Moms Team Up for Fitness
Combining fitness, fun, and friends
Although their movement capabilities are extremely limited, even when compared to those of a toddler, movement experiences may be more important for infants than for children of any other age group, says Pica. In addition to increasing motor development, early movement experiences are helpful to optimal brain development. And of course, this will decrease your child’s likelihood of becoming obese.
Taking a gym class, such as Gymboree, or a music and movement class such as Kindermusik, is one way in which to do this. Creating an obstacle course, playing Ring Around the Rosy, or blowing bubbles for babies to chase are other activities Pica recommends.
Kiki Folger, a mother of three children from Elon, North Carolina, has some more suggestions. The pediatric physical therapist who is now a stay-at-home mom with her third child meets friends for group play indoors and out. “Sometimes you can have moms bring a favorite ride-on toy for their child, or turn the sprinkler on, or bring out the sand toys for the sandbox or a small baby pool,” she says.
For indoor play, take cushions from an old couch and put them on the floor. The babies also enjoy crawling on the couch, which was lowered by taking the cushions off, and scrambling around the cushions. Musical instruments or even pots and pans can make for a fun parade around the house, she suggests.
“I feel that my children tend to be more active when other children are around, so I like to arrange play dates,” says Folger. Chores are great forms of activity. She has her 1-year-old help tidy up by squatting down to pick up the blocks and standing up to put them in a container.
It’s never too early to help children realize physical activity is a good thing. “By actively playing with their babies, moms are not only making sure their babies have the opportunity to play, they’re also serving as role models,” says Pica. “Children follow the lead of the important adults in their lives. If babies see their moms being physically active and enjoying it and they get to enjoy it with them, moms couldn’t be sending a better message.”
4 Baby-Approved Ways to Play
Personal Trainer John Sinclair suggests these fun activities for Baby!
- Bouncy Ball: Move Baby forward, backward, and side-to-side on a ball.
- Blanket Sit-ups: For core strength, have Baby on his back on his favorite blanket, then grasp the edges of the blanket to cradle him and lift him up in a baby sit-up.
- Baby Basket: Using a laundry basket to provide surround support for Baby, allow him to sit and hold onto the basket.
- Airplane Zoom: Let Baby check out his environment and hold his head up for an airplane ride.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN