Gauging Activity Level
2. Activity Level
If your child is action oriented, you'll probably know by the time she's walking. She'll always want to be on the go, exploring the world around her by crawling, running, and climbing. These movers and shakers love spaces that offer lots of opportunity for movement.
At the other end of the spectrum are kids who are content to sit and play quietly, and may prefer exploring with their hands instead of their legs. They tend to take in the world by looking or listening. Their interest in the things around them can be every bit as strong as an active baby's, but they don't feel the same need to be up and about.
Characteristics: From "I'm happy to sit and play" to "I need to be on the move"
For the less-active child:
- Entice your child to move by placing an interesting toy a little beyond where she can easily get to it.
- Follow your child's lead, and take it slowly. Let him watch kids on the jungle gym, then suggest going down the slide on your lap.
- Listen to music together. It's easy to shift from listening to dancing if the music moves you.
For the child who's on the move:
- Offer lots of opportunities for safe, active exploration. Play hide-and-seek, freeze tag, and other active games.
- Don't expect your child to sit still for long. Let her stand for a diaper change and leave the high chair as soon as she is done eating.
- Start limiting active play at least an hour before bedtime and perhaps 30 minutes before naptime to help slow her down.