Written by Smita Srivastava
It is not always possible to step out with your little bud. Toddlers have too much energy and love to run around and explore their surroundings. Taking them to a playground or a park can be very beneficial for their overall growth. However, it is not a feasible option for many parents. Does that mean they should sit still indoors? No! You can always opt for indoor physical activities for toddlers instead of screen time.
If you think back, we all grew up playing in small and big places. We didn’t always play outdoors. What did you do on a rainy day or when you were sick and didn’t go to school? You found ways and means to have fun indoors. This is exactly what your toddler also needs. Some indoor physical activities can help them just like outdoor activities.
In This Article
Toddlers who are yet to start going to school or playgroup will be home most of the day. Even if you take them out for walks regularly, they will be home during the day. Their bodies and brains are developing at a very fast rate at this age. They are curious and will keep exploring and testing their limits. Research states that actively engaging toddlers with indoor physical activities will have a very good impact on their overall development.
The more they use their limbs, the stronger they will get and cross physical milestones in time. Indoor physical activities can keep them occupied while helping them improve their skills. A toddler who is active indoors will-
When a toddler is not physically active, it can delay many developments and they may take more time to achieve milestones. Yes, you can keep your toddler physically active indoors too. Indoor physical activities need not be elaborate. You don’t need much space or preparation to engage your toddler in the following indoor physical activities –
Who doesn’t like to play some hide and seek? Little ones and adults love this game. It is not physically taxing but it keeps you on your toes, making you move constantly. Toddlers are small and can find this game very interesting.
It is important to decide the safe and not safe spots to hide. Toddlers can easily get trapped in spaces due to their size and ability to squeeze through small gaps. So, before you start playing, be very clear about the spots that are an absolute no. Discourage your toddler from hiding behind closed doors or closing doors that are generally left open in the house. They may get stuck and you may not hear them if they call for help.
Take turns to count to 10 with your eyes closed. You can give a warning and then start looking for your toddler. Hide and seek is a very interesting game that will encourage your curious toddler to bend, crawl, climb, and run to hide away from you. Both you and your toddler will be on the move constantly without getting tired easily.
Hide and seek can not only keep your toddler physically active but can help in cognitive development as well. Toddlers will start looking for hiding spots, thus paying close attention to their surroundings. They evaluate and decide on a hiding spot, which develops their problem-solving abilities. They can also learn counting through this game.
A very simple yet highly fulfilling physical activity for the entire family in just one room. You don’t need a big space or any fancy setup. Just switch on some tunes on your phone and start dancing.
Let your toddler just let loose and dance the way they want. Moving their limbs at different angles will promote blood flow and build strength in them. Dancing is also great for boosting one’s mood as it releases feel-good hormones in the body. So, at the end of a dance session, both kids and adults will be feeling energized and happy.
Dancing is very good for cardiovascular health. It can make your toddler’s heart work more efficiently and build stamina. Cardiovascular health and stamina are very important to play sports and stay healthy as one grows.
Want to make it more challenging? You can switch on the video and try to learn a few steps from the screen. It can be fun to learn new steps and explore your dancing abilities with your toddler. It can help you bond with them.
Toddlers love to play with balls. Balls are one of the first toys they will pick from a basket full of toys. It is always challenging for them to control an object that keeps getting away from them.
If you have a big space, you can play throw and catch with your toddler. It can help develop their gross motor skills, strengthen their muscles, and improve hand-eye coordination. If you don’t have enough space, don’t worry, you can still play throw and catch, or passing the ball, with soft balls. Softballs don’t bounce and won’t hurt your toddler either. If your toddler is still learning to throw, you can just kick the ball around and play.
Throwing or kicking the ball will improve overall coordination in your child. It also develops their spatial awareness, which is very important for free movement and playing sports. Alternatively, you can also invest in a small ball pool and let your little toddler sit inside and play with balls safely.
Toddlers love to hunt and find hidden objects. A scavenger hunt can be very helpful to teach your toddler new words and names of items. You can play this game with toddlers of any age. Just modify the items on your list according to your toddler’s age and your surroundings.
In a scavenger hunt, you will ask your toddler to hunt and find something specific. For example, you can ask your toddler to find 5 things in blue from around the house. As your toddler gets better in their scavenger hunt, you can increase the difficulty level. You can ask for items that are not at their eye level or not easily visible. This requires a bit of searching and thinking.
A scavenger hunt will drastically improve your toddler’s problem-solving and observational skills. It keeps them on the move and helps develop their motor skills – both gross and fine. This game can go on for hours with multiple players. In the due course of the game, your toddler will also learn new words and improve their vocabulary.
Exercising is a sure way to stay active and fit. Toddlers can’t exercise like adults but they love to mimic them. When you exercise in front of your children, they tend to observe your moves and learn without teaching.
You can decide on exercises or just put on some music and work out. You can do simple moves like jumping or hopping on the spot, bending down and touching your toes, or running on the spot. Toddlers love such movements and will enjoy such exercises. If you want to encourage your toddler to move more, you can turn it into a contest to see who does more repetitions.
Children love to mimic what adults around them do, especially parents. By exercising together, you are teaching them to use and move all their muscles. Bonus – you can enjoy some beautiful laughter and gleeful smiles.
Stretching your muscles is very important at all ages. Be it a toddler or an adult, stretching can be very beneficial. Doing some stretches with your toddler will help you stay fit and improve their flexibility. Toddlers are very flexible by nature and can bend in many ways, unlike an adult. Stretching regularly will ensure they don’t lose their flexibility.
You can do some basic stretches on the floor like touching your toes, splitting your legs as much as you can, etc. Stretches have to be slow and exaggerated movements for maximum benefit. Guide your toddler every step of the way. Since they are very flexible, they might find it very easy. Make it a little more challenging if you want, by adding some extra twists and turns.
Stretching can be done at any time of the day or even at night. Anytime your toddler complains of boredom, you can start stretching with them. It can be for just 10 minutes or a full 30 minutes too. Stretching regularly will keep their muscles supple and also strengthen them.
A little game of running and catching inside the house can be a lot more fun than you can imagine. Running can help improve your toddler’s movement and strengthen their limbs too.
You don’t need much space for this fun activity. Just move the furniture around a bit to create some space safe enough to run around in. You can run around your furniture and ask your toddler to catch you. Once they touch you, they have to turn around and run away from you. Now, it’s your turn to catch them.
A game of running and catching can help improve your toddler’s speed, strengthen their legs, and improve their reflexes. They also develop spatial awareness as they need to run around furniture without bumping into them.
[Read : Spatial Awareness in Toddlers]
Test your balancing skills with your toddler. You can do this fun activity anywhere. Even when you are at a friend’s house or traveling, a quick round of balancing can effectively engage a toddler.
For younger toddlers, you can draw a line and ask them to walk on it without stepping off of it. For older toddlers, you can ask them to balance on one leg. Balancing activities can improve your toddler’s balance, coordination, and also make their core stronger. Balancing requires a lot of core strength and focus.
Staying indoors with an active toddler can be stressful for many parents. With these fun indoor physical activities for toddlers, it can be entertaining. These activities can help improve various skills in a toddler, thus contributing to their overall development. The right set of activities can make staying indoors fun.
Yes, indoor physical activities will ensure toddlers are active and develop important skills. It also ensures the toddler is active and does not lead a sedentary lifestyle in front of screens.
Yes, indoor physical activities can help toddlers develop new skills or improve their existing skills. It also aids in cognitive development and socializing.
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.
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