Physical development in children is as important as their emotional, social and cognitive development. Young children are full of energy, and it is recommended they get at least an hour of physical activity a day. When children are young, they are developing large motor skills as well as fine motor skills. Children as young as three can start to participate in sports. Even young childen enjoy the competitive nature of team sports.
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Kicking a soccer ball is often one of the first team sports a child gets involved in. Check if your town offers a kiddie soccer program. Typically, children play a variety of games in soccer where they run, chase and kick the ball. If your town does not offer a kiddie soccer program, set up two cones in your yard, and have your child try to kick the ball between them.
Swimming and Water Play
Learning to swim can not only helps develop large motor skills, but also can help children understand and respect water safety. Younger children can splash and kick in a baby pool or splash pool. If a child can't stand in the pool, hold them under their arms while walking up and down a swimming lane. Ask them to kick their feet. Children as young as six months can start learning to swim with supervision.
Plan a day at the playground with your children. Children can climb, run and slide. In addition to physical development, it encourages social development, since children enjoy meeting new friends to attempt the monkey bars with. Supervise, but encourage your children to climb ladders or the rock climbing wall. Make it a special day by mapping out three playgrounds in your area, and spending thirty minutes at each one with a snack or lunch break in between.
Gymnastics and Dance
Tumbling and gymnastics programs can help children with balance and coordination. Children learn somersaults, walking on a balance beam, or hanging from a bar. Add some music, and children can dance to get their needed physical activity.
Walking or hiking is a great inexpensive way for children to get needed exercise, and for the family to spend quality time together. Spend time in the backyard teaching children games that you knew as a kid; freeze tag, red light, green light or duck, duck, goose. Blow bubbles, and let children chase after them.
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