Keeping active toddlers amused

by Jacqueline Harding. Ways to harness your toddler's seemingly endless energy supply - and help them let off steam.

Baby playing on beach with sand on face


There’s always lots of stuff to be getting on with, and just at the wrong moment your toddler decides they need an audience for their latest physical achievement...

With all that internal energy bursting at the seams, it’s not surprising that toddlers just can’t keep still for very long.

But how can parents and carers capitalise on their child’s overwhelming urge to be ‘on the go, all the time’ when life is busy, energy is in short supply (for grown-ups!) and there’s not a park at the bottom of the road?

How CBeebies can help

Okay, so there isn’t a park or playground at the end of the road, it’s raining and your toddler needs to move that body. What to do?

Your toddler could let off some steam by actively getting involved when they watch a show (and not forgetting that as - every show starts - the theme tunes can help to get those bodies moving).

Encourage your child to get up and go with ZingZillas or get down to the beat with Boogie Beebies. Action show LazyTown is perfect for sowing the seeds of understanding about the value of leading an active life – great to get into the habit at an early age.

Take a look at the web pages for these (and other CBeebies) shows too. Your child could have a go at some of the movements Sportacus demonstrates in his LazyTown work-out game.

Or, perhaps they could have a jig around the room – and pretend to play an instrument – while listening to the ZingZillas songs online? And there are lots of Boogie Beebies songs to join in with - have fun doing the actions and movements together!

How to make a magic moment

‘Watch me! I can do it! Me do it!’ – these are just the sort of things the toddler says to get our attention.

Your toddler will be delighted with their every physical skill. Then, of course, they need an audience to applaud every new achievement. A great idea (if possible) would be to keep a scrapbook full of photos of your child’s physical accomplishments.

In no time, your child will have built up an incredible portfolio. Every now and then, look through the scrapbook together. Your child will be so proud of what they have achieved – magical moments to share!

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Top tips

  • It might be fun to play some movement games with your toddler, such as ‘Simon says’.How about playing ‘Two Little Dickie Birds’ to get those fingers moving?Dance the time away by having a boogie with your toddler to some of their favourite music!For a quieter moment, provide your toddler with plenty of scraps of paper and chunky crayons - and let those fine motor skills make a work of art.

Expert opinion

Toddlerhood’s a busy time and the next couple of years will bring plenty of change.

Eileen Hayes, Parenting expert

Parent's tale

As soon as any music plays on the TV or anywhere, my toddler, Harry, gets up to dance. I always make sure we spend some of the day singing nursery rhymes and songs so Harry gets to dance. This also involves Harry's baby brother, Ollie, in our time together and they both giggle together when we do any action songs. Harry even helps Ollie with the actions!

Emma, from Liverpool

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