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Everyday Opportunities for Motor Development

Learn ways to incorporate motor and sensory development skills into your child’s everyday activities.

Mom and daughter playing with toys

Family schedules are busier than ever – and it’s important to find ways to stay active every day. Children need at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. But if that sounds like a challenge, remember: it doesn’t have to be all at once. It's the total amount of time that counts throughout the day, and it all adds up!

Physical activity for kids under five is more than running and jumping. It can be as simple as:

  • For babies - Rolling over and supervised “tummy time” on different types of fabrics to build arm and neck muscles.

  • For toddlers - Learning to climb stairs, twirling around the family room, and chasing bubbles while touching the soapy water.

  • For preschoolers - Dancing to new music, stretching, hula hooping, and jumping rope.

Here are more ways to make fitness “fit” into your everyday activities:

  • Ask your child to help with age-appropriate household chores like sweeping the floor with a small broom or walking with you while you take out the trash.

  • Encourage your child to walk beside you in the grocery store instead of riding in the shopping cart.

  • Walk more and drive less whenever you can when running errands. Walking is great for you and the kids – and it saves gas and bus money too!

  • Take the stairs instead of riding in elevators or on escalators whenever possible.

  • Place toys slightly out of reach so your baby will stretch and reach for them or crawl to them.

QUICK TIP: Remind yourself that everyday moments and activities like these can make all the difference for your child’s motor and brain development. Together, you and your child are doing great. Keep up the good work!

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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