child-exerciseAs the 21st century continues to unfold, the health and fitness industries are thriving. This may be somewhat unsurprising given the mounting parental concern regarding how to raise healthy and happy children who will be able to lead lives marked by profound wellness into adulthood.

If you are a concerned parent and are looking for ways to teach your child healthy habits that will promote holistic wellness, you should know that teaching your preschooler the importance of exercise is a great way to realize your goal. In many cases, parents may experience challenges in helping their preschooler develop a love for physical movement because the exercises selected may not necessarily be fun for kids. If this is your challenge, try inviting your preschooler to participate in the following fun workouts that also promote family bonding.

Jump Rope
Jumping rope is a classic form of physical activity that almost any preschooler will enjoy. To make the most of this exercise;

  • Buy jump ropes that are bright and colorful.
  • If you know your child likes a specific pattern (such as triangles or circles), you can also make a point to buy that type of jump rope.
  • In some cases, children are “naturals” at jumping rope, meaning that they catch on quickly and need little instruction regarding how to perform the movements correctly.
  • In other cases, preschoolers need assistance with things like learning how to hold the rope tightly or jumping high enough to keep the circular movements going without pause.

As you teach your preschooler how to jump rope, be patient so that she or he will build positive memories with the activity while staying physically fit.

Hide And Seek
Hide and Seek is another wonderful physical activity that you can play with your child. In addition to getting your child moving and therefore promoting physical fitness;

  • Hide and Seek is a great way to help facilitate your preschooler’s cognitive development because it incorporates the use of memory and critical thinking skills.

To make the game as fun as possible, let your child pick the setting where you will play and remember not to make it too difficult for your preschooler to find you (unless they’re highly skilled in the game, in which case you can make it as difficult as you’d like to ensure that they stay challenged and engaged with the activity).

Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great form of physical activity that will also enable you to help your preschooler develop his or her cognitive activities.

  • One of the great things about the scavenger hunt is that it can be played both indoors and outdoors.
  • There are a lot of variations on the scavenger hunt, but the basic premise is to hide a specific item and give your child “clues” that help him or her find the object.
  • Remember to adjust the level of difficulty of the game to your child’s developmental stage so she or he will find it challenging but not so difficult that the game is no longer fun.

Hopscotch is a wonderful activity that you can engage in with your preschooler to help him or her get in some great exercise. To get started;

  • Buy his or her favorite colors in chalk and draw squares in the concrete with him or her.
  • Then teach your preschooler the details of the game and demonstrate by jumping on the squares yourself.

Remember that your level of engagement in the game will often determine how much participation you get out of your child.

There’s no time like the present to teach your preschooler the importance of physical fitness. Moreover, there are a plethora of great exercises that you can engage in with your child to ensure that she or he gets on the path to lifelong health and happiness.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michele Holincheck, FNP