What can you do to encourage your preschooler to be more active indoors during these sometimes long days of staying home? Here are some fun ideas to get your preschooler to expend a little of that energy on days they have to stay indoors. And the bonus is you actually get some exercise too!
Have a dance party! Crank up some favorite dance music and hit the floor with your preschooler! It’s a great way for you to get your heart rate up, burn some calories, loosen up some stiff muscles, relieve some tension and have some fun! Watch how your preschooler will try to imitate your dance moves.
Freeze Dance. If your preschooler loved your dance party, she will love this activity. Play some of your child’s favorite music and let her dance. Pause the music every once in a while, and she should freeze in whatever position she was in when the music stops. Dance with her for some fun refreshing exercise and see who freezes in the craziest positions!
Play the Animal Game. This game is so much fun and your preschooler will love acting like familiar animals. Ask your preschooler to hop like a frog, gallop like a horse, walk like a duck, fly like a bird, etc. Do the actions with your child as you both move around the room. Add animal sounds if you would like. Imitating the movements of different animals will use different muscles and help develop physical strength.
Play Over and Under. For this activity, you need to lie on the ground. Elevate your hips so that you form a bridge with your body. Ask your preschooler to crawl under the bridge. If you are brave you can then get in the plank position and ask your preschooler to jump over you. Not only is this a fun activity for your child, but you can get a small workout for yourself too.
Jumping Jacks. Doing Jumping Jacks is a great exercise for adults but your preschooler can do it too. Encourage him to do at least 10-15 jumping jacks with you. It will be fun plus you both will get some exercise. Have fun counting how many you do.
Keep the Balloon Up. This activity can be a lot of fun but you must make sure that you are in an open space or room where there are no harmful toys or objects. For this activity, blow up a balloon and then ask your preschooler to keep the balloon floating up in the air and not let it touch the ground. If you want to make it more fun, hit the balloon back and forth to each other, still trying not to let it touch the ground.
Balance Beam. For this activity all you need is masking tape. Roll out the tape on the floor in a line as long as you wish, and ask your preschooler to walk only on that line. You can even stick the tape in a zigzag to make it more fun for your child. This activity will help improve balance. Walk the line with your child to see who has the best balance. You can also balance a bean bag or a book on your head while walking the line to make it more challenging.
Follow the Leader. For this activity, you will have to be the leader and ask your preschooler to follow what you do. Walk in and around your house and while walking, do activities like stretching, jumping, jogging, running in place, squatting, and skipping and ask your child to repeat after you. Use your imagination to make this a fun indoor physical activity for both of you.
Try to ensure that your preschooler gets at least one hour of physical activity every day! Keep the activities fun, exciting and something that you can do together. Use your imagination and let your preschooler do the same! The physical activity and exercise will benefit everyone.
Author: Vicki Starks, Fayette County Food & Fitness F2ECE Associate