I recently read in the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, that children aged one to four years old require three hours of physical activity a day. At first, I was shocked to see 180 minutes a day when you consider that every other human being on this planet needs just 30-60 minutes a day. Then I thought, this really isn’t that much of a surprise to any mom of a toddler since we know just how much energy they need to “burn off” every day before we lose our minds. Bedtime can never come soon enough after a day spent with a Toddler!
Trying to keep your busy, on-the-go toddler entertained without you being the clown can seem impossible, endless and tiring. But to help you, I have compiled a list of activities that my toddler and I do to ensure she gets her three hours of exercise in and so I don’t go insane!
Every day I take her to a playground either in the morning after Strong Start, in the afternoon after her nap, or before dinner. Some amazing local playgrounds around Greater Victoria can be found HERE.
2. Play in the yard
Every day we play outside in the yard. This allows her to run around, climb stairs, jump on the trampoline, play on the swings or slide and just generally get physical! It’s nice because it allows me the chance to relax a little being in the comfort of our yard, but it allows her to get the fresh air and exercise she needs!
3. Go for a walk
Sometimes it’s a short walk around the block, other times it’s a longer trail walk. At this age everything is exciting and fun for them to explore. The key is to get them moving and with a bit of fresh air a walk can be a pleasant way to tire them out. Mine prefers to “swim” in puddles on rainy days, or lay down on the dirty concrete for a rest, but I know she is getting some exercise when we are out for a walk! If you have a toddler that listens well then a neighbourhood walk is great, but if you have a more adventurous soul, then the trails are good for keeping them safe without having to worry about cars!
4. Indoor Play Centres
Some days we do an indoor activity or playground. This activity can be an add-on to the above or in place of on those really wet and cold days. Here are some of the places we like to visit: Tumblebums, Westshore Mall Play Area, PlayZone, or one of the many rec centres.
5. Furniture Jumping
Most days I get a bonus of not even having to think about making sure she gets enough physical activity because I know all the jumping on couches, running around the living room, climbing up and down stairs, climbing up and down beds, climbing on mom, et cetera, will fill in the gaps but those days are the ones that I’m on the brink of losing my mind and I need the ideas above to help save my sanity!
Of course there are many ways to get or keep your toddler active including organized classes or sports and depending on the area of town you live in, you can likely find these or similar activities close by. The key to saving your sanity is to get out of the house, keep busy and find something that allows you to sit and enjoy a coffee while the little one gets her recommended daily activity in and you get some downtime in! 😉