Kid's Health Games - Healthy Games for Kids
It is important for children to get enough exercise. By having your children participate in active playtime you are helping your child to develop lifelong habits that will help keep them healthier. There are many ways to encourage active play for children of all ages.
Activities for Infants
Babies need time for movement daily. You should set up a safe area in your home for them to play. You can lay a blanket on the floor for added comfort.
- You can sing a song as your infant moves his arms and legs. You can also gently move his arms and legs to the rhythm of the song you are singing. This also works well with nursery rhymes.
- Allow your infant to have "tummy time" every day. This is simply done by laying your baby on a blanket on the floor. This allows him to stretch out and move his arms and legs. By allowing your baby "tummy time" you are helping him to develop his muscles as he is getting ready for rolling over and crawling.
- You can place a toy that you and your infant are playing with slightly out of her reach. This will encourage her to reach for it. After time she will begin rolling over in order to grab the toy.
- Rolling a ball back and forth is also a great game to play with your baby.
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Activities for Toddlers
Children ages two through five have tons of energy. Here are some indoor and outdoor activities for them.
- Play music and have your child march around the room or yard, or even have a dance party. Kids love dancing to music.
- You can introduce exercise through a game of "Simon Says". For example: Simon Says touch your toes five times, or Simon Says do six jumping jacks.
- You can also have your child use pretend play to get exercise. You can hop like a bunny around the yard, fly like a bird, or even crawl like a dog.
Balls are great for active play. When using balls during active playtime you want your child to throw, catch, kick, bounce, and dribble as much as possible.
There are many kinds of soft balls that are excellent for younger children. These include balls that are made of sponge and come in a variety of sizes. It is a good idea to use a lightweight ball when playing with younger children because heavier balls can do more damage than good.
Younger children can have fun shooting balls into a laundry basket or a box for a good indoor game of basketball. Older children can play balloon volleyball. Remember: Balloons can be a choking hazard so they are not recommended for younger children.
Taking a trip to your local playground is a great way to promote exercise and active play. Your child can exercise his legs on the swings or her arms on the monkey bars. You child will be exercising just by having the opportunity to run and play on the different structures at the playground. Best of all, she will not even realize she is exercising, to her she will just be having fun!