Dr. Toy: Exercise Fun

All children need daily physical activity to develop eye hand coordination and strengthen small and large muscles. Exercise builds strong bones too. Children are little dynamos. The right physical activity allows them to have fun using their energy while contributing to their development. You can set an example by walking and doing other physical activities with your child.

Many toys and products encourage healthy activity. Start off right with colorful, safe and stimulating toys they can shake, stack and knock down. "Dr. Toy's Best Toys" are selected to help your child grow and develop.

A baby enjoys using small muscles and develop their eye hand coordination with LEGO Systems, Duplo Baby X-Large Stack 'N' Learn (ages 6-24 mos., $24.99) 203- 763- 3211. This set includes animals, cars and people. A special adapter allows the child to continue using the system as he or she grows to build at the next level.

Another perfect product for large and small muscles and eye hand coordination is Educo's, Ring Around a Rowsy ( ages 2-8, $48) 800 -661- 4142. Large, colorful beads on 6 wires are secured on a wooden base. The child learns to count, identify colors and also expand motor dexterity. This is a durable, fun, in or out of doors plaything.

For the little ballerina select Clayton Production's, I Want to be a Ballerina video (ages 3-11, $14.95) 800-700-8622. Enter the magical world of toe shoes , costumes, training and performance to inspire and learn the basics. "The Nutcracker" unfolds in this 30 minute video.

Children can dance and move freely with a Kidpower, Ribbon Dancer ( ages 5-8, $9.99) 800-545- 7529. This 12 foot long satin ribbon is attached to a magic wand that can move as the child wishes. A great prop for their energy and imagination.

The preschool set now have their own great, red wagon, Radio Flyers's, Push-Pull Wagon (1-7, $60) 800-621-7613. A perfectly designed versatile vehicle to make moving even more fun. Long handle, easy to change latch with storage, plenty of seating and quiet wheels. Perfect for long walks with "Teddy" as a passenger.

For a challenging, fun game try Kenner's Nick and Nerf Backwards Basketball (ages 5-8, $19.99) 800-327- 8264. The game is played with a back mounted hoop on a strap. This is a fast, strategy game that gives the child a good workout.

Dr. Toy responds to the parent who expresses concern about her child not being interested in physical activity. Dr. Toy suggests walking together to interesting places in your neighborhood and talking about things that you see. Play simple games outdoors like throwing balls until she can catch and throw easily. Try to find the activity she might likes the most. She may surprise you that she wants to roller skate and perhaps is afraid to try the first time. Everyone needs regular daily exercise. Remember encourage your child to get out doors as much as possible for exercise and fun activities that build their bones, muscles, coordination and skills.

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