Everyone knows kids need time and space to run around and expend all that energy they siphon off their parents. They sleep better, eat better and just generally feel better. Not to mention all those large motor skills they are developing.
So what happens when Momma just doesn't have the energy to keep up with them? Or is physically unable to run around with them? While I'm hoping to not have a strict "bed rest" season in this pregnancy, I know it may happen, and also, I'm generally supposed to take it easy these days. Not so easy to do when the kids are used to me running around with them, giving piggy backs and just don't really understand that I need to rest and sit down.
I've discovered a few activities that are good for getting their heart rates going and keeping yours under control...
1. Build an obstacle course.
This one takes a little effort on your part, but once it's done you can sit and watch them run around in circles, climbing over chairs and crawling through tunnels. You can time their laps around the course or make yourself an integral part of it. (Just make sure you can handle them climbing on you and choose a comfortable position). Enjoy 10-15 minutes of rest while they work up a sweat!
2. Put 'em to Work!
A few weeks ago we got a hand-me-down toddler bed for Elena. It was in need of some TLC so I got Lucas and Elena to help me scrub it down. This is definitely not the most restful activity, but I was able to supervise for a while, and then help finish off the task. They also learned about helping mommy out and had fun with the water and brushes!
3. Find an enclosed park and watch them run around.
Grandma and Grandpa's apartment has a small enclosed playground area with some nice toys that we don't see everyday and the kids love to run around there and drive the cars. There are some convenient benches nearby where I can watch all the action. They are old enough too that I don't need to follow them around. :)
4. Sidewalk chalk and hopscotch
This one is especially nice if you have a secure area so you don't have to worry about traffic or the kids running down the street. I help Lucas draw the hopscotch squares (good for number learning as well) and help him with throwing a stone into each consecutive number square and hopping away. We have also drawn huge shapes on the ground and they run around until I call out a shape and they have to jump into that shape. Very good if you have a lawn chair handy.
5. This one makes the most sense but isn't always possible - find someone else to run around after the kids while you rest and (in this case) enjoy the sun, sand and beach!
We enjoyed a nice morning at the beach today with Uncle Aaron who helped Lucas conquer some of his ocean/wave fears!
We had such a good outing to the beach this morning I hope we can do it a few more times before this momma turns into a beached whale. :)
Any other good "high energy" activities you recommend for kids?