Health Tips 5 METHODS TO Increase PHYSICAL EXERCISE for Infants and Toddlers

5 METHODS TO Increase PHYSICAL EXERCISE for Infants and Toddlers

Encouraging daily exercise and active play in infants and toddlers is essential to build up strength, balance, coordination, movement planning skills, endurance, and flexibility. It allows your son or daughter to explore and promotes overall motor and brain development. Here are exercise recommendations and five strategies from physical therapists for infants and toddlers, predicated on recent guidelines and guidelines to market health. Include these in your infant’s or toddler’s daily routines.

Tips for EXERCISE by Age

Infants (Birth to 12 Months)

  • Promote movement. Provide daily “tummy time” for infants under half a year of age. In accordance with a report in the journal Pediatrics, tummy time might help with a kid’s total development and encourages movement. Once your infant learns to scoot, crawl, or walk, permit them to freely explore both indoors and outdoors under your watchful eye.
  • Encourage movement experiences and active play for short periods many times a day. Offer an uncluttered play space for the infant. Make sure the region is safe and free from foot traffic, unsafe objects, shelving, along with other hazards (like electrical cords or outlets).
  • Reserve time for the infant to connect to you and the surroundings. Play “peek-a-boo” or sing songs when you move your infant’s legs and arms. Place toys suitable to your son or daughter’s age in various areas in your area. Place toys high or low, before or behind your son or daughter to encourage movement and various positions because they “seek” each toy. Speaking with your infant throughout this sort of play and exploration also really helps to develop early language skills.

Toddlers (12 to 3 years)

  • Structured (caregiver led) activity. Toddlers should be a part of at least half an hour of daily structured exercise. For example an obstacle course or scavenger hunt with household items and playing hide and seek.
  • Unstructured activity. Toddlers should take part in at the very least 60 minutes (or more to several hours) each day of unstructured exercise. Your child shouldn’t be inactive for a lot more than 60 minutes at the same time (except when sleeping). Free play allows your son or daughter to explore and become creative without preset rules. For example playing independently with blocks or toys and on playground or backyard equipment.
  • Provide multiple opportunities to build up movement skills. Take your son or daughter to the nearest park, playground, or pool.



1. Laundry time.

Have your son or daughter push the laundry basket with their room. Roll socks right into a ball and teach your son or daughter how exactly to throw them in to the laundry basket.

2. Couch time.

Have your son or daughter cruise across the edge of the couch. Place toys toward the trunk of the couch to encourage pulling to stand. Let your son or daughter climb on or off the couch together with your supervision.

3. Gardening time.

Help your son or daughter hold the hose or perhaps a small watering can. Let them explore the garden with small garden tools, large kitchen spoons, or measuring cups. Place your infant on a big blanket or rug outside, to allow them to explore the sights and sounds of the outside.

4. Family time.

Arrive the tunes and also have a dance party. Hold your son or daughter and proceed to the beat or let your son or daughter explore different movement patterns on the feet. Sing and demonstrate movement songs such as for example “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” or “I’m just a little Teapot,” and see if your son or daughter imitates.

5. Community errands.

Once you shop, run errands, or visit sites such as for example museums or zoos, and resist the desire to keep your child in a stroller the complete visit. Keep these things walk close to you for brief periods to improve physical activity. This can cause them to become explore and help to keep them entertained.

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve standard of living through hands on-care, patient education, and prescribed movement.

When you have concerns your child isn’t developing age-appropriate movement skills, a physical therapist can evaluate your son or daughter and work with one to help them achieve their particular potential.

It is possible to contact a physical therapist directly for an assessment. To discover a physical therapist locally, visit Look for a PT.

APTA’s Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy authored this article for information purposes only. It isn’t intended to represent the positioning of APTA Pediatrics.