It is commonly known that exercise is a healthy habit, and should be part of your daily routine. But you may not realize that it is just as important for your child. Children are naturally active, but with the increase in mobile devices and gaming apparatuses, they are spending more time sitting indoors. American children spend an average of 7 1/2 hours staring at a television or computer screen, and several hours in front of an iPad or game console. Also, the CDC reports that a little less than 35% of male children and only 18.5% of female children engage in physical activity on a daily basis.
Play is a crucial part of cognitive, physical, and emotional development in children, and can be the best way to provide children with enough exercise. This can easily be achieved by taking your child to an indoor playground regularly, if weather does not permit an outdoor one. Playgrounds can be a great place for children to explore, build hand-eye coordination, and develop endurance. They can also interact with other children their own age. You can find an indoor playground for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and older children. An indoor playground for toddlers will have more age-appropriate equipment, and also allow your toddler to roam around without having to worry about older children trampling him or her.
In addition to taking their children to playgrounds, many parents put their children in after school programs that range from sports, to dance classes for children, to karate, and other programs that keep a child active after sitting in school for most of the day. If you have a toddler, you can also take your child to mommy and me swimming classes, music classes, and fitness classes. Some places even offer toddler dance classes and ballet classes so that toddlers can increase their balance and coordination.
The point is to keep your child on the move, and off the couch. There is no need to take your child’s iPad away or stop them from watching their favorite TV show. As long as parents offer their children a variety of fun activities to engage in, they will want to keep playing. Once they get a taste of just how exciting sports, dance classes, playgrounds, and after school programs can be, they may never want to sit in front of a screen again.