Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Early Running and Kicking
Running and kicking a ball is not only a fun activity for toddlers, but it also has numerous developmental benefits. From improving physical fitness to enhancing social skills, this simple yet engaging activity has a lot to offer. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the developmental values of early running and kicking a ball for toddlers.
Running and kicking a ball can help in the physical development of toddlers. According to the American Heart Association, physical activity is essential for toddlers' healthy growth and development. Running and kicking a ball can help toddlers:
- Improve their cardiovascular health
- Enhance their motor skills
- Develop their coordination
- Build their strength and endurance
- Maintain a healthy weight
In a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, researchers found that toddlers who engage in physical activities such as running and kicking a ball have a lower risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases later in life. Therefore, parents and caregivers should encourage toddlers to engage in physical activities as early as possible to help them build a healthy lifestyle.
Running and kicking a ball can also contribute to toddlers' cognitive development. In a study published in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, researchers found that toddlers who engage in regular physical activity have improved cognitive function, including better memory and attention span. This can be attributed to the increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain during exercise, which enhances cognitive function.
Moreover, running and kicking a ball require toddlers to make quick decisions and judgments, which can help improve their problem-solving skills. They also need to anticipate the ball's movement and adjust their movements accordingly, which can help improve their spatial awareness and perception.
Running and kicking a ball can also help in the social development of toddlers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, physical activity can help toddlers develop social skills, such as cooperation, communication, and teamwork. Running and kicking a ball with other toddlers can help toddlers learn to:
- Share and take turns
- Resolve conflicts
- Respect others' boundaries
- Work together towards a common goal
In addition, playing with other toddlers can help toddlers develop a sense of belonging and social connection, which is crucial for their emotional well-being.
While running and kicking a ball can be a fun activity for toddlers, it's important to ensure their safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a safe and spacious area to play, free from hazards such as sharp objects or traffic.
- Use a ball that is appropriate for toddlers' age and size.
- Supervise toddlers during playtime and ensure they don't wander off or get into dangerous situations.
- Use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.
- Encourage toddlers to take breaks and drink water to stay hydrated.
In conclusion, running and kicking a ball is not just a fun activity but also has numerous developmental benefits for toddlers. Parents and caregivers should incorporate physical activities such as running and kicking a ball into their educational and developmental exercises as early as possible to help them build a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Score N’ Explore is designed to provides parent an educational toy that can be utilized to stimulate both physical and cognitive development with engaging graphics of important educational lessons.
American Heart Association. (2022). Physical Activity for Toddlers. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/physical-activity-for-toddlers
Ertem, I. S., Pekcan, G., & Gok, C. G. (2018). Running and kicking a ball: Two simple developmental activities to foster physical and cognitive development in young children. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 18(3), 1564-1570.