Children are blessed with enormous amounts of energy. Healthy activities for kids are essential to help them express and release that energy.
Rudolph Steiner, who founded the Waldorf schools and an authority on early childhood developmental needs, explains that young children live in their limbs and imagination. This is why sitting for hours at a time in a classroom situation or on the couch watching TV, upsets their innate need for movement. Outdoor time, running and jumping, rolling and climbing are healthy and fun. Moving is a wonderful way to discharge a child’s hyperactivity for it centers them in their body and breathing.
Here are a few ideas you can try to get your kids moving in the right direction:
1. Climb The Ladder
Believe it or not, I brought a ladder into my living room on rainy days to create an indoor jungle-gym of sorts. Propped up horizontally on two chairs with arms, my toddlers loved climbing across it. Eventually, they discovered several ways to get across – backwards, sideways, on their knees, bum, feet, even from underneath. When they became proficient at those adventures, we would up the ante; we scattered large cushions, propped up the ladder on the wall vertically, and climbed up quite high. I never took my eyes off them in case of one slip – which never did happen due to how hard they were concentrating.
2. Choo-Choo Train
Wow, do some kids love trains! My 11 year young son has been fascinated with them for ten years now. We used to have loads of fun forming a human train, and I would lead us around the house and imagined we were going to different corners of the globe. When my kids were three or four, we created a card game called The Friendship Game of Flags, which taught them 50 flags of the world. Every chance I got, we would pretend to visit different countries to see the flags and taste their food when the train came to rest at snack-time.
3. Paint The Fence
If you are not brave enough to let your kids actually paint your fence, give them little spray bottles filled with plain water and a brush, and let them go wild. This works indoors too with a spray bottle and a clean dish towel for them to help you with the ‘dusting’.
4. Make A Fort
Little tikes love the adventure of a secret little hide-away. Crawling around on their hands and knees helps to increase brain connections and is critical for logical development. I would pretend to be the ‘mama bear’ and they were my little cubs, and we would go on lots of excursions into the ‘forest’, often with them riding on my back.
5. Hoola Hooping
Remember how fun it was to try and spin that thing around your waist when you were a kid? Have a hoola hoop contest with your kids today and rediscover the hysterics!
These ideas are great for young children. Remember that taking simple walks and bike rides, skipping and going swimming, skating and tobogganing, or simply getting out and throwing a ball around with your kids is a wonderful way to encourage healthy activity in your family’s life. Enjoy being active with your kids.