Some preschoolers have so much energy that it's easy to find ways to get exercise for preschoolers. The idea of coming up with exercises for them doesn’t seem necessary. Others may be less active. In that case, you may want to encourage them to “be active when they play,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being “physically active throughout the day.”
Here are several types of exercises to consider.
Preschool Children Love To Run and Jump
VeryWellFamily.com recommends these activities, cardiovascular ones that preschoolers often do naturally. Kids can simply run—or you can organize relay races and/or challenge children to lift up their knees when they run. You can also suggest that they run backward or side to side.
Preschoolers can also do jumping jacks, hop on one foot (and then the other), jump over make-believe hurdles, and so forth. As another fun version, your child can skip.
Stretching and Yoga Are Great Exercises For Preschool Kids
Good Housekeeping points out the benefits of stretching exercises. They increase the child’s range of motion while keeping muscles flexible. It helps to prevent injury and, perhaps best of all, it can reduce stress. One expert shares a simple breathing and yoga move that youngsters can perform and enjoy: the Beautiful Butterfly.
Have your child sit on the floor and bring the soles of his or her feet together in front of their body. Then, while slowly breathing in, your child should raise their arms above their head. When breathing out, their arms gently come back down. The article points out that this can be a wonderful way to start or finish the day.
An Easy Exercise For Preschoolers To Build Strength
Parents.com provides strength-building exercises that the whole family can perform. With a calf raise, have your preschooler stand in position, and then lift their feet up to their tippy toes. Hold, and then lower. Repeat.
Kids can have fun with crab walking. Starting in a sitting position, they can bend their knees and place their feet flat on the ground. Then, show them how to lean back and put their hands on the ground behind them, palms down. Lift your hips by just a few inches. Now in position, your preschooler can enjoy walking forwards—and, like a crab, backward.
Kids Exercise During Nature Walks
Outdoor activities are perfect for exercise. You can simply go on a walk with your preschooler in a park. Or you can turn it into a scavenger hunt. ArtfulParent.com shares how you can plan a hunt ahead of time or just go with the flow. Using the first strategy, you can pick a spot before your walk and encourage your child to find items that you know are available there.
With the second approach, if you go to a park where flowers are blooming in beautiful colors, ask your preschooler to name the colors. As a third approach, here’s a free printable to use. If you have a magnifying glass and/or binoculars, consider taking them along.
Take advantage of local playgrounds, visit the zoo, and otherwise take your preschooler to places where they’re having so much fun that they don’t even realize how much they’re exercising. When you get home, your child can draw pictures of what you’ve seen and keep them in a memory book.