By encouraging minimalistic physical activities for your baby you are also helping them to develop a healthy routine and hence a healthy lifestyle. Experts suggest that infants aged 0-1 years should engage in mild physical activities, babies aged 1-5years should engage in at least three hours of physical activity each day and children above five years should indulge in physical activity for at least an hour every day.
These are some of the benefits of letting your toddlers indulge in physical activities:
- It helps in the development of strong bones and muscles.
- Regular exercise keeps the heart, lungs and other organs healthy. It also ensures a smooth circulation of blood.
- It improves balance, posture and reduces the risk of becoming obese.
- It removes stress, improves sleep and also helps in channelising aggression in some children.
- Physical activity enhances gross motor skills keeping children active and reducing risks of any physical illness.
- It increases the attention span of children as well.
- Physically active children have a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. They are usually extrovert in nature and are happy and relaxed.
- It helps them to be emotionally stable in general and maintain an optimistic approach in most of the things in life.
- Children, who engage in various physical activities, are less likely to suffer from serious diseases, like, heart disorders, Type II diabetes later in life.
- Being outdoor and playing in the open helps develop a love for nature and environment.
You can imbibe physical activities in your baby by devising simple games at home. Some examples are:
- Take a bottle with a spill proof cap and fill it till the half way mark with water. Put one of shampoo or dishwashing liquid into it and shake the bottle well. Let you baby play shake-the-bottle and enjoy the bubbles.
- Turn your baby on his/her tummy and draw his/her attention to his/her favorite ball. Gently roll the ball in front of him/her, encouraging him/her to reach for it. This stretching exercise is beneficial for infants who are learning to crawl.
- You can staple large and empty cardboard boxes together to create a tunnel for your baby to crawl through.
- Once your baby is old enough to recognise their toys, you can take them to the park and place their toys at random distances for them to find and gather. Just make sure that they are placed at safe locations and not too far away from where you are.
- You can encourage imagination and creativity in your child by encouraging them to weave stories around the various trees and animals they see in the park. You can ask them to describe what the squirrel were doing just before she spotted it or how has the tree been feeling on a particularly cold winter day.