My 2.5 YO doesn't like a lot of physical activities such as riding her rocking horse, swimming lessons, trampolining and using slides and swings in the playground unless sat on your knee. She also doesn't play with her toys very much apart from her dolls and teletubbies and tends to prefer to be read to.

She has a good attachment to me and her dad and her nursery key worker has described her as emotionally mature.

I really want to encourage her to enjoy using playground equipment and other physical toys to encourage her physical fitness and confidence and am not sure what to do.

  • 3
    Rocking horse, trampoline, swing, slides - these are all quite vigorous and challenge the balance. Be very gentle and don't force it. Not all kids like them at 2.5. Consider on the ground activities e.g. catching, hide and seek, treasure hunt, throw and catch (big soft ball), wind catchers, blowing bubbles instead.
    – Stone
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 1:47
  • I agree, they are all quite 'daring' activities for a young toddler and can feel scary for a little person! Chasing and popping bubbles is a good suggestion. Running around playing imaginary games or treasure hunts are also nice options for more gentle/creative children who prefer quiet play over boisterous physical activity.
    – Bekahland
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:00

2 Answers 2


I would try to find physical activities that she does enjoy and if possible, ones she can share with you. Roll down a hill, dance, jump, run races, walk, swing, soccer/football -- anything you can do that you both/all enjoy.

When we got home from work and before we made dinner, the entire family would crank up some music and have a dance party. We generally worked up a good sweat in half an hour and it was fun! Often we'd decide on what music we wanted for the next day -- our only criteria was it had to be a good pace for dancing.

ON Edit: I forgot she is two. CHOICES. Try choices and I think you'll see an improvement. At two children start to assert themselves. You make two choices that work for you as the parent. Then allow the child to select her preference.

When I would do an activity with a student and it was one they did not enjoy, I'd give them as many choices as possible. "Do you want to sit here or there?" "Do you want these three questions, or those?" "Do you want the red counters or the blue?" "When you are finished, do you want a story or a puzzle?" The choices made them feel like they had some control and the activities went much faster because they felt like they'd already agreed to it.

I think your child is ready for as many choices as you can manage. This/that plate. Milk/juice/water. Red shirt/blue shirt. Paint or crayons? Jumping or dancing.


First off all you should consult a doctor.

Secondly you will have to take her out for something fun and off course that means you will have to find some kind of game, which has to be of her interest, just ask her to join some sort of running game, for which she will get a reward you know.

Also you can show her some physical activity videos or cartoon and ask her to imitate some dance move. E.g. see if she knows tom & jerry cartoon and if she runs after you to catch the tom.

More over YO is yours I am sure a mother will do whatever it takes to take care of her children, so you can come up with any unique idea.

Try with out loosing patience.(you can loose patience when a child is 5-12, not before 5 and not after 12)

  • 2
    I'm curious why you think a doctor is a first?
    – user26011
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 19:42
  • I'm curious why you thought OP was the mother, not the father.
    – learner101
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 6:46
  • @notstoreboughtdirt Because when ever there is something wrong with our physical body, the body will stop its movements, that is the reason you do not play when you have viral..:)
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 7:08
  • @learning101 hmm.. me too, but is not it obvious that a Mother is emotionally attached to her child as she spends more time. Well I am a father by the way.
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 7:09
  • 1
    My partner spends as much time with my daughter, perhaps more during the week. The issue is definately not medical, at least not in the physiological sense.
    – R Reveley
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 11:57

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