Pediatric Rehab Care for the Tri-State Area

Why Is Physical Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers Important?

Why Is Physical Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers Important?

Whether you’re a parent or not, everyone remembers playing outside at some point during childhood. Getting fresh air while jumping rope, going to a playground, or even a quick game of tag are all ways kids can exercise outside, especially during warmer weather. However, indoor physical activities for kids don’t only have to happen during Spring and Summer. 

What are the benefits of physical play for toddlers and preschoolers? 

Not only do these activities bring pleasant memories to those who participate in them, but they also have significant positive health benefits for toddlers and preschoolers. Here are some of the most common benefits. 

Managing Weight Effectively

As of 2020, childhood obesity impacted more than 14 million children and adolescents across the United States. Left untreated, it leads to more severe health problems like high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Physical play burns calories and reduces the risk of adulthood obesity. 

Strengthening the Skeletal System 

The more children incorporate physical play into their routine, the stronger their muscles and bones will become. Activities like climbing can help kids develop healthy bone mass and bone density, which increases their chances of meeting all the necessary developmental milestones for growth. 

Reducing Stress Levels

Exercise is one of the most efficient ways to reduce stress in children. Once a child gets into the habit of playing regularly and having fun, they can lower their stress levels and relieve anxiety. This results in better cognitive development – facilitating a more productive academic environment. 

Improve Sleep Hygiene

It’s no secret that when a child plays for a decent length of time, they’ll be tired afterward. However, this old parenting trick is more than that; it’s a technique backed up by a significant amount of research. When children exert more energy, they sleep better. 

Additionally, in a world where kids are in front of screens at higher rates than previous generations, getting outside helps to increase healthy sleep patterns.  

Develop Strong Social Skills 

While playing alone is a great way for a child to express their imagination and hone their creativity, engaging with other children is even better. 

Physical play helps them develop strong social skills necessary for furthering their development. For example, when a child interacts with others, they can learn how to:

  • Control their impulses appropriately
  • Read and respond to social cues  
  • Set and enforce essential boundaries 
  • Have patience 
  • Understand verbal and non-verbal communication 

How can parents incorporate fun physical activities for kids into their routine? 

Even as the weather turns colder, finding ways for your kids to stay active is extremely important for their mental and physical health. An activity can be structured or unstructured, just as long as it promotes your child to get up and move. Here are some examples of games you can play indoors or outdoors: 

  • Hopscotch 
  • Dodgeball
  • Duck, Duck, Goose 
  • Follow the Leader
  • Hide and Seek
  • Simon Says 
  • Dancing 

Indoor Physical Activities for Kids – Physical Therapy With Excellence Rehab 

Pediatric therapy that includes indoor physical activity can make a world of difference in your child’s health. At Excellence Rehab, we offer evidence-based and scientifically-proven exercises, activities, and strategies to improve your child’s health. Our board-certified therapists and other excellent staff provide a safe environment for your child to successfully meet their developmental milestones.