{Guest Blogger} Marcela De Vivo

I hope all of you had an amazing weekend. We sure did. So far it’s been full of special moments and birthdays. So much fun! I wanted to introduce to you Marcela De Vivo from the Los Angeles area. She’s a Freelance writer and she, along with her husband, also own a baby store: Baby Authority. Check her out :


Fun, Healthy Activities for Your Toddler


Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I love to taking advantage of the boundless energy that my toddler has and encourage him to play outdoors whenever I can (and only partly so that he doesn’t destroy the living room). Not only is a fun outdoor activity a good way to ensure that he will get the minimum amount of physical activity as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, but studies have shown that kids who exercise regularly also sleep better, which is important for their grown and development.

A bit of LA sun and an ocean breeze always cheers him up, especially when I think up some fun games for us to play. We usually stay in our front yard, though sometimes we like to go to the or the park for change of scenery.


These are some of the activities we’ve enjoyed in warmer weather. Not only does my toddler always end up with rosy cheeks and bright eyes after an hour outside, but often he’s learned something new as well! Oh, and I always put sunblock on him when he goes outside—even if it’s overcast.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar/Butterfly: I love to garden, and digging in the dirt is a favorite pastime of my little guy—so I put that to use. He helps me dig holes outside when it comes time to transplant some of my seedlings. I make sure that not only do we have some excellent vegetable varieties, but we also have a selection of colorful (and hardy) flowers like marigolds and zinnias.

The garden provides an endless source of entertainment and education for him; he helps harvest vegetables and learns about nutrition and colors and names. He helps with the weeding and “de-bugging” of the plants. This way he learns about ecology and insects as well—the insects never fail to capture all his attention and focus when he tries to trap them. Seeing a ladybug is probably one of his favorite things to date.


Image courtesy of David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hidden Treasure: This works best if you have a lot of shrubs and undergrowth, a garden, or a sandbox. I buy packets of small, toddler-safe, and inexpensive toys and hide them all over our front- and backyard. I give him a basket and then tell him how many items I’ve hidden—he learns his numbers AND gets new toys to play with while running all over the yard, grubbing for the hidden treasure. To be sure, he gets very dirty during this, but it’s a very satisfying play for him.

Obstacle Course: My toddler loves this game, especially when Lola (our dog) joins in. I use lawn chairs, sprinklers, hula hoops, bouncy balls, and whatever else I have on hand to create a short obstacle course. I go through each step with him first (which changes every round) and then use a stopwatch and whistle and tell him to go as fast as he can. Sometimes this one tires me out before it wears him out!

“Kite” Flying: On days when I don’t have the energy to go running all over the yard, I give him a balloon “kite”. Flying kites is too difficult from him right now (it’s too difficult for me, at any point). But with a few helium balloons, kite string, and brightly colored streamers for the tail, he can “fly” his kites to his content.

● ·Outdoor Art: To help him express his artistic side without completely covering my table and carpets with paint, I sometimes put butcher paper or an old sheet down on the driveway, and let him have at it with (washable) paint. Sometimes he uses his whole body as the “paintbrush,” other times, we use leaves and rocks to create fun patterns. Alternatively, chalk is also great for sidewalk drawings—kids in the neighborhood love coming over to help out on our giant “masterpieces.”

These are just a few of the fun things I employ to keep my toddler happy and active. Since I am able to take advantage of the great Los Angeles sunshine and weather nearly year-round, outdoor fun is limited only by my imagination.




Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area. She has written on everything from health & beauty, marketing, and technology. She and her husband own babyauthority.com