Physical Activities to Keep Toddlers Active

Physical Activities to Keep Toddlers Active


Physical activity is vital for your toddler’s development and to help him/her maintain a normal weight.

The Department of Health recommends that children under five years who can walk should be active for at least three hours each day.

Unless your toddler’s sleeping, he shouldn’t be sitting still for more than 60 minutes at a time. Notice how much time your toddler spends sitting or lying down and look for ways to encourage physical activity.

Here are some great tips for nurturing your toddler’s natural need to move, play, run, jump, climb, and explore.


How Does Physical Activity Benefit Toddlers?

Boy kid playing flying disk trow catch with a dog

  • It helps:

Develop strength

  • Build self-esteem
  • Increase stability
  • Keep and build muscles, heart, and bones stronger
  • Enhance motor skills
  • Improve cognitive skills
  • Treat ADHD (2)


 Here are fun Activities that will Keep Your Toddler Physically Active and Healthy!

  1. Hallway Soccer

You don’t need a backyard to play a game of soccer. Start by setting up a net on opposite ends of the hallway by placing some masking tape on the floor.

After dividing into teams, grab a small plastic ball and let the fun begin.

  1. Freeze Frame

Gather a few stuffed animals, crank up some tunes, and boogie until one observer (Mom or Dad) pauses the music.

Dancers must freeze, and if anyone moves before you start the music again, he must pick a stuffed “dance partner.” Keep dancing (and pausing) until all the animals are in play.

Then, when someone moves, he must take an animal from an opponent. Dance until one person has all the animals or you’re wiped out!

  1. Cotton-Ball Crawl

Dump a pile of cotton balls on the floor in your child’s bedroom and place an empty bowl on the floor in another room.

Set a timer for four minutes, and have your child move all the cotton balls from his room into the bowl—using a spoon and crawling on hands and knees.

The cotton balls are so light, they’re likely to go flying if he isn’t careful. If he makes it, challenge him to do it in three minutes!

  1. Marble Toe Race

Find two large bowls, fill the first bowl with water and place some marbles inside.

Ask your little guy to pick up the marbles and place them in another bowl by using only his feet. The first one who can get all the marbles in the other bowl wins.

If you don’t want to get your floors wet, lay towels on the floor, or skip the water component entirely.

  1. Crab Carry

When the bad weather has you dreaming of sunnier times on the beach, play crab carry.

Teach your little one how to walk like a crabby placing their palms and feet to the floor while raising their stomach up to face the sky.

Staying in that pose, let them see how long they can balance something like a bean bag on their belly. Crab races are also another fun option.

  1. Traveling Basketball

Place a large bowl or bucket in each room and give each player a rolled-up sock.

Have the players stand in the doorway and take aim, trying to get their sock into the bowl.

As each player scores, he progresses to the next room. The first person to complete the entire circuit is the winner.

  1. Hula Hoop

As long as you make sure that you’re not too close to furniture or breakables, hula-hooping is a great indoor activity that helps strengthen your child’s core muscles.

If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, try hula-hooping while walking backward, or spin the hoop around your ankle or arm.

  1. Obstacle Course

Get creative and use whatever you have around the house to build a toddler-appropriate obstacle course.

Set up a climb over a big pillow followed by a crawl through a cardboard box, a circle around a footstool, and finally a dash through a doorway.

Add to the fun of this toddler activity by starting the race with a whistle blow and taping up a paper ribbon in the doorway to break through at the finish line.

  1. Scavenger Hunt

Pick several toys or other objects and hide them around your home. You can create a list with drawings or pictures of the objects and help your toddler cross them off.

Don’t hide things in difficult spots and exercise caution when hiding beloved objects like security blankets or pacifiers.

Some toddlers love this and think it’s very fun to find them, while others meltdown at the mere thought.

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