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​All work and no play won't just make Jack a dull boy, he's going to be an unhealthy one too! Your little one needs plenty of play: a healthy amount of physical activity helps him develop his motor skills, build strong bones and muscles, learn social and communication skills, and achieve a healthy weight.

If your child is mobile (e.g. crawling, walking with or without assistance), then he is ready to have at least 180 minutes of structured and unstructured activities spread throughout the day in a safe, supervised environment. Otherwise, for those not yet mobile, they should include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day while awake.

Related: Let's Go, Mummy!

Are You Ready? Let's Play!

It’s playtime! For little ones, play is how they grow and learn. They are having fun, developing motor skills, figuring out how the world works, building confidence and much more! Yes, play is both fun and important.

Playtime is also a time for bonding. When both of you are having fun together, you’re experiencing all sorts of fuzzy feelings. In other words, you’re bonding. You are getting to know each other and showing each other how much you like spending time together.

Here are some everyday activity ideas to get you and your little one moving.

Overcome Obstacles

Obstacle courses are not just for fun. They also help your child develop motor skills and improve their sense of balance and movements as they crawl through tunnels and over cushions. Place some hula hoops on the floor and get your child to walk in and out to improve their fine and gross motor skills. Design more challenging courses both indoors and outdoors, and do them together. Overcoming obstacles together is also a great way to bond with your child.

Song and Dance

Classics like "Hokey Pokey" and "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" are great songs to sing to, because they not only encourage your child to move, the songs also teach your child about different parts of the body. Can't remember how the song goes? A quick check online will give you plenty of results.

Related: Activities for 6-12 Months: Let's Play, Mummy!

Have a Ball of a Time

Catch the football fever: grab a soft bouncy ball and get the ball rolling, literally! Have your kid chase after it, kick it, catch it, or throw it. Don't have a ball in the house? The balloons you bought to celebrate your kid's first birthday works just as well. Your baby doesn't seem to enjoy football? Then let's try keeping the balloon up in the air for as long as possible. All it takes is a bit of creative thinking and all sorts of entertaining games will pop up in your mind.

Related: Getting Fit Through Fun for Kids

Keep Things Neat and Tidy

Your child will not have a lack of toys from family and friends for sure. But playtime with toys isn't the only time your child can keep active. After playtime is over, instead of picking up the toys yourself, why not teach your kid to pick up the toys and put them back where they belong? Not only is it a great way to keep your child moving, it's also an excellent habit that encourages your child to tidy up after himself.

Related: Your Growing Baby

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Take a walk in the early morning or evening when the sun isn't too strong. You could bring your child to a park nearby and enjoy the soft breeze and fresh morning air. To help your child develop his language skills as well, you could also start naming various objects as you pass them.

Stop by the playground on your way back and see if there're any age-appropriate equipment for your kid to play with. If there's sand, why not let your child play in it too? There's no need to bring any tools, you could draw simple shapes in the sand and teach your child all about the different shapes you can make. Your kid will be doing the same in no time!

Related: Guide to Toddler Eye Care

Saturday and Sunday Are Super Fun Days

Weekends are a great time for family bonding. Here are some ideas on where to go for a fun-filled and physically active weekend. Don't forget to pack the sunblock and water!

Parks and Recreation

Take your pick. From Singapore Botanic Gardens to Gardens by the Bay, there's no lack of flora and fauna to see, touch, feel, and smell in Singapore. Make it an educational day out and introduce the little one to different trees, flowers, and creatures!

Related: Seeing Green—Unwind with Nature

 

Sun, Sand and Sea

We're an island, so what better way to spend the day than at the beach? Whether it's East Coast Park or Sentosa, the beach offers exciting activities for the entire family. Bring along a few buckets and tools to help your child build the perfect sandcastle. Remember to keep a watchful eye on your child at all times, and never let him go near the water unsupervised.

Related: Keeping Your Child Safe

Let’s Go to the Mall!

Not so keen on the great but hot outdoors? Why not keep cool at the mall instead? There has been a rise in the number of family-friendly malls in Singapore of late. These malls not only come with nursing rooms and baby-friendly facilities, some of them even have a playground or water play area. Window shopping is a great way to get more steps into you and your child's day, so shop away!

A child who is physically active will grow up to be an active adult and continue leading a healthy lifestyle, so what are you waiting for?

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.

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