Activities for Babies and Young Children
The following ideas are just a few ways to get your kids more active:
Also, Child Development Resource Connection Peel contains additional info on resources and services for families, such as where to locate your nearest Early Years programs.
Newborn to 6 months
Your baby should have a safe place to move freely and explore her environment daily. She also needs to be closely supervised.
- Give her brightly coloured, easy to hold toys or objects that can be squeezed or have different textures to encourage reaching and grasping.
- Wave or place a brightly coloured toy just out of your baby’s reach. This will encourage her to lift her head, push with her forearms, stretch and roll over, especially during ‘tummy time’ on the floor.
- Play “Peek-A-Boo” moving from one side of your baby to the other.
6 months to 18 months
- Put a blanket on the floor and let your baby roll and crawl around.
- Crawl together around different objects such as a chair, large teddy bear, and a box.
- Crawl on the grass, roll a ball and reach for leaves in the tree.
- Once walking, your little one can ‘practice’ safely by pushing toys, boxes, or laundry baskets to gain strength and balance.
18 months to 2 ½ years
- Bounce, throw and chase balls to practice hand-eye coordination.
- Dance to music and ‘follow-along’ songs to promote body movement and balance.
- Run and jump with your toddler outdoors.
- Toss balls or small plastic containers into an empty box or laundry basket on the floor.
2 ½ to 3 ½ years
- Make an obstacle course (with pillows, cushions, footstools, boxes). Take turns going through it.
- Dance to music and occasionally hit the pause button. When the music stops, you and your child should ‘freeze’.
- Go for a family walk. Make it fun by skipping or hopping on one foot – or try walking like different animals: an elephant swinging its trunk, a kangaroo jumping, or a rabbit hopping.
3 ½ to 4 ½ years
- Play “Follow the Leader” to music – the leader keeps changing ‘the moves” from marching to waving arms in the air to “rag-doll’ swaying to jumping to hopping and so on.
- Crunch scrap paper into balls and play basketball by tossing them into a basket.
- Play “Simon says”. If your child says “Simon says touch your head” then you do it, but if your child says “touch your head” then you don’t. Take turns being the one to call out.
4 ½ to 6 years
- Make up a dance together to go with your child’s favourite song or try a dance like the ‘Hokey Pokey’ or ‘Mexican Hat Dance’ together.
- Play tag, hide and seek, hopscotch, or skip rope.
- Let your child help you as you wash the car, garden or shovel snow.
- Take your child to the park and fly a kite together.