Ways to Exercise Your Toddler’s Mind and Body

Ways to Exercise Your Toddler’s Mind and Body

Set your baby on the right track with these mental and motor skill exercises.


While you might relish the idea of spending all day relaxing and snuggling with your little one, she’s most likely bursting with energy (and probably at inopportune times). Just like it does for you, exercise – both mental and physical – strengthens muscles, stimulates the senses and gives your child valuable experience in problem solving.

Exercise looks a little different to a toddler, though, and really is as simple as having a little active fun! Here are a few ideas for how to exercise with your toddler.

Create a Comfortable Environment
When children are relaxed and comfortable, socializing and learning can occur more easily. Spend some quality time with your child and take mental notes about what helps your baby get calm and comfy.

Loosen Up
Give your baby a soft massage using quick hand movements. This stimulates their senses and can help improve the learning process. Although she might laugh and think of it as more of a game, you’ll be preparing her for the exercises to come.

Tastes and Smells
It’s perfectly normal for your child to stick anything and everything they see into their mouths – it’s how they discover and learn. But always keep a careful eye, as “anything and everything” can quickly become a choking hazard. Just in case, have a pacifier, teething toy or rattle on hand wherever you go. Remember this when you’re in public, too, as nothing is off-limits as far as a toddler is concerned!

Balancing Act
If your young toddler is working on walking, hold their hands and help them get used to the idea of using their own legs. Don’t expect walking to happen overnight, of course. You’re just helping them get accustomed to using those muscles and balancing on two feet.

Your Little Genius
Mental exercise is important too, and one technique is to roll the child onto both sides as this stimulates both sides of the brain. Try playing peekaboo games using your hands, and sing songs with your baby that could use a little acting out (“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” is a great one). You can even try your hand at three-card monte (hide a toy under a plastic cup and challenge your child to keep track of it as you switch the cups around).

Have you done any fun activities with your little one? Let us know in the comments section below!

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