Got an energetic, full-of-life kid who is trapped inside thanks to cold and/or rainy weather? Trying to get some boring grownup stuff done but your kids are bouncing off the walls? Here are half a dozen activities that will help them blow off energy—and steam—without driving you crazy. And you just might be tempted to join in!
Physical Challenges: Take turns challenging each other to stunts, feats of strength, and/or balancing acts. Who can stand on one foot the longest? Who can hop on one foot the longest? Who can touch their toes to their nose? Who can do a headstand?
Commercial Running Breaks: Want to watch something that's on right now but your kid is not really in a sitting sort of mood? Challenge them to run around the perimeter of the house on each commercial break. Can they make it back in time? Can they circle the house twice? If the weather is too severe or you live in an apartment, perhaps your kid can run into each room (once or multiple times), run up and down the stairs, or hop as many times as possible on each commercial break.
Pool Games on Dry Land: Last weekend we played Sharks & Minnows in our empty dining room for about an hour, and it was a blast. Now, our dining room is empty since we're saving up for and designing a dining room table, but this game—or Marco Polo—could also work in a hallway, rec room, or any other sparsely furnished/breakable-free room.
Indoor Chores: Surely I'm not the only one who loved mopping the floor with rags tied to my feet? Harness your kids' inner Pippi Longstocking and put them to work. They'll learn valuable skills, they'll gain the pride of a job well-ish done, they'll help out their family and home, and they'll expend plenty of energy.
Outdoor Chores: On days when it's too cold or rainy for major outdoor play, The World's Greatest 9-Year-Old has eagerly suited- and booted-up to dump the compost on the compost heap, carry the recycling out to the shed, or shovel the walkway. He gets fresh air and exercise, he participates in the maintenance of the household, and he's not out there long enough to get cold.
Mini-Workout: Chores are fine and all, but he loves to join me in abbreviated versions of my workouts. In our living room we do crunches, planks, burpees, coffee table tricep dips, wall sits, lunges, squats, mountain climbers, calf raises, and coffee table step-ups (we have a very sturdy coffee table). Blast some awesomely terrible music and feel the burn!
Please note: all common sense, safety and health precautions apply, as always!