As a parent, watching every new activity your newborn does is a delightful experience for you. When you see that your little bundle of joy is growing and actually getting on his feet, you cannot contain your happiness. But, we know, it also makes you worry a little bit. You don’t want your baby to get hurt. At the same time, you also want him to explore the world, learn new things and ensure his well-rounded physical growth.
This toddler-phase is golden in your child’s life and offers precious physical developments. So, here are 10 fun and safe activities you could do with your child to utilize his new found energy levels and ensure good growth.
1. The swim-gym
Don’t worry, maybe your baby can’t walk properly till now but he surely has naturally learned the reflexes for swimming, in the womb itself. Now would be a good time to let him enjoy the splash. It will be the best gift you could give to his developing muscles to strengthen them, improving coordination and confidence. It is best done under the guidance of a professional baby-swimming teacher to ensure safety. Your presence will comfort and encourage your baby during the first few sessions.
2. Let them groove to some music while standing
When your baby has learned to stand up without support (yay!), you could turn on some interesting music (could be poems as well). Now start moving to its rhythm with mild actions of hands, fingers, waist, neck and bending on the knees. Your baby will most probably imitate and join you in it. This will make her more confident while standing and sensitize her to music, beats, and rhythm. You could do more elaborate dance steps once she learns to stand properly. You never know, the next super dancer could be on the way!
3. Color Catch
If your baby has mastered walking and you want to encourage her to run well as well as improve her color recognition skills, this one is for you. You can just mutually decide and shout out a color. Ask the toddler to reach out to the nearest object of that color in minimum time! Now that’s interesting! To make it more interesting, you could compete with her to be the first one to reach the nearest colored object. (to lose of course!)
4. The dark-light play
Turn on the torchlight and point it on a clear wall in the dark and start making shapes and animal shadows using your hands. Also, encourage your child to imitate you and try it for himself. Not only will the toddler be entertained by this but also his hand-eye coordination will improve. He will become more aware of his body, hands, and fingers. You will enjoy all the wonders your little master can do with them.
5. Follow the tape-shape
Stick a bright-colored, thick tape on the floor making long lines and ask your toddler to follow it encouraging her to walk in a straight line. Once she becomes a pro at it, you could make it interesting by making the lines zig-zag. Include sharp turns in between, or paths in different shapes. This will boost her focus and physical navigation skills. Don’t forget to encourage her by giving little treats in the end as she completes the tasks.
6. Paper basketball
Do you think your kiddo is too small for the huge basketball? Then make your own low-cost, low-weight ball by simply crushing the old newspapers into spheres. Even the kiddo would love to help you in this! And then simply arrange for a basket or a basket-like thing and aim for dropping the ball into it. Her aim and throwing skills will steadily improve. Now, you could strengthen them by keeping the basket further away and at a higher height for every next round. Your champ will love these practice sessions!
7. BALLoon Cricket
The thought of playing cricket inside your home and ending up breaking your new wall clock could be a nightmare for you. But not if the ball is an innocent balloon!. Throw the balloon at him and let him aim and hit the balloon hard. Don’t worry, the balloon will take its own time to reach. So, the child will get ample time to aim perfectly and hit it hard. Use more of your creativity and make that into balloon badminton, balloon tennis and many more. You could add more balloons to add to the fun and make more interesting games. Not letting the balloon to touch the ground, balloon juggling, balancing the balloon on the head.. what else can you think of?
8. Jungle gym
Let his imagination go wild by mentally creating the scene of a jungle and you both can animate yourselves to be different animals of the jungle. One could also invite his friends to join in. First, sit and let him observe the movements and the sounds of different birds, animals, water-creatures through videos. Then will come the time for your Mowgli to act out those walking styles, those jumps, those roars into your imaginary jungle. Let them stretch to be the tall giraffe, let them curl up to be the snail, let them hop like a kangaroo!
9. Hide and seek!
Nothing excites kids more than a surprise! And the surprise coupled with a feeling of achievement of catching the hidden player goes unparalleled. That’s what has given this legendary game a special place in children’s hearts through ages. Add to it the creativity she will use in finding new, innovative places to hide. While doing that, she is also gaining an estimate of her body size, what shapes she can fit/squeeze into and stay in that position for long. It can be a great way to see your child sit quietly for a few minutes at least. Phew! what a relief!
10. Clean Sweep
You could tear a few colored papers into bits and keep them on the floor at one end. Now actually give him a broom of his size. Ask him to take all those pieces from one end to the other marked end by sweeping with the broom. The bending, the squats, the arm stretches ..all are going to give a good round of exercise for his tender muscles. At the same time, it will instill the habit of doing one’s daily household chores. You definitely want him to be a healthy and self-reliant grown up a few years later.
Of course parents, you can twist and tweak the above-mentioned fun activities in your own way and use your own creativity to make them even more interesting. The more energy from your side, the better will be their involvement and development. These are the best days of both you and your child’s life. Let’s make them fun-filled and memorable.