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Is your child playing by the rules of energy transference? Where they take all of your energy and run circles around you? Children inherently have a greater need than adults to play, to run and to jump. Instead of combating their need to move and shake; here's a few suggestions to entertain them indoors.
You may have high hopes and dreams that your couch is not also the trampoline, gymnastics mat and fort for your children; but if you let your kids make a giant pile of couch cushions they may find hours of entertainment. A modular couch is a great option for cushions designed for play. Combined with a little tent and tunnel, you can even create obstacle courses to utilize their energy and competitive spirits.
Two year olds love to jump! Have you ever noticed how your little one just wants to get their feet off the ground? Consider a space for an indoor trampoline and a slide that packs down flat. One of our community members related, "We had a trampoline in our living room for a few years. Very valuable piece of furniture!" Jumping can provide stimulation for their bodies, help them learn balance and improve dexterity. Have you ever noticed stress in your child? Jumping may be a way to get their heart rate up, and stress levels down.
If you have enough space, a set of foam blocks and a big foam mat is definitely worth it. Kids will arrange them into different structures, climb on them, jump off them, and they may even use the big square as a stage for their "performances." Sometimes we all need a soap box!
Recently, my children have found immense joy in riding one of those plastic roller coasters. Many are equipped with stairs or an integrated step stool, and can make a great addition to the basement. If you start them off young, your local amusement park will thank you for your patronage later.
A giant bean bag can be used for so many different purposes. Maybe your child will drag it around, or use it as a landing pad for bigger jumps. Then with supervision make your kiddos into "sandwiches" and place them between the bean bag and couch cushions. Or if sandwiches aren't your thing, a blanket could be used to roll them into a burrito. The common theme for indoor entertainment and secret ingredient to success is apparently couch cushions! If your couch is not as child proof, the simple game "red light green light" promotes active listening. Combine that skill with dribbling a basketball up and down your hallway for a double win. Your child will increase eye hand coordination, get moving and practice following instructions.
For a couch-less opportunity, consider altering your board games. For example, in Candy Land, every color could also be associated with an action card. (Red is jump up and down 10 times, green is run to the kitchen and back). Involve your toddler to make up the actions together so they take part in the construction of the game.
If sleeping babes allow, you can have a dance party, and call out actions for the songs, or just dance to the entire album. Music has an amazing way of energizing our minds and bodies. Indoor play can be fun and engaging for the whole family! With a little creativity, or just the couch in your living room, transform your indoor play today.
Article written by Sarah Ziroll
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