Fitness Exercises for Toddlers
Heads, Bellies, Toes
This game helps with identifying body parts, flexibility, and understanding the concepts of up, down, low, and high.
- Stand facing your child.
- Beginning slowly, call out the names of the three body parts that are in the title, asking your child to touch each part as he hears its name.
- Once your child is successful at this, reverse - and mix up - the order of body parts.
- Change the tempo at which you call out the body parts - sometimes slow and sometimes fast.
- Another possibility is to start out slowly and gradually get faster.
- When your child is ready, play Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Later, you can once again change the order of body parts and the pace at which you call them out.
Walking on tiptoe uses the child's own body weight to develop strength. It also helps with balance!
- Show your child how to tiptoe.
- Ask her to do it with you.
- Tiptoe as long as your toddler stays interested.
- Play a piece of quiet music as you both tiptoe.
- Use imagery - for example, asking your child to pretend she's sneaking up on someone, or a kitty cat trying to catch a bird.
- Vary pathways (straight, curving, and zigzagging) and directions (forward, backward, and sideward).
Reprinted with the permission of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
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