Fortunately for me my kids love to play outside. Â Even in the rain and the snow, they want to be outside. Â Just today my Caribbean born daughter said, “I just can’t wait for the snow!” But, there are those days when it’s just too cold or too rainy to be outside.Â
Most of our outside activities are in the evenings, and the kids have lots of energy during the day. Â It’s helpful to find ways to incorporate short bursts of activity sprinkled throughout the day. Â Not only does the exercise help kids feel settled and better able to pay attention, the exercise is actually really good for their brains and helps them to retain information. Â I don’t know about you, but I’m all over anything I can do to help my kids to better retain information!
Here is a short list of some of the things that we do to keep the wiggles, and the bugging at bay:
1. Â Rope – several years ago my husband installed a rope from the rafters of our basement. Â It’s just a regular, heavy duty rope from the hardware store with a knot towards the bottom. Â My kids swing on it every.single.day!
2. Â Swing – also in the basement, my husband installed this swing from Ikea. Â It doesn’t get quite as much use as the rope, but they do use it often. Â Mostly they like to sit in it and see how fast they can spin in it. Â This could potentially not be such a great thing if your child doesn’t have the strongest stomach. Â Install with caution 😉
3. Â Basketball Hoop – this might appeal to the slightly older kids in the house, but try installing a basketball hoop on the back of a door. Â The kids can then use a small nerf ball to play “hoops”. Â
4. Â Bike Ride – when the weather is fairly decent I will often have my oldest ride his bike around the block a couple of times while I work with a couple of the other kids.Â
5. Â Run – similar to the bike ride, I will often have one of the older boys go outside and run around the block. Â For little kids that you don’t want to be outside unattended, have them run around the house! Â You can keep track of times and have them work towards a personal best. Â You can also keep track of times over the course of a week or two and have them practicing graphing. Â Math and P.E.
6. Â Mini-Trampoline – get the wiggles out and have lots of fun at the same time. Â Leah’s speech therapist will often have her jump for 5 minutes before she goes to sit down for therapy. Â A mini-trampoline would be a great Christmas gift for the family.
7. Â Garage Gym – depending on the set up in your home, this may also work in a basement, but back the car out of the garage and let the kids use a jump rope, hippity hop, or hula hoop to burn off some energy. Â You could even get really creative and set up some sort of an obstacle course. Â
8. Â Tether Ball – now this would technically be a warmer weather activity, unless you have kids like mine who are always outside without coats because “I was born in Russia, I don’t need a coat!” Â Jonah couldn’t get enough of this at cub scout camp, so this is on our “must have” list.
9. Â Tunnel – we had a tunnel when our older kids were younger and it really got a lot of use. Â It’s amazing how much fun they had together climbing in and out of that thing. Â It held up amazingly well too, and we break everything in our house!
10. Â Get your 70’s on – then there are the always effective 70’s calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, toe touches etc. Â Take a group break and have each child pick a different exercise for everyone to do.
Many of these activities are fantastic for kids with sensory issues and can really help those sensory seekers make it through the day a bit calmer.
What do you do when your kids get the wiggles?
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