The importance of exercise for children : 1-3 years
All of us need exercise to keep our bodies in good working condition. Children need to exercise to expend pent-up energies which would be dangerous if they’re not released. These energies are like a dam on a river that would cause damage if the waters are not released from time to time.
EXERCISE IS NEEDED IN CHILDREN FOR :
THE BUILDING AND STRENGTHENING OF MUSCLES:
Exercise is basically the practice of a set of movements of the different parts of the body. Practice of a set of movements builds and strengthens the various sets of muscles and bones in the body of a child. Muscles become weak unless they are used.
Exercise helps the body to gain balance. Between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, your toddler makes progress in getting around.
At 21 months your child can bend and pick up objects without toppling over. He can run quite well but will find corners difficult and may topple over if he stoops suddenly.
By the age of two years your child will be better at ball games – both catching and kicking and can walk backwards and forwards. He will be able to stop running without falling over. He can climb stairs, putting both feet on each step.
Balance at pre-school stage is better in girls than in boys. Girls are better at movements that require balance like jumping, hopping and rhythmic movements. So they will enjoy games that involve these movements like- hop-scotch, skipping and dancing games that will give your little girl a chance to develop these.
There’s not much difference in speed and strength between boys and girls. Boys develop balance and grace a little later. So give your boy plenty of help to achieve these skills by giving him freedom of movement. Games that involve kicking a ball, dancing and jumping are good ;help him to develop his walking skills by going up and down the stairs with him; of course , don’t push him if he’s too tired.
There are many toys that are a great help in exercising your child’s body. Exercise helps children develop mobility. The more they move, the more they move! Games that use backwards or sideways steps will greatly increase his walking and balancing skills. ‘Ringa-ringa- roses’ is a good game in which you hold your child’s hand as you move sideways; while walking, sitting and standing are also fun and lets him learn as he imitates you. It makes his sense of achievement even greater.