Spring is in full swing here in the heart of Oklahoma! Since we have been enjoying some gorgeous weather, we have been spending the majority of our days playing outside. It has been wonderful to soak up some sunshine and run off some energy for the boys. In addition to our lovely weather we had several days when we have been stuck inside due to the rainy down pour. April showers bring May flowers after all! On those rainy days, I try to do a few things for the boys in order to channel that extra energy they would have otherwise spent running (or crawling) around outside.
The obstacle course is the boys absolute favorite activity! It allows them to run, climb, jump, crawl, spin, and hop all over the place. It is wonderful gross motor practice! The other great thing about an obstacle course is that you can change it up each time. Change around the order or add in new challenges. The possibilities are endless.
This is our obstacle course...
First up is the tunnel crawl. Jack loves to see how fast he can get from one end to the other. You can find different tunnels starting at around $15. We found ours at the thrift store. $2. Score! If you don't want to buy a tunnel you can find other things around your house to make one. Line up your dining room chairs and place a sheet over them to make a tunnel. You can always grab a box, open the ends, and have little one crawl through!
This is one of Luke's favorite activities. He laughs hysterically as he crawls back and forth. Not sure why it is so funny...but he loves it! Plus I never get tired of his laugh!
Next up is the couch walk. Jack has to walk or run (the only time he is allowed to do this!) across the couch with out falling into the "snake pit" below. Luke likes this a lot as well! (I don't have many pictures of Luke doing the activities. I stay right beside him the whole time while he is doing this so he doesn't fall)
Once you reach the end of the couch it is time for the pillow jump. Jack likes to jump on the couch to get some momentum going...
before jumping off into the pile of pillows!
This is another of Luke's favorites. He doesn't jump off the couch, however, mommy "tosses" him ever so gently into the pile of pillows. He thinks it is so funny.
Next up is the sit-n-spin. I put this inside their play tent just to make it a little more interesting. For Luke I set him on it and spin him slowly around. He can't really hold on so this goes on for about 1-2 turns.
Once you are done spinning, and are good and dizzy, it is time to move on to the Hot Lava Hop! If you have a bigger space you can add more pillows, or space them out farther for older kids. Jack likes to fall off the rocks and yell "hot lava momma!" and then hop back on the rocks quickly.
Finally, climb up the great mountain and slide down the snow covered hill! The more theatrical you get with this the more fun it is for the little ones! So get creative and help those little one's use their imaginations! So, yes, our ottoman and table leaf become a giant mountain and a snowy hill. :-)
If you have a real slide at home that will work too. However, we have a real slide, and my boys seem to prefer this! Simply grab an extra leaf from your table and prop it up...easy peasy. I also put a pile of pillows beside the ottoman so Luke can practice climbing up onto it, and then help him slide down. You may want to add some pillows to the bottom to ensure a cushy landing.
I usually show the boys how to go through and do each task first. After having them run through it in order a few times, then I let them decide how and in what order they want to do things. I think it would also be fun to time older kids and see how fast they can complete the tasks.
You could add in a ton of other tasks as well.
Here are a few I would love to add to ours..
balance beam...made out of a wooden beam.
hopscotch...you can make an indoor one out of fabric.
Somersault Path...put a long blanket on the floor and have the kiddos somersault their way down it.
Balloon Maze...hang balloons from string and tape them under your table. Have little ones crawl through with out bumping into the balloons.
Over-Under Crawl....line up a bunch of chairs and have little ones alternate crawling over and under each one.
Putt-Putt...we were give a little tykes golf set for Christmas which will be perfect. If you don't have one just use objects around the house...ball, stick or plastic bat, cup would work perfect. Lay the cup on the floor and have your little one hit the ball with the stick into the cup. :-)
Hula Hoop....if your little one is too young to use a hula hoop in the traditional sense, then hold it out for them to jump through. Or lay it on the ground and have them roll a ball into the middle of it.
Bean Bag toss...buy or make up your own bean bags. Have your little one stand behind a line and toss them into a bucket, bowl, or basket.
Tricycle Run...bring the kids tricycles and big wheels in the house! Have them race from one point to another. This would be even funnier for older kids who have out grown the bikes!
Trampoline...we do not own one, but a small indoor fitness trampoline would work great. We simply pull one of the toddler mattress off of the beds and jump away! Lots of fun!
Pillow Case Hop...have your little one step into a pillow case and start hopping from one marked line to another. Good old fashioned fun!
Limbo...place a broom stick across two chairs and do the limbo!
Hurdle Jump...lay pool noodles down and have your little one jump over each.
Ring Toss...instead of buying a set, cut a circle out of cardboard for the rings and toilet paper tubes for the poles!
Bowling...Save plastic bottles to use as pins! Line them up and roll a ball!
Like I said...there are tons of ideas! Get creative and do things your kids love. Change it up each time. Allow little ones to pick the obstacles and help you set them up. This will get them active and exercising, and having loads of fun!
What fun and active things do you do on a rainy spring day?