I'd like to get some ideas on what I can do with my very hyper 19-month old son, in a second-floor apartment with a newborn. More specifically, I'd like ideas on how to burn his energy while at home so he can calm down enough to either sit & read (or do some other activities with me), nap, or just be calm enough that he's not running, yelling, and screaming inside the apartment, sometimes being rough & almost a little distructive.
I know the easy answer is to take him outside, and I definitely agree, but it's very difficult for me to bring him & my newborn down a second-floor apartment at the same time all by myself. I can do it, and I do it as much as I can (take him to park, wearing the baby and such) but it's getting too hot here to do that during the day, and he has several hyper moments throughout the day and I just can't easily get out every time he needs to run off some energy. (plus, he still can't really run freely even when I take him to parks 'cause I can't just take off with him like I can without another baby to watch/stay near/or wear in my chest).
I tried using the small patio everytime he's hyper, getting him in the patio jumping, dancing or what not, but in the end I'm the one doing all the jumping, bouncing and he barely moves enough to wear off any energy... out of ideas...
Not sure if it will work with your son, but my son is 20 months and he is really into putting stuff into baskets/boxes and taking them out again. I put a basketful of toys or books at one end of the room and then put an empty basket at the other end of the room. He runs back and forth moving stuff from one place to the other!
I also put him to work when I am doing chores - of course, a lot of the time it turns into just an activity to keep him occupied and the work gets done super slowly. He helps me empty the drier and and picks up pieces of trash around the room (even the tiniest pieces that I normally would get with a vacuum!) and puts them in the trash bin in the kitchen. He also loves to push around the lightweight vacuum I have and a broom. I also give him wet wipes and he "wipes" up the floor and the outside of the kitchen cabinets. Maybe having your son help or pretend to help clean will help keep him busy?
I agree with Tara. I have a 17 mo and we live in a second floor condo. Any time my son can "help" me with regular chores is good. We also have dance parties where I put on some music (he has always loved the Gaga) where we just kind of run around and dance. We play "find Mommy," sort of like hide and go seek, although he is just now getting the idea that he can hide too. I also have a scooter for him- it's the Radio Flyer Scoot 'n Zoom- that he rides all over the place. I imagine my down stairs neighbors don't love it, but I also don't think that it is too loud. (It's also smaller than most of the scooters- our place is small so we are very careful with what we bring in). We play catch inside too. You just have to do outside activities inside, but in a way that hopefully won't piss off the neighbors too much :)!! Good luck!
I guess with a new baby some of these might not work... let me know what does, if any :). We might be trying soon for another so I want to know some strategies in advance because probably baby #2 will come before the real estate market improves enough for us to sell this place and buy a bigger one w/ a yard!!
Some of these are great ideas! I've used them before. Wish I could get my 15 year old to do some of the CHORE helping!! lol. But we are talking about a whole day of a toddler getting in to cabinets, climbing on everything she can get her knees up on, pulling stuff out of drawers and closets. Constant no's! :-) Helping with chores or going outdoors we can definitely do and have done, but that stuff only lasts a couple hours at most. What do we do the rest of her awake time!
One thing that we do to burn off energy is turn on music and dance. DD loves music (she calls "Marry You" sung by Glee "her song") and loves to dance. We often play games of chase while the music is on. Honestly, we play chase a lot in general. She loves the "I'm gonna get you..." game. She also likes to get me too. Hide and go seek is nice for getting her energy out. I've heard of people building forts/tunnels with boxes and letting their toddlers go nuts in them. It's also incredibly easy to make a "tumbling" station in your living room. Lay down pillows, put things to climb over, etc.
I know it's a bit more difficult to get out of the house, but we do a tumbling/gym class with DD once a week. She loves it and it absolutely wears her out for the rest of the day. I'm planning on when we have another kiddo in the future that I'll just wear the second one on my back while I help DD around the gym. The place we go is called My Gym.
Superhero and mother to Peanut (03/20/09) and Twig (01/20/2012). Fighting for the rights of mothers out there who and much more!
We have a very active almost 20 month old over here and cannot imagine adding a newborn to the mix...you are my hero!
Anyway, our LO is involved in gymnastics which she LOVES. Have you thought about a mini trampoline? That is our daughter's favorite. In the class they set up an obstacle course, they put different colored circles on the ground (which you could make out of paper) and have the kids walk on them to the trampoline, then they go to the mat a do a summersault (you could use a towel), then to the bar (which would be difficult to do at home of course), but you could dance station or wiggle spot. If he is anything like my LO he won't want to do anything,except the trampoline! If you are worried about him falling they have trampolines with a padded bar attached and if space is an issue they also have ones that fold.
Mama to Madelynn 8/16/2009 and awaiting buggy #2 March/2011 , partner to DH
I second the organizing/helping with chores stuff. My son could play with pots, pans, and utensils all day long if my nerves could take all the scraping on the tile floor. He also loves Mega Bloks which I HIGHLY recommend. They're bigger than Legos, come in a big reusable bag, and are easy for toddler hands to manipulate. All I have to say is "wanna play blocks?" and he runs to his room to get the bag. If you have spring cleaning to do like reorganizing photos, shelves, books, collections, etc- they love projects, too. Even if they're mostly watching you do the project; and it wears them out somehow.