Let’s Get Moving: How to Encourage Physical Activity in Your Preschooler
Winter may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean your family should spend every day indoors. Getting enough physical activity year-round can improve health and wellness for everyone — and once your child starts preschool, it’s a good idea to get as much immune system support as possible. But because getting a gym membership isn’t an age appropriate choice for preschoolers, how do you lay the foundation for fitness for your toddler? Here are just a few ideas that will get your little one moving and will help to create lifelong healthy habits.
Get Fit as a Family
One of the best ways to encourage preschool children to get moving is to make fitness a family activity. When you make getting your daily exercise an enjoyable event, you can focus on spending quality time together; the physical activity is merely a bonus.
For example, you could sign your toddler up for swim classes so that you can eventually all take a dip together. Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the U.S. and is one that kids tend to love, so making sure your toddler learns how to swim safely can be an excellent way to encourage their love of the water and even help you come up with family vacation ideas.
If you’re not a fan of the pool, you can organize family walks around the neighborhood after dinner, explore local biking and hiking trails on the weekends, head to the bowling alley once a week, or have an indoor dance party on a rainy Sunday. If you make movement fun for the entire family, your toddler will have positive associations with physical activity — and won’t even realize they’re partaking in it.
Limit Screen Time
Anyone at a good preschool program, as well as concerned parents, will tell you that too much screen time can be damaging for children. It’s damaging for adults, too. That’s why you should consider placing limits on the amount of time your preschooler (and the rest of your family, for that matter) can watch TV or use electronic devices.
Not only can this encourage more cognitive growth, but it can also encourage physical activity. The less time your child spends looking at a screen, the more time they’ll be able to spend doing something else — like blowing bubbles in the backyard or putting on a show in the basement. Make sure the whole family agrees on these limits and sticks to them so that you set a good example for your kiddo. In addition, you should come up with a list of fun alternatives to distract from those screens so that giving them up doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.
Find a Top Preschool Near You
You might not realize that a good preschool program can be essential in ensuring your child gets enough physical activity each day. A reputable resource for professional childcare emphasizes both classroom learning and playtime, which means that your child will have plenty of opportunities for all kinds of growth. A good preschool program with an interdisciplinary approach to learning will incorporate physical activity into the curriculum, which can help with everything from motor skill development to improved health and wellness. Be sure to make your preschool selection based on the curriculum that offers a well-rounded education to your toddler.
With these tips in mind, you can help your child stay active throughout their life. We’d love to help support your family’s health and wellness. For more information on our preschool program, please contact us today.