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How can I encourage my toddler to be more active and engage in physical play?

Hi everyone,

I am a parent to a 2-year-old toddler who seems to be less interested in physical activities like running or playing outside. She doesn't seem to have the same level of enthusiasm for running or jumping as other kids her age. I'm concerned that this lack of physical activity might affect her overall health and development.

I am looking for ideas on how to encourage her to engage in more physical play. What are some games or activities that are suitable for young children? I want to make sure that these activities are fun and enjoyable for her so that she will be motivated to participate.

Any suggestions or advice on how to get my toddler more involved in physical play would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies


Hi there,

I also have a 2-year-old toddler who is not very interested in physical activities. We have found that incorporating music into our activities can make them more engaging for our child. We play upbeat music and dance around the living room together, or use instruments like shakers and drums to create our own music.

Another thing that has worked for us is incorporating physical activity into our daily routine. For example, we take a walk around the block after dinner every night to get some fresh air and exercise. We also encourage our child to climb up and down stairs, which is a great way to get some exercise indoors.

In addition, we try to model physical activity ourselves by exercising in front of our child. For example, we do yoga stretches or jumping jacks together. This helps to create a positive association with physical activity and encourages our child to join in.

Finally, we make sure to offer praise when our child engages in physical activities, whether it's trying out a new game or simply running around in the backyard. Positive encouragement can go a long way in motivating young children to be more active.

I hope these ideas help!



I have a similar experience with my 3-year-old son who seems to prefer sedentary activities like reading or watching TV over physical play. To encourage him to be more active, I started taking him outside to play more often. We engage in activities like kicking a ball back and forth, playing catch, or running around with his friends at the park.

I also try to make physical activity a part of our daily routine. For example, we take a brisk walk around the neighborhood every afternoon, which not only gets him moving but also helps him unwind before his nap time.

Another thing that has worked for me is to make physical activity fun and exciting. We play games like "Simon Says" with a physical twist, where he has to jump, hop, or skip when I say the command. We also set up an obstacle course in our backyard using chairs, cushions, and other household items, which he loves to navigate through.

I hope these ideas are helpful to other parents who are looking to encourage their toddlers to engage in more physical play. It's important to remember that every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. Keep trying different activities until you find what resonates with your child. Good luck!


Hi there,

As a parent of a 2-year-old, I think it's important to be creative while encouraging your child to be more active. One strategy that has worked well for us is incorporating physical activity into pretend play. My daughter loves playing dress-up, so sometimes she becomes a superhero or a princess on a mission to save the world, which involves running, jumping, and other physical activities.

Another idea that has worked for us is making outdoor playtime more exciting. We bought a small trampoline for our backyard, which my daughter loves bouncing on. We've also taken her to a nearby playground with various equipment like swings, slides, and climbing structures. The variety of activities keeps her engaged and interested.

Finally, it's crucial to stay positive and enthusiastic when encouraging your child to be more active. I try to make it fun for her by participating in activities myself and being silly. Not only does this make exercise more enjoyable for her, but it's also a bonding experience for us.

In conclusion, every child is different, and it may take some time to find what activities resonate with your child. Just remember to be patient, creative, and most importantly, have fun!


Hi everyone,

I am a parent to a 4-year-old who loves physical activities like running and jumping around. Based on my experience, I would recommend keeping things simple and fun for young children. One thing that has worked for us is creating a "play zone" in our backyard or a nearby park. I let my daughter pick out a few of her favorite toys like balls, jump ropes or hula hoops, and then we set them up in an area where she can run around and play freely.

We also participate in a few organized physical activities like dance classes and sports clubs. These classes provide her with structure and guidance, and also offer the opportunity to socialize with other kids her age.

Another thing that has worked for us is limiting screen time. If your child spends too much time watching TV, they may not have the energy or interest in physical activities. Instead, we encourage her to spend time playing with her toys or creating her own outdoor games.

Lastly, be patient with your child and don't push them too hard. Every child is different and some may take longer to develop an interest in physical activities than others. Keep trying different activities and be persistent in making physical play a part of your child's routine.

I hope this helps!


Hello everyone,

As a mother of a 3-year-old, I understand the struggle of getting toddlers engaged in physical activities. For my child, setting up task-oriented activities worked the best. I create simple obstacle courses in our living room with pillows, tunnels, and soft balls. Sometimes I make a scavenger hunt game where I hide small toys, and she has to run around the house to find them. These activities not only help increase physical activity but also improve their cognitive and problem-solving skills.

Another activity that has been useful is going to the pool. Since swimming is a full-body exercise, it's not only healthy but also enjoyable for children. My daughter loves playing with inflatable pool toys, and I incorporate a few fun exercises like leg kicks or arm circles while playing with her.

One thing that is essential is not forcing physical activities if the child is unwilling. They may not be ready or interested in certain activities yet, so it's crucial not to pressure them. Encouragement and motivation in gentle and fun ways will slowly help them develop an interest in physical activity.

I hope these suggestions help any parents out there with toddlers who are struggling to engage them in physical activities.



I am a parent of a 4-year-old who has a lot of energy and loves being physically active. Here are a few things that have worked for us to keep him engaged in physical play:

1. Playing team games: My son loves playing team games like soccer, basketball, or catch with his friends or family members. These activities help him develop teamwork, coordination and social skills.

2. Making chores into a game: As a creative way to make daily chores more fun for kids, we make them into games. We do things like have races to see who can clean up the toys the fastest, throw laundry into a hamper like a basketball, or balance books on our heads while picking up clutter.

3. Exploring nature: Taking my son on nature walks or out to the park, allows him to explore the environment and engage in physical activities like hiking, running on trails, and climbing on rocks. Being outside and in nature shares unexpected lessons and allows him to learn about the world around him.

4. Family dance parties: We move the furniture around and have dance parties once a week. We play different genres of music, dance around, and show off our latest moves. It's a fun way to stay active as a family.

Overall, finding activities that your child enjoys is crucial when trying to encourage physical activity. Incorporating fun, play and laughter into their day is a great way to create healthy habits and memories.

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