Next time you’re feeling the tension rising because they really need to get their energy out, relax – home educating mum of 2 and Mama Brown & Co contributor, Saskia Crawley shares her tips on keeping your children active indoors:
Firstly, a public apology to the neighbours. Yes, THIS is how all that bumping and bashing noise is made... When you’ve got two wild ones under 6, sometimes you need to burn off their energy without leaving the house and this is how I do it!
‘The jumping game’
Fed up of them jumping off things onto our wooden floors, I made my sons’ dreams come true the day I went ‘fun mum’ mode and pulled out a spare mattress and allowed them to start jumping off the furniture! Now any time going out isn’t an option and they’re getting particularly boisterous, ‘the jumping game’ is requested and all I need is the energy to pull out the spare mattress and place it next to their toy box. For extended fun we make slow motion videos of their gymnastics.
Don’t have a spare mattress? Thick sofa cushions would do the trick if you’re feeling brave enough.
Rough and tumble
Rough housing. I leave my husband to this one, but my sons would quite happily tackle me to the ground too! They just love being allowed to clamber all over us for a ‘wrestle’. Far from encouraging violent behaviour, allowing children to safely rough and tumble with people they love is great for sensory input and helping them regulate emotions including aggression. We set boundaries (no hitting) and the smiles on their faces say it all.
A classic party game to pull out on any dull day - balloon keepy uppies! It’s amazing how long this can keep children entertained and how irresistible it is for adults too. Who can keep their balloon up the longest? We usually add a learning element in when attention dips, like counting to 100 or counting in 2s each time you tap the balloon up in the air. More balloon fun includes waddling across the room like penguins holding precious eggs.
Sometimes the oldies are the goodies! I love that Simon Says allows me to sit there and get them to do whatever I like, without having to ask twice. Jumping, skipping, running to find things – the ways to burn off their energy are endless.
Ready to rumble
Washi tape is a playful parent essential in my opinion - it’s so versatile. When burning off energy is a must-do-NOW situation (and I also feel able to cope with mega excited noises) then I’ve been known to put washi shapes and letters on the floor and call out instructions for which they need to run to. Occasionally, I’ll throw in ‘Are you ready to... RUMBLE!!’ and they’ll run up and down on the spot! I can’t promise you won’t want to jump off the sofa and get stomping too – it’s pretty fun!
How do you help your children burn off energy indoors? Share your ideas with us over on Instagram now.