You’ve just celebrated your baby’s first birthday and are finding out that he’s no longer a little crawling baby. He is now a toddler who is fast learning to walk and talk, surprising you with a new skill or word every day. The bones and muscles of their legs, arms and torso are fast growing and strengthening too. This is the perfect time to engage your toddler in a variety of games and activities for both their mind and body to develop. In this article, you will find 7 helpful ways to encourage your toddler’s physical development.
Motor and physical skills are developed by games which encourage:
Here are some ideas you could follow to encourage to help develop your child’s physical and motor skills.
Do not shield your toddler constantly from dirt. Of course, we are not saying your toddler eat dirt, but it’s completely OK for them to play in the garden, build mud castles and get their hands, feet or faces dirty. Playing outside helps develop your child’s immunity. It also tires them and helps build a healthy appetite. Apart from playing in the sand, toddlers could catch a ball, play running-catching or simply race around to strengthen their muscles. These activities can boost a toddler’s physical development.
Go for a walk in the garden with your toddler. Let them take along their little gardening tools or magnifying glasses. Explore the outdoors, marvel at the bugs, leaves, and flowers and ask and answer questions. This time is vital in building your toddler’s interest and appreciation of the outdoors and their curiosity. Crouching down, climbing trees, and handling gardening tools will help develop their physical and motor skills too.
Nowadays, a huge selection of child-friendly songs can help you introduce your toddler to new sounds, rhythms, and tempos. Have a dance-off with your child, shaking and grooving to the music. Make it even more fun by muting and freezing like a statue in place. Regular dancing can increase your toddler’s flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina.
This game is as fun to prepare as it is to play. Since toddlers can’t read clues yet, make it simple by hiding their favourite toys behind furniture, under blankets or sheets or in clothes and ask them to search for these by offering simple verbal clues. You could even ask your child to guess the toy by touch, without looking. This treasure hunt not only exercises the body but the mind too by building problem-solving skills.
Most of us grew up playing this game and it’s time your toddler enjoyed this simple, fun game too. Have your toddler follow directions and do as you say only if you say “Simon Says”. Simon says jump three times, Simon says touch the blue car, Simon says touch the car with the number 7, Simon says run in place. The options are endless. The best part is it can be played both doors and outdoors. This game will not just have your child listening carefully, but will help him learn to follow directions too.
Ask your toddler for help with small chores around the house. 3-year-olds can successfully put their toys away, put clothes in the laundry hamper, feed their pets, wipe the table, collect magazines, papers and books and put them away. You are more likely to be successful if you ask your child for help and involve them in the work rather than ordering them around. This will not only build your child’s motor skills but also help build an appreciation for the work you do around the house and hopefully help them be independent later.
Despite all the physical activities and imagination, if your child’s diet and nutrition are not up to the mark, his physical development might still be lagging.
Offer them a wide variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and home-cooked food and snacks. A few points to remember while feeding your child:
Just because the child rejects the food once, does not mean he has rejected it forever. Continue to offer a few bites of the food till they develop a taste for it.
Do not force feed your toddler after he says he is full. Though we encourage finishing what is on the plate, force-feeding might make the child develop the problem of overeating and be obese later.
Even though mother’s try very hard, with toddlers it’s OK or every meal to not be balanced. It is easier to ensure that they get complete nutrition through the course of the day over 3-5 meals.
Also read: 21 Iron Rich Recipes For Babies And Toddlers
Try these fun activities and not only will your toddler grow stronger and healthier, but you will also find out how much fun your toddler is to hang out with. So turn off the TV, get going and make some memories.
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