Energy Buster for Bouncy Kids
Big M is a mover. He has always been a mover. He never wanted to be held or slowed down, apparently he had very important places to be. He was army crawling at 4 months and walking (um running) at 7 months. We learned pretty quick that trying to stop him from moving was not going to work in our favor. We needed to come up with an energy buster or two.
We spend a lot of time outside where he can move, move, move. Once in a while though a burst of energy will show up when we least expect it (and when we really don’t want it)!
If I find myself asking him to “calm down” over and over, I know we have a problem. And the problem is not with his energetic little body. He needs to move, and no amount of pleading is going to change that. So what’s the answer when I can’t send him outside?
We do laps.
I have set up a route he knows well. When I say go do some laps, he can quickly pick a starting place and go. There’s no set up and only a few rules.
1. Watch where you’re going. (Don’t run over the dog, your sister, or me)
2. Keep your hands to yourself. (You’re moving too fast to grab a chair or your sister without hurting someone)
3. Have fun while you run.
Once in a while we add in a little variety. I’ll have him run backwards, crab walk, sidestep, gallop, tiptoe or hop. Sometimes I give him a number of laps to do, sometimes I set the timer. I want it to be fun and feel good to M and M so they will be excited about using up this energy.
If you don’t have a large area to run, pick a route that takes your kid through different rooms of the house turning and weaving or mix it up completely. A dance routine, jumping jacks, or full blown wiggle session will work too. The point is, don’t try to stop it… LET THEM MOVE!
What is your favorite energy buster?
We also do laps but outdoors around the house. Works great. For indoor energy releases we do many different things including dancing, dancing with balloons, box ball (http://growingplay.blogspot.com/2012/01/keeping-it-simple-real-simple.html), go on secret spy missions (http://growingplay.blogspot.com/2012/01/free-secret-missions-for-pretend-play.html), and loads of other movement games. Another good one is to use your stairs – maybe rescue games with stuffed animals at the top.
Have you considered a small trampoline for indoor use? Mover kids love those and Mom’s love the compact energy release.
I just got a visual of Big M propelling himself across the living room with a trampoline. 😉 They would love it. I can’t wait to try rescuing stuffed animals. What a fun movement idea! (The links are AWESOME!)
I love that you have a set route that he knows. We run races but I like the idea of laps.
We play “hall ball” in the winter or on rainy days. Using two small (house-safe) balls, I sit at one end of our long hallway and roll the balls to the other end. I let the kids take turns picking animals they can move as down the hall to retrieve the balls. (“Worm” is my favorite one to watch!) They have alot of fun coming up with a wide range of animals to impersonate, and they use up alot of energy in this game. There may be a reason why I encourage them to pick “frog” and “rabbit” over and over…. 😉
Haha! Big M is just a typical child who want some fun! It’s okay to me a mover but of course we have to make sure their safety and our things at home may not be broken.
Great idea! We’ve been having more of those days lately. Haha. When R was younger, I let him ride his tricycle in the house and do various silly races. And then this past fall I discovered that playing freeze dance was a great way to tire him out. He loves dancing.. and all I had to do was watch as he entertained me and hit stop on the music every once in awhile.
That’s a great idea! I’m always thinking I should stop watching and start running the laps too. (Keeping up with him would probably be the best exercise ever!)
My husband is in the process of installing a fence around our yard, and we hope to get a puppy dog in the late Fall or Winter of this year. Those 2 things should help my boys “do laps” and use up some energy. I am looking forward to being able to do laps of my own 🙂
I do a lot of the above mentioned ideas… but with a twist! We use a timer, when we do dancing or laps or races. They are always trying to beat their time. This way they run harder and faster, expending more energy as they go.