Exercise and Physical Activity

Children playing tag.Play gives a children an opportunity to exercise their body and mind. Limit your child's TV time and take him or her outside or to a community center to play whenever possible. Active games like hide and seek, rolling or throwing a ball, stacking blocks or just crawling, will keep your child in shape. Keeping your child active in the early years establishes good fitness habits for life. Toddlers love to run, jump, and climb. Encourage them to do so, but make sure they are in a safe environment and that someone responsible is watching them at all times.

Here are a few other ideas for fun and simple games:


Simon Says: This game can be played anywhere, even in a car or other small space. One person is Simon and starts by saying, “Simon says, ‘<insert action here>.’” Everyone must then do the action. However, if Simon makes an action request without saying, “Simon says” to begin the request, anyone who does that action is out. The last person still playing in the end will be Simon for the next round.


Tag: It seems that everyone knows how to play tag, but just in case it wasn’t in your childhood game playing repertoire, here is how you play. A group of kids decides who will start out as being “it.” That person chases the other people around, trying to tag one of them with their hand. The newly tagged person is now “it.” There is often the rule of “no tag-backs” where you can’t tag the person who just tagged you. The game ends when everyone is tired of playing.


Red Light, Green Light: With enough room, this game can easily be played inside. One person is the traffic light at one end, and the other players are at the other end. When the traffic light faces the group, he or she says, “Red light!” and everyone must freeze. The traffic light then turns his or her back and says, “Green light!” while the group tries to get as close to the traffic light as possible. The traffic light turns around quickly, again saying, “Red light!”, and if anyone is spotted moving, they have to go back to the starting place. The first person to tag the traffic light wins and gets to be the next traffic light.

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