In the first few years of a child's life, they grow and develop every day, in several ways.
In addition to good nutrition and care, being physically active helps the healthy growth and development of the child. Let us learn how.
Let us also learn about some physical activities that you should encourage the child to do at various ages.
A physically active child is more likely to stay at a healthy weight.
Physical activity helps the child build strength and flexibility. The bones and muscles become stronger. It also helps them develop their motor skills.
Playing physical games with other children also provide opportunities for the child to develop their social skills.
Physical activity reduces the child's risk of feeling depressed or obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Physically active children get more tired and sleep better.
A physically active child feels more confident about themselves and has higher self-esteem.
Studies show that children who are physically active have fewer behavioral problems and have longer attention spans.
In addition, when the child is involved in physical activities that they enjoy, they are less likely to spend a lot of time on sedentary activities, such as watching television and playing computer games, which are not favorable for their growth and development. Now let us learn how you can involve a child in physical activities.
From their birth, you should encourage the baby to be active. Encourage them to reach out, grasp, push, and pull objects.
Support them as they move their head and body during routine activities such as bathing.
Give the baby 'tummy time' several times a day. To do this, lay the baby on their stomach in a safe, supervised playing environment. Make sure the baby is awake and playful at this time. This encourages the baby to see, touch, and feel various objects around them.
Encourage activity by putting their favorite toys just out of their reach.
'Tummy time' helps strengthen the baby's neck and shoulder muscles. It also helps them improve their gross motor skills and makes them ready to roll over, sit up, and crawl.
As the baby grows older and starts to crawl, you should leave them on the floor to move around. Make sure you keep a close watch on the baby and the home safety for their movement.
For example, keep dangerous items such as hot objects, sharp objects, and cleaning detergents away from the reach of the child. As much as possible, try to restrict their entry into the kitchen.
To encourage activity for babies who have started moving around, minimize the time they spend in baby equipment such as swings and strollers.
After a child starts walking, they should be encouraged to be physically active for at least three hours, spread throughout the day.
Engage the child in various types of activities, both indoors and outdoors. Include light activities such as standing, walking around, or playing.
Also take the child to the park where they can engage in more energetic activities such as running, hopping, skipping, jumping, and cycling.
Depending on the child's interest, you can also introduce and plan activities such as swimming, dancing, and gymnastics.
Engaging the child in physical activities is very important for their health, growth, and development. Depending on the child's age, engage them in various activities, both indoors and outdoors.