Burning that outdoor energy, winter-style.

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.

You're REALLY gonna let me do this IN the house?

You’re REALLY gonna let me do this IN the house?

The gals with #iPPP are doing all sorts of interesting things beyond toddler playgrounds this week – check ’em out!!


9 Comments on “Burning that outdoor energy, winter-style.”

  1. gfunkified says:

    These are FANTASTIC ideas. My kids are going stir crazy in this cold, especially on the weekends. I think my hubs would kill me if I brought one more thing in the house, though….maybe I just need to rearrange. You know, make things exciting again. 😀

  2. K says:

    Sometimes we make Ezra and Iris take their socks off and do a few laps around inside the house (living room into dining room into kitchen into playroom back into living room). It can take the edge off. : )

    • I think that mighta been how muppet arms started – I blame my brothers visiting at new years. I remember running laps as kids in the circle at my folks house, with the goal being to slide across the linoleum part in socks…

  3. Laurie says:

    I noticed your glaring eye and all I can say is “Karma”….but seriously, I love the way the little guy is fascinated by books too–he certainly embraces everything with gusto! Seems there is only one switch–full on! (Dad says,”he’s digital, not analog”)

  4. PragmaticMom says:

    What fun! We also liked to build forts out of the couch pillows. Just stack them as walls and roof or hang a blanket above as the roof.

    • I can’t WAIT for the fort stage… Right now we’re stuck in the climbing ON instead of IN phase – but I’ve got some GREAT boxes in the garage just begging for fort-ification 🙂

  5. What a great idea! Wonder if I could get the 3 year old to leave trucks alone for 10 secs to try out the lava!

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