I think at some point every parent has marveled at their toddler’s boundless energy. Toddlers use their bodies with abandon. They run, jump, dance, squat, climb, fall down and get back up. Why do they move this way? For the same reason our toddlers do anything of their own volition, because it feels good and it’s fun.
Movement is a way to explore what their bodies can do and the relationship their bodies have with everything around them. But somewhere along the way as we grow, many of us stop exploring this way. Movement becomes purely functional. We walk only because we need to get somewhere. Or worse yet, we come to think of movement as a necessary evil. We begrudgingly force ourselves to go to the gym out of a sense of obligation. What would it be like, though, if we never lost our joy of movement?
I am in love with a commercial currently running for a breakfast cereal where we get to see moms and their kids starting the day with some pretty sweet hip hop moves. Fantastic! We take it for granted that toddlers are full of energy, but just like they need to see us brush our teeth or wash our hands, they need to see us having fun moving. This is especially true in our digital age where younger and younger children are spending more and more time sedentary in front of a screen. Just like Mom and Dad? You may need to rediscover your own love of movement, so make a
commitment to move with your toddler at least a little every day.
Here’s a fun experiment. The next time you play with your toddler copy everything they do. Feel what it’s like to once again move through the world like a 2-year-old. Put on some music and have a dance party with your doodlebug. As you work on the alphabet move like an animal that starts with each letter. It doesn’t matter what the movement is. Get creative!
To instill a love for movement in your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. A little body in motion is so much more likely to become a grown-up body that stays in motion. And a family that moves together will be one that is happier and healthier. Let’s get moving!