One of the big concerns for dads is how to help our kids use their energy without destroying the house. Sure, getting out whenever you can is the best option. Go outside and throw snowballs, run around, and make snow angels. However, the weather is not always cooperative for that kind of activity. So, how do you help your kids? Fortunately, there are a lot of options to help your kids and save your house. With any luck, it will be a memorable experience for everyone.
Thankfully, there are many formal movement games you can play to keep everyone limber and moving. The first one that many people think of is the old classic Twister. You can easily make a version of this with some paper and tape. If you do not have a spinner, you can always just use a six-sided die. If you want something more than twister, there is always the movement video games like what is available for the Nintendo Wii or Xbox. These can be incredibly fun for the entire family. With the right games, you can get quite the workout when you play for a little while.
Using Art and Nature Together
While art is a great way to help kids expend energy, often it can involve long periods of simply sitting in one place. So instead of that, start the activity by taking a walk to gather some items to use. This can be a trip to the beach to gather shells, a walk in the woods to gather rocks, or even just some time running around the yard gathering leaves. This will give the kids a chance to burn off some physical energy before coming back to the house where they can expend some creative mental energy by painting rocks, tracing leaf patterns, or gluing shells together.
This does not mean something you eat that stimulates your senses. Rather, a sensory diet has to do with things you can do to stimulate your nervous system. One of the things that most people think of as energy is actually the need for sensory input. Providing various inputs can help calm the body and bring down the energy level. One of my favorite things to do when my kids are bouncing off the walls is the “move that wall” exercise. I simply tell my younger kids to push on an empty wall and try to move it six inches out. I tell them that if they succeed, they’ll get the extra space for more playing. Works every time, and it provides compression on the joints. There are many other stimulating exercises you can try if you simply search for sensory diet activities.
Play With Some Bubbles
Bubbles can bring an incredible about of fun to any summer afternoon. But they can also bring a lot of fun to the winter as well. Inside is pretty obvious, providing about the same as outside. If the weather is at all cooperative, you can also take these bubbles outside when it is freezing and watch them freeze. This can be a great lesson but are also just a lot of fun in a different way.
Balloons provide an incredible amount of fun, and are so versatile in what you can do with them. There are so many games that can help get some energy out, and do it in a way that prevents damage.
Here are some great balloon game options:
Knee balloon volleyball: This is pretty self-explanatory. Just be sure to have a little open space, and play on your knees.
Paper plate & balloon tennis: You take a paper plate and tape or glue it to a popsicle stick. Then use that paddle to hit the balloon back and forth.
Balloon taps: Tape a balloon on a string just out the reach of your kids. The game is then for them to jump and touch the balloon.
This is another one of my favorites, though my wife does not like the mess. Take a mattress off your kid’s bed, then rest it on the edge of the couch. That’s it, let the fun begin. Just be warned once you do this, they will want to do it again and again.