that your child has plenty of opportunities to play outside. Take advantage of local parks and playgrounds as much as possible. Outdoor play allows children to participate in a variety of healthy physical activities and also offers valuable non-physical benefits. It can foster cognitive and emotional development, by encouraging children to test their limits and explore unfamiliar pieces of equipment. Interacting with other children at parks and playgrounds also helps develop important social skills.
Set the example:
Model active behavior for your child. Try to organize family activities around being active so that your child understands that being active is fun.
Emphasize safety to your child. Teach her to be vigilant when crossing the street and to play safely around cars. Show her how important it is to play safely with other children and on playground equipment, for example by avoiding falling on her neck and head.
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