Burning that outdoor energy, winter-style.Posted: January 18, 2013
I was the kid that snuck books to the playground, and hid under the slide to read. Who grew up near the ocean and never got a tan. (Although let’s be honest – not that I could tan. We’d lived in our small town for a decade and Mom was STILL getting stopped by nice folks in the grocery warning her to “sunscreen those babies”. I like to call my specific shade of pale glow-in-the-dark albino.)
So how did IIIIII end up with the toddler who needs a solid hour of fresh air and RUNRUNRUNRUN time every. single. day? Karmic cursing, I swear. Mom, I’m looking at you.
During the winter we become staple customers at our local bounce houses, kiddie gyms and indoor playplaces. But (as I’ve been incessantly
whining tweeting) we’ve also spent a big chunk of November / December/ January visited by the green-snot-coughing-fever fairies. And I HATE being the mom with the sick kid at the indoor venue – the laser stares and whispers, they burn. So what do I do with a boy who needs to RUNRUNRUNRUUUUUUUN in a 1200 square foot house?
- Bring the outdoor toys inside – We’ve already ditched all of the living room furniture excepting the couch, so the room is just an open play area (see: RUNRUNRUNRUNCLIMB). So the Little Tykes slide and kiddie trampoline got a quick dusting and have taken up residence in replacement of coffee table and chairs.
- Muppet arms – I’m not sure how this started, and I know there’s an incriminating video of it floating around somewhere. The kid runs from one end of the house to the other yelling “AAAAAAAA” at the top of his lungs. My role is to chase him, arms flailing in the air a la muppet style, also screaming “AAAAAAAAA”. Reach the end of the house, turn and switch roles.
- Scavenger hunt – we’re recently obsessed with the color blue, so he pushes a laundry basket around the house while we find blue things. I might have loaded a few milk cartons with sand, colored them blue, and hidden them strategically around the house. The heavier the basket gets the better.
- Letter running – I’ve stuck foam letters to the front of the cabinets / doors / floors in the kitchen. I call out a letter and he has to run to it and pat it. I think I owe our landlord an apology for the quantity of adhesive residue we are eventually going to end up leaving E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. Oops.
- Bubble wrapping the kitchen floor. Taping down SHEETS of bubble wrap across the linoleum, and then RUNJUMPROLLing to make pop-pops. (Just a hint – remove bubble wrap before your half-asleep husband wakes up at 0530 to make himself breakfast before work. Trust me.)
- Pillow jumping – the old standby, pulling the cushions off the couch and beds and closets (WHY do we own so many pillows? Seriously. How.) and the carpeted floor becomes hot lava. Or we make climbing mountains and roll off of them until somebody gets a black eye on the piano bench.
Not QUITE the same as being set free at the nearby playground, but it’ll do Pig. It’ll do.
The gals with #iPPP are doing all sorts of interesting things beyond toddler playgrounds this week – check ‘em out!!