Raising high energy toddlers is not an easy feat, as any mom out there will tell you.
If parents had a nickel for all of the times when they have said, “I wish I had that much energy” or “If I could bottle up just a fraction of that energy”, they would be very well off.
Having a toddler is a wonderful experience, but it can be taxing and hard on working parents, or any parent for that matter.
We wouldn’t change it for the world, but coming up with activities to keep our toddlers busy can also be a challenge.
That’s why we researched and found some excellent activities to keep the little ones busy and to tire them out for the night.
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Activities for High Energy Toddlers
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Gross motor skills are what every child learns from birth to adolescence. These skills involve large muscle movement and full body movement. Swimming, running, jumping, walking, are all examples of gross motor skills, and that’s what the following activities will work to enhance. These activities can also help you keep your child healthy and fit during their childhood years.
First the most obvious ones:
Chances are most toddlers already do the obvious ones. After all, they’ve just learned to walk and run! Now it’s time to figure out how to use them to their advantage, and a fine job they do of it when they learn.
Now for the five that we like for high-energy toddlers. Be prepared, because some of these may just be too much and fill your house with laughter and giggles all day long!
1- Dumpster Diving
No, not a dumpster in an alley. A homemade dumpster that you erect from a large cardboard box.
First step is to find a large cardboard box with enough room for your toddler to explore inside of. A sandbox pit in the backyard can be just as effective, but this way requires less dirt.
Now fill the cardboard box with items such as newspapers, packing peanuts, shredded paper, something that they have to search through. Then throw in some empty recycled bottles and cereal boxes, to give it more of a dumpster-like feel.
Have your toddler find a specific amount of small toys like cars, army guys, trading cards, whatever you can come up with. Hide the toys then drop the little ones in the ‘dumpster’ and have them search for the items.
2- Tape Road
Create a tape road throughout the house for the kids to drive along. If they have ride on toys like big wheels or fire trucks, make the road wide enough for them to drive down.
If there are no ride on toys involved, narrow the tape road and they can push they toy cars or trucks down it instead. You can leave the road up all of the time, or just erect a temporary one that can be removed at bedtime.
Blue painters tape works great on wood floors, but using other items to build the road will work too like curtain rods, sticks, or towels. You can also buy PlayTape road tape to get you started, then add in little details along the way! A little creativity on your part will go a long way.
You can even make a bubble wrap road! Same idea as the tape road, but a lot noisier! Everyone loves to pop bubble wrap, especially the big bubbles, why not make a road out of it for the kids to pop and play on?
Be sure to tape it down with the painters tape as well, to make for easier ‘driving.’ You can even lay down pillows or cushions with a bubble wrap path through them to create hills to drive over.
3- Obstacle Courses
Obstacle courses are a fun way to let your high-energy toddler let out some steam and work on his gross motor skills. You can do this activity indoors or outdoors.
The great thing about obstacle courses: you can use just about anything to set it up! I’ve made super simple ones with sidewalk chalk on my driveway and more complex ones in my backyard using pool noodles, my son’s slide, and other outdoor toys.
For an indoor obstacle course, use pillows, couch cushions and so on to build your course. Before sending your toddler through it, just double-check to make sure you didn’t build it near anything breakable! Go through it on your knees to get an idea of what it will be like for your toddler
4- Outdoor or Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Finding hidden items is a huge thrill to any child, so a scavenger hunt should definitely be on this list. Indoors or Outdoors, whichever you prefer depending on the season. Be careful outdoors though during warmer months, ticks like to wander around in your yard also.
Simply hide toys around the yard and let them loose with a list of what to find, the list on a paper bag works great too, they can just put the objects in the bag.
If you want to add some learning exercises to the hunt, consider making it a color hunt, a counting hunt, or a stuffed animals hunt, use a little creativity and inspiration for their special scavenger hunt.
5- Roll Down A Hill
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a nice, safe hill for the toddlers to play on, let them roll down it. Easy enough, they get up the hill and they roll down it, giggling and laughing like crazy.
An alternative to this is to go play at a local park where they can enjoy all of the different swings, slides, and other items to play on.
Join in with your toddlers during these activities and make memories that will last a lifetime, and don’t forget the camera!
Do you have any other favorite activities for high energy toddlers to really engage their senses and wear them out? Share below!