How to Burn the Energy of a Young Child
Parents of toddlers, I feel obligated to ask you: are you okay? Did all this childish energy create a vortex in your living room or a black hole in your kitchen, or – I don’t know – caused them to spontaneously ignite? Everything seems possible right now!
I remember my childhood (they have a way to burn the psyche of parents). I was a housewife in those days, and I remember how getting out of the house, to a playground, water playground, or anywhere else was the key to staying sane.
I also remember how long winters seemed like when we locked ourselves inside long enough for us to park the mini trampoline, hopper ball, and toddler slide in the living room. And yet my son went to kindergarten, or we went to relatives for dinner, or, you know, we just sometimes left the house.
I say that you are all on my mind. I think that the energy of your children was probably physically manifested in some kind of mythical force. So I asked our Offspring Facebook group for any suggestions on how to use our children and their energy in the earth – and they came.
If you have free space (and money)
This will seem very unfair and annoying to those of you who live in small apartments or those of you who live in small houses with tiny backyards and unfinished basements. (Or, you know, if you need to keep track of your spending right now.) But I also recommend that you reconsider what you define as “too big for our house,” because these are not normal times. It’s time to move the unoccupied chair to the corner and replace it with a mini trampoline .
So this is my first suggestion. We had one, he sat in the middle of our living room for a whole year (maybe two). We had to walk around him to cross the room and we were constantly pushing and pulling him out of the way, but it was worth it. If you can afford it and have a few feet of free space, it’s well worth it.
Of course, if you really want to make great strides, you can opt for a full blown bumper . My sister-in-law just installed it this week and sent me a picture of my very happy 2 year old nephew. If anyone had to spend money on such a thing, now is the time, that’s all I’m saying.
You can also try the pickler triangle , which can range from very simple to quite complex. I would also support the proposal “a small slide in the living room”.
If you are short on space
Bounce House is not for everyone. It wouldn’t have been for me, thanks to an unfinished basement with low ceilings and a narrow sloping backyard. But if you’ve got the money to spare, Facebook group member Michael says this balance board is the best $ 20 he’s ever spent.
My son had something similar – called the Spooner Board – when he was little. He balanced and moved back and forth while watching TV, and that made screen time more palatable because he was simultaneously doing something physical. However, the Spooner Board was more expensive, and the cute monkey face did not look at it.
Another good option was recommended by Eric in our Facebook group (and supported by me because I think this thing still lives in our basement): Kidoozie Pogo Jumper . It is soft, low and consumes a lot of energy quickly. (FYI, this is fun for adults too.)
The last option, which is great for small spaces: this covered “playground” that hangs from the doorway. This isn’t great for a tight budget, but it can be a lifesaver for those without outdoor options.
Free ways to make them move
While having all the gear you need is great, you don’t have to go online shopping crazy to get your kids moving. Try these free screen apps and popular shows right now:
- GoNoodle . Kids love GoNoodle dancing and games, and they probably do it in school already, so chances are they’ll be familiar with it.
- Space kids yoga . (We also have other suggestions for yoga classes with your kids .)
- An emergency with Joe . Joe will be your family’s PE teacher while we stay at home. He instantly became a favorite among parents of young children.
Desperate times call for desperate action ideas
You are probably already very creative with how to get your kids to move and use that energy right now, but here are a few more ideas if you get stuck in a rut:
- Is there a hallway? No, you have a raceway. Challenge them to run up and down the hallway. Spend time with them and see if they can beat their personal best.
- Create your own obstacle course. Use whatever materials are available. Let them jump over objects, crawl under objects, crawl on the sofa; and then head in the opposite direction.
- Got masking tape and a hard or low-pile carpet? Make your own classics game. (I also did it with bubble wrap , which is awesome.)
If all else fails, pull the mattress to the floor and let it bounce. Nobody knows, nobody cares, nobody judges.