Your active preschooler might appear to get enough exercise through everyday play, but childhood obesity can strike even the most playful children when they do not get enough activity. The University of Illinois suggests that parents ensure that preschoolers stay fit and healthy by encouraging them to participate in fun and active physical exercises appropriate for their young ages.
Children love to explore nature, so what better way to get exercise than to hike, climb and explore in the outdoors. Take your preschoolers to a nature center or to a forest for an exciting and fun-filled day that will work out their muscles and their minds. For extra exertion, give each preschooler a small backpack filled with a sack lunch, a water bottle and sunscreen.
Follow the Leader
Small children often enjoy playing “Follow the Leader,” which involves the children following behind you and imitating your every move. When you become the leader for your preschooler, you can run around a yard or field in patterns, jump over puddles or stones, do jumping jacks or simply move about acting silly. Physical exercise becomes fun when it more closely resembles play. Plus, when preschoolers follow your commands during play, they might follow your commands during daily activities as well.
When you take your preschooler to a playground, you give her free range on an obstacle course full of activities. Playground developers construct playground structures to provide young children with a range of exercise opportunities, including climbing up ladders, sliding down slides and swinging across monkey bars. Try taking your preschooler to a playground at least weekly to encourage healthy and active exercise.
According to Princeton University, many toys designed these days only provide children with visual or auditory stimulation, such as video games. However, those games cause children to sit still for long periods. This creates an unhealthful situation for your preschooler and could lead to a sedentary lifestyle later in life. Keep your kids active by giving them active toys that encourage exercise and physical activity. Active toys include jump ropes, sidewalk chalk and play kitchens.