Helping your children develop coordination and a love for fitness begines by immersing them in an environment that promotes physical activity. The following activities are suggestions only. Remember to always support baby’s head and neck and ensure you do not bounce or jostle her too hard as her brain is fragile.

AGE: 0-3 Months: Belly Huggers
Skills and Goals:
Trust Flexibility
Bonding Arm/Chest Strength
Interest in Others Abdominals
Object Permanence Lower Back
Self-Other Upper Back
Purposeful Motion Lower Body Strength
Cause-Effect Activities
Experimentation
Rhythm
Muscle Memory
Gross Motor Coordination
Upper Body Strength
Lower Body Strength
Flexibility/Range of Motion

Baby Airplane
o Parent remains standing
o Hold baby on forearm, belly down, head supported, arm tucked in as in a football hold
o Place your free hand on top of baby’s back for added security
o “Fly baby around”

Bouncing balloons
o As baby develops cause and effect knowledge, she will delight in bouncing a helium filled balloon that is tied to her arm (never leave baby unattended with balloons or string)

Rock the Baby (Sing with Rock a Bye Baby or Did you Ever see a Lassie)
o Place baby on her belly a stability ball or a large rolled towel lengthwise to her body and gently rock forward and back

Beach Ball Balance (Excellent song is Rock around the Clock)
o Using a stability ball or a 12” Beach Ball (slightly deflated) rock baby in all directions pretending to mark each hour on the clock. Only rock baby as far as she is comfortable

Baby Cycle
o With baby lying on back or in front carrier, “cycle” her legs to the beat of the music

Swat the Balloon or Toy
 Hold a balloon or toy about 6 inches from baby and let her try to catch it

Baby Push Up
o Start with baby on her belly and bringing her arms in under her so she is resting on her forearms
o As her neck strength increases, move a towel under her armpits so she can arch up at more of an angle to look around
o Eventually she will not need the roll and can push up by herself.

Supported Baby March (The Ants go Marching)
o Hold baby securely under arms
o Lower until her feet touch the ground
o Encourage her to march in place, bear weight—whatever she wants to do
o Also hold her in this position to help her learn to bounce to the beat of the music

Trampoline bounce with baby (5 Little Monkeys)
o Sit on the trampoline or on Tumble Track
o Rest babies on tumble track or 1 at a time on mini trampoline lying or sitting with your support
o Gently bounce to move the trampoline and assist baby in maintaining balance (You move the trampoline, baby is just along for the ride, but do it GENTLY)

Baby Kickboxer (using a stability ball)
o Put ball at baby’s feet.
o When she kicks it, pop up and make a sound

Chicken Flap Arms (Old MacDonald, Chicken Dance or Ducks Dance Too)
o With baby in front pack help her flap her arms like a chicken

Balloon toss
o Gently drop a balloon down for your baby to kick/hit etc. As he starts to sit up on his own he will delight in trying to bat it, eventually, actually trying to bat it back at you.

On floor or ball flutter kick
o Lying on stomach lift slightly one leg at a time as if swimming being sure not to raise hips off ground. Hold for 1 count take a break and assist baby doing the same on the floor

Aerobic
This is best for songs with narration (Wheels On The Bus, Clap Clap, Bunny Hop, Ring Around The Rosey, Mexican Hat Dance) Helps teach baby rhythm and to enjoy exercising—

Variations –Have parents face a mirror or pair off and face another baby while doing the activities in the song.
o Level 0: sit on the floor with baby
o Level 1: Stand or get on your knees with good posture, tummy tight, shoulders back with baby (no sitting)
o Level 2: Stand or kneel and lightly bounce with baby (use the thighs and glutes) With baby in front pack, bounce lightly to the beat
o Level 3: Side step with baby (standing or on knees) With baby in front pack step side to side to the beat of the music
o Level 4: March with baby in front pack, hold her feet to march or hands to clap
o Level 5: Squats legs hip distance apart or plie legs slightly more than shoulder distance apart, baby in front pack. No more than 1/2 squats/plies to beat of music

More for Parents
Calesthenic Music should be between 90 and 110 beats per minute…use what your class likes
These exercises help parents get in shape, model fun fitness, bond with baby, reduce fatigue and improve posture. Additionally they help baby gain a sense of trust with parent, muscle memory as they are helped to clap, march and identify body parts and rhythm as parent at least helps baby clap to the beat or holds baby while she/he bounces to the beat.

Sitting
Baby Bicep Curls
o Sit in a chair or on a stability ball with baby resting on your forearms facing you
o Gently Curl Baby Up and Give her a kiss then lower

o Advanced: Put Baby on a blanket. Gather the excess until you are holding right by her head. Supporting her so her head does not flop back, assist her to sitting

o Super Advanced: Assist baby to sitting by holding her hands and gently guiding her to sitting. Do not do this if baby’s head starts to flop back)

Leg Extensions with baby on for the ride (Froggy went a Courtin)
o Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, baby sitting on your feet and leaning her belly on to your shins
o Hold her hands as you raise her slowly up and down

Lying
Push Ups/Cat Curls Over Baby (Everybody Wants to Be a Cat)
o Place baby on her back
o Get face-down with your shoulders directly over baby’s shoulders, legs on the floor
o Push up so your upper body curls up until your arms are straight
o Lower down over baby and give her a kiss
o (This can be done with full or modified push-ups as well if you are strong enough)

Baby Crunches
o Lie on your back, knees bent, feet about 12” from your rump
o Set baby on your pelvis, leaning against your knees, holding securely around ribs
o Curl up until your shoulders leave the ground, say boo and tickle tummy

Pelvic Tilts/Glute squeeze (She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain)
o Lie on your back, knees bent, feet about 12” from your rump
o Set baby on your pelvis, leaning against your knees, holding securely around her ribs
o Tighten your glutes and your pelvic floor muscles (Kegles) then tighten your lower stomach muscles to tilt your pelvis in further. Hold and repeat

Baby Bench Press (2 months and later)
o Lie on your back with baby on his stomach facing you
o Grasp around his ribs and slowly lift/press into the air
o If baby starts to show fatigue or cannot hold his head still, wait to do this exercise

Standing
Upright Row
o Hold baby under arms and lower until your arms are extended
o Raise, bending your arms to chest height, elbows pointing out like chicken wings

Bent Over Row (Helps mom with posture and preventing back injury)
o Baby in carrier bend over, tummy tight and raise baby until elbows are at your sides

Overhead Press
o Hold baby around his ribs raise him up and push out at a 20 degree angle
o Lower and zerbert his belly

Shoulder blade squeeze (Reduces upper back strain in parent)
 Baby in front pack, legs shoulder distance apart, knees slightly bent, abs in squeeze shoulder blades together like holding a pencil

Dead lifts
o Place baby in her carrier or on the floor
o Stand with feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent (“soft”), tummy in
o Bend over at the hips until your body is parallel with the floor
o Keeping your knees bent and tummy tight, slowly straighten up
o (Advanced) hold the handle to baby’s carrier and lift and lower her with each repetition

RECOMMENDED READING
Baby Play (Gymboree)