It's cold outside. The half-dome monkey bars at the playground are an igloo, the snowdrift in the back yard is several feet high, and even going to Grandma's for a short visit requires getting all bundled up like the Michelin man. Small wonder that our small wonders end up cocooned on the couch, soaking up too many cartoons or playing too many video games.
Sure, a lazy morning here and there is perfectly okay. But your child needs to keep moving, even in the depths of winter. It's absolutely essential for his growing body. "Daily activity develops preschoolers' fine and gross motor skills," explains Scott A. Shipman, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and preventive health at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland. It's vital to your little one's emotional development too, since exercise is a proven mood booster and can help promote better sleeping habits.
The good news is that it isn't all that hard to make sure that your toddler stays physically active, no matter what the weather is like. See for yourself what a big difference these easy ideas can make.