Games to encourage physical development





Two-year-olds love to get physical! Dr. Katie Heathershaw, Fisher-Price™ PLAY IQ Expert & Pediatrician has some ideas to help make their physical developmment fun!

Most toddlers will walk by 18 months and by two years will be climbing, running and going up and down stairs holding your hand. Fisher-Price’s Play IQ Quiz identifies the key milestones that you can expect to see at this point as your child becomes more physically active. While there are structured activities such as toddler gym, swim and dance classes that will encourage your little one’s motor development there are also plenty of activities and games that you can easily incorporate into your and your child’s normal day.

A trip to the local park (leave the stroller at home) will give you both a walk, as you child hit the Play IQ ‘On the Run’ milestone. When you get there, play equipment provides endless opportunities to climb, swing, spin, hide, crawl, run and jump. If your little one is hesitant or still learning some of the skills needed for this, support them by going down the slide together and holding hands whilst climbing steps. Remember to use praise and encouragement and don’t force your child beyond their comfort zone – they will get there when they are ready.

At two years old many toddlers will reach the Play IQ ‘Play Ball’ milestone as they start to enjoy throwing, catching and kicking a ball. Playing catch or soccer is great for eye/hand/foot coordination as well as developing turn taking, which is important for social development. Using a balloon for indoor catch can be great at this age as it is light, moves slowly and is easier to catch – and it won’t do any damage when inaccurately thrown!

Other great games include indoor basketball, where you take turns throwing screwed up balls of newspaper into the wastepaper basket. Or try ‘Don’t Fall in the Sea’: place cushions, magazines or paper plates across the floor as stepping stones and encourage your toddler to get to the other side of the room without falling in the sea (carpet)! Crank up the music for some dancing or musical statues (when the music stops everyone freeze!).

Remember to also give your toddler time to potter about in the (childproof) backyard, playing with whatever takes their fancy, digging in a sandpit and exploring as unstructured play like this is so important for children’s development.

This article was published in association with Fisher Price.

 




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