Spring has officially sprung in our neck of the woods. Trees are budding, daffodils have bloomed, the grass is greening, and spiders are crawling about. And, the sun it out…for a little while, at least, until it rains, followed by the breakthrough of a little bit more sunshine, only to pushed away by more rain. This time of year, every year, in our western state, there’s an old joke that gets put back into circulation:
“If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.”
Sometimes this means that our sunny morning gets interrupted by a sprinkling of snow, or by giant, bitter gusts of wind that can blow over your BBQ. Seriously! This is the kind of spring my kids know. It is also the kind of spring that makes it very difficult to use all the important energy children are known for.
So, what do you do with that energetic child when it’s too icky to play outside? You play inside, of course!
- Build an obstacle course—use blankets, pillows, toy bins, and furniture to make tunnels or tasks to run around or jump into
- Hop, skip, or roll from one room to another
- Practice somersaults or jumping jacks
- Dance to silly songs (one of William’s personal favorites)
- Bean bag toss
- Indoor hopscotch—use masking or electrical tape on non-carpeted floor
- Act out animal motions—slither like a snake, kick like a donkey, swing your trunk like an elephant, etc.
- Step aerobics—use a folded blanket to step up onto and have your child copy what you do
- Yoga, or stretching (William loves to stretch like his dad does before running)
- Balloon ball—hit the balloon into the air and don’t let it touch the ground
Of course, with any indoor physical activity, be sure your play space is a safe one by being somewhat large and clear of toys and sharp edged furniture.
The other morning, when it was cold and blustery, and raining sideways, we spend the majority of Corinne’s nap time playing jumping games in the family room. William was so happy to be able to be wild like a “hopping frog” as he sometimes describes himself. And I have to admit, I also got my heart rate up while we played!
Sometimes, if that isn’t enough, I move the cars out and let William ride his tricycle in the garage. And when it isn’t windy, rainy, or snowy, but still bitter cold (as spring can sometimes be), I bundle up the kids really well and we go for a walk, if even for only ten minutes. We are all happy for the change of pace and come back feeling refreshed and happy.