Physical Activity is Fun for the Whole Family

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 23-24 Month Old Toddler

Many children, including toddlers, do not get enough exercise every day to keep their bodies healthy. The USDA recommends that children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity nearly every day.

One great way to be sure your toddler is active is to build in time for physical activity for the whole family. Your child learns his attitudes about exercise from you. If you show him that it’s fun to be active, he is more likely to try it.

Here are some tips to make activity a fun part of your whole family’s life.

  • Find places for active play. Yards, playgrounds, and parks provide plenty of room for your toddler to run. If you live in a cold climate, look for indoor recreation centers and playgrounds.
  • Play with your child. Instead of standing by and watching while your child plays, join in by running or climbing with her.
  • Schedule it in. You don’t have to carve out one 60-minute block of activity time every day. Even short stretches of activity, such as a 10-minute game of tag, can help increase your family’s fitness.
  • Turn off the TV. Children who spend a lot of time watching television are less likely to be physically active. Choose at least one day a week as “turn off the TV day.” Instead of watching TV that day, take a walk to the playground or roll a ball to each other.
  • Try something new. Physical activity can get boring if you do the same old thing every day. Set up an obstacle course, and take turns climbing, crawling, and jumping. Take an afternoon hike or a weekend camping trip.
  • Play simple games, but don’t worry about rules yet. Your child enjoys simple chasing games, and a game of tag can get his heart beating. Don’t worry about teaching the rules of tag; just enjoy it.

Learn more about Your Toddler: 23-24 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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