It is on the record that I love to play fetch with my kids when the weather is nice. They are crazy active and I have thought about padding the walls inside (at least one room) so they could bounce off them a little easier. Unfortunately, we are entering the time of year with lots of pent up energy, cabin fever, and a strong interest in staying inside. Here are a few of my favorite picks for getting out your ya-yas while staying indoors.
For babies and toddlers
Tunnels and tents. Whitney introduced me to the idea of tunnels and tents INDOORS. WHOA, mind blown. These easy-peasy forts allow so much exploring possibility. In a similar vein, we love cardboard boxes and homemade forts! But to really get the ya-yas out, you need to keep crawling and moving! Find tents and tunnels on amazon starting around $15.
Ball popper. These chase n’ go ball poppers range from about $20 to $60 and, let’s be honest, they don’t have a very long shelf-life. But if you have a baby the right age when it is too cold to go out, this might be your best friend.
Bilibo. This plastic bowl / seat / balance toy has many uses and they will all be discovered by your curious, active tot! It comes in so many colors.
For active toddlers and preschoolers
Rubber bouncer. For less than $20, your toddler will bounce himself silly on this thing. Recommended for ages three and up, a coordinated two-year old could probably enjoy this too.
Small trampoline. I’ve seen toddlers wobble nervously and barely move and I’ve seen others nearly launch off the side rail. When used properly, they can really wear out a small child for a good nap. And that’s what we’re going for! This size is good for about ages two to eight.
Foam pogo jumper. These foam pogo doohickies take a little more coordination than the mini tramp but they’re so much more portable! I’d suggest them for ages four and up. My twelve-year old still grabs ours and shakes the house!
Private ball pit. Turning an old pack n play into an indoor ball pit is very fun but not super active. Make sure to encourage throwing all the balls back into the pit. This child had fun throwing all the balls and stuffing them inside his shirt. How to create your own DIY ball pit (if you can’t tell from the picture!)
Punch balloons! I buy these by the 50-pack because for some odd reason, they are priced the same for 50 as for five. Just buy the big bag and never run out. Lots of aggressive punching with no hitting your brother. Yay!
Dance party. No need to buy any gear for this one. Just play superfast dance music with a kid-friendly beat and either cheer them on or dance along.
Pillow fight. As long as you don’t show my children that I wrote this, I encourage some pillow fighting in a safe space. I know my boys get all sweaty when they start bonking each other with pillows.
[Photos are by Heather Flett and amazon]