Two-year-olds are learning to master walking, running, jumping and climbing. With simple equipment and close adult supervision, children can develop their new gross motor skills. Provide physical activities such as games with balls and music and movement activities to help develop their new capabilities. Additionally, offer opportunities to swing, slide and become skilled at using ride-on toys.
Activities With Balls
Two-year-olds are capable of kicking a ball forward. They are also able to throwing a ball overhand and catching a rolled ball. These activities help develop balance and coordination. Provide large, light plastic balls, large beach balls and large rubber balls, as they are the most appropriate balls for toddlers. Create games with balls that help strengthen gross motor skills such as rolling balls back and forth while seated. Play a game of toddler basketball using a laundry basket.
Music and Movement Activities
Provide singing and dancing activities to help develop gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Two-year-olds enjoy dancing upon request. They also enjoy banging and shaking household instruments and household items like saucepans and lids and containers with beans in them. Toddlers love finger plays and are capable of acting out chants and songs. Good examples of finger plays for 2-year-olds are "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Five Little Monkeys."
Swings and Slides
Sturdy, small plastic slides with small ladders and low ramps are appropriate for 2-year-olds and allow them to practice climbing and scooting. Supervise children closely on playground equipment, as they may try to jump from the top of the slide. Toddlers love the motion of a swing and enjoying trying to pump their legs themselves to create a back and forth motion. Use a swing with a toddler chair and a safety strap. Never leave a toddler unattended in a swing.
Ride-on toys help children learn gross motor control. Ride-on toys are designed to allow a toddler's feet to touch the ground or the pedals and allow his body weight to help push the ride-on toy around. Provide ride-on toys like scooters and tricycles with a 10-inch wheel to help children learn balance and steering. When the child turns 3, he can usually pedal a tricycle as well as balance on one foot for several seconds.
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