The best way to develop little children’s skills is through play. Children gain control of their body movements and learn how to co-ordinate their fingers and hands. Many toddlers stay in childcare during the day, when parents are at work. Toddlers are active and inquisitive which might spell trouble for caretakers. You have to keep them busy and help them develop their fine motor skill at the same time, in a fun and engaging manner. Check out these physical activities for toddlers in childcare, which are easy and effective, and loads of fun.
12 Physical activities for toddlers in childcare
1. Catch ball
It’s such a simple game, but this game improves their co-ordination and grip by a great extent. Throwing and catching will improve their body co-ordination and all the 4 year old children in your care will love the game. You can make them sit and play catch ball too, sometimes, if you wish. Bouncing the ball and basketball are other options.
In fact, the ball is a very versatile toy, and some kids love it better than others. Even very small children in your care love it to bits. Instead of catching the ball, you can just roll it to her/him and have them roll it back to you. Playing with the ball is one of the favourite physical activities for toddlers in childcare.
2. Nature walks
Physical activities for toddlers in childcare can be as simple as a nature walk. You can take them to a park nearby, and let the children walk around. Make it more interesting by asking them to pick leaves, pine cones, stones and twigs and make a nature painting by sticking them on paper.
It would stretch their imagination and you’d be delighted by the efforts of the kindergarten going child in your care. Take magnifying glasses along, and look at bugs through them. Or you could go to the beach and pick seashells.
3. Let them ride
One of the activities is to let them ride tricycles or push their tiny cars about. It will increase the strength in their legs. Riding a tricycle will help them to learn to balance, and increase their confidence as well. The children love this activity as it makes them feel like grown-ups!
4. Walk like an animal
One of the really fun physical activities for toddlers in childcare which will send the kids into peals of laughter, is to walk like animals. Hopping like frogs, galloping like horses, walking on all fours like dogs, foxes, wolves and bears – some might even imitate the movement of a shark or a dolphin! These exercises are great for the better development of the gross motor skill of the children.
5. Dance, dance, dance
One of the best physical activities for toddlers in childcare, beyond a doubt, is dancing. It is a great exercise for everyone and you can all enjoy together. On rainy, windy or snowy days, dancing can give the kindergarten going child all the exercise he/she requires. Sometimes when the kids are bored of sitting and playing with their blocks, you can switch on the music and get them dancing for about 15 minutes. Dancing will make the kids happy, hungry and tired, ready for wholesome food and a healthy nap!
6. Bubble blowing with a difference
Blowing bubbles is an enjoyable activity which children of all ages find delightful. Add a twist to it by asking the kids to burst the bubbles with a different part of the body, such as the nose, fingers and elbows. They will learn different body parts simultaneously.
Spending time with nature is one of the ways for the better development of children. There are many ways to do this, but one of the best ways is to start a garden for the kids. The children can have their own row of favourite flowers which they will be responsible for. They can plant, water and care for the flowers.
Or a vegetable garden is also a good idea – the kids will be thrilled to take their vegetables home to show their parents! Gardening instils the love of nature in children, which is very important as we need the next generation to have love for the environment.
8. Obstacle course
Create a temporary obstacle course indoors using whatever objects you can find. Cushions, cardboard boxes (you can flatten them for storage later), stools, chairs, teddy bears can all form an obstacle course. Take all the stuff out in your lawn/backyard and let the kids play out in the open. They will benefit from the sun and fresh air outdoors.
9. Jumping on the trampoline
A kindergarten going child has a lot of energy which has to be channelled in the right direction. Jumping is one of the activities that can develop their gross motor skills. Toddlers love to jump on the trampoline with their friends, and is undoubtedly one of their favourite activities!
10. Scavenger hunt
Form two teams and get one team to hide pre-decided objects. The other team can find them. The game can continue with each team hiding and finding things by turns. But you have to supervise the activity, to make sure that the children do not hide things in unsafe places.
Before you begin the high intensity physical activities for toddlers in childcare, get them to warm up with some stretching exercises. Ask the toddlers in your care to ‘reach to the sky and touch the clouds’, ‘bend towards their side’ and ‘touch their toes’. You should stand in front and show them how to do it and join in the fun.
12. Find the clock/timer
Hide a clock or a timer setting it to about five minutes. The children have to find it by following the ticking sound. You can give clues by clapping your hands loudly and faster or slower indicating whether they are close to or far from the object.
After a fun-filled day is over, get the kids to help you clean up by putting objects in their places which will teach them self-sufficiency. Then let the kids calm down by having them sit in silence for about 10 minutes, and breathing deeply.