My son is two and a half, and I work full-time. Long story short, I find it really difficult to get to the gym or even out for a walk, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, when I spend as much time with him as possible. (Obviously were I better at managing my time, I could figure out a way–but let's not get into that just now!)
I've found that turning on music and having a dance party is excellent for both of us. We both get some exercise, he becomes better with coordination and learns new ways to stretch and move, and I can work in a bunch of leg-lifts and whatnot.
As we're dancing, I point out different parts of the song (e.g., "Okay, the drums are coming in now!"), play air guitar with him, pick him up and twirl him around, that kind of thing. He incorporates his stuffed animals into the dancing, copies my moves, comes up with his own–heck, sometimes he just runs around the couch in circles. He's good for 4-5 songs, sometimes more; so you get 20-30 minutes' worth of workout.
This works even in a small space (my living room, for instance!) and I like to include a few silly songs in there to keep his interest. Here's a sample playlist:
- All These Things That I've Done — The Killers
- Second Chance — Liam Finn
- Bold As Brass — Split Enz (lots of silly sounds in this one)
- I Was Made to Love Her — Stevie Wonder
- Across 110th Street — Bobby Womack
I hope this helps a few parents out there.
Does anyone else have a favorite dance-with-the-kids song?