If you have active toddlers and preschoolers, then you know how challenging it is to keep them entertained. Whether they're digging in the dirt, splashing around in the sprinklers or getting into your baking supplies, kinesthetic children know how to have really active fun. Kinesthetic children love to learn using their hands and by getting involved in the action, so make sure that your active children express their body kinesthetics in a safe and healthy way by planning a few high-energy activities.
Yoga For Little Ones
You know how yoga always makes you feel more relaxed yet connects you to your own body through different stretches and poses. It can do the same for your active little ones, too! But, don't expect your tiny tots to turn into yoga masters overnight. Little children are not as coordinated or in tune with their bodies as grown-ups are. Start simple -- pick out a few back yoga poses, like Down Dog and Up Dog, then practice these moves with your children every day. Set aside time to do a little yoga when they would normally become overly active and get into trouble. Better to stretch and pose with your children than to clean up a giant spill, right? If you feel really motivated, get a yoga mat for each child or have each child pick one out. This may even help to encourage a child who seems resistant to learning yoga.
Dancing the day away is not only entertaining, but it helps children express bodily kinesthetics in a way that teaches them balance and rhythm. If you want to help children feel comfortable with dancing, you have a few options. First, you can put on silly children's songs that they already love and know, then dance around the room yourself to show them that it is fun and free-feeling. Or, you can use a kids dancing DVD or video game. Take turns practicing your dance moves to different songs on the game, and at the end you can find out how your dance skills compare to those of your little ones. If you already have children who love to dance all the time, put on music with a really festive beat, like disco music, and set aside time every day to dance, dance, dance.
Super Active Simon Says
Many little children love to play Simon Says, but to make the game really, really active, turn it into Super Active Simon Says. This will get the heart pumping and allow your children a chance to express bodily kinesthetics in a way that feels like a game. When you play Super Active Simon Says, you will be the leader, and start out simple by saying, "Simon Says touch your toes," or, "Simon Says clap your hands." Once everyone gets into the rhythm of the game, make the orders more and more active. For example, you could say, "Simon Says roll around the floor like a snake," or "Simon Says run around the back yard flapping your arms." After a few minutes of this, all of you will be ready for a nap.
Nothing beats the kinesthetic value of playing outdoors, but instead of just sending your little ones out in the backyard to dig in the dirt, try taking them on a nature hike. Find a local nature center or national park with easy hiking trails, at least easy enough for toddlers and preschoolers to manage. Try to keep it well under a mile. Anything more than that would cause your little outing to end up with you carrying your crying child out on your hip. As you hike, follow your active child's lead. Stop whenever he wants to look at different rocks or flowers, or wander down to a little creek if that piques his interest. This will allow the kinesthetic activity to be more well-rounded and natural.
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