Need Winter Activity Ideas for Spirited 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-19-2010, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a kid who needs (and usually gets) 3 hours or more outside active time during the spring/summer/fall seasons. We are suffering - ALL of us - because it has gotten too cold for us to be outside that long. Most days, we can manage between 1 and 2 hours because the temps are high 30s/low 40s with wind.


The attitude/tantruming has gotten out of hand and will soon be out of control. This kid has soooooooooooo much energy and even knowing that he isn't getting it all out, I am losing my compassion and patience.


What do you do in winter to get the ya-yas out????

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#2 of 7 Old 12-19-2010, 06:30 PM
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ahh.....cabin fever with the frustrated toddler. I know it well.


We lived downtown and had no yard, which wa sno big deal in the summer since he was at great daycare with a great play yard, and we went to the beach every weekend.


In the winter though....bleh.


We bought a pass to the children's museum, which had a toddler area and other stuff. If I let him play in the toddler area (soft, cushiony stuff and all closed in, I could sit on a bench and read and let him go nuts). We did this many weekends and most snow days in the winter.


Also, library's with nice children's rooms are a good resource. Sometimes they have special times for young children, and should be tolerable of kids noises and energy.



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#3 of 7 Old 12-19-2010, 06:38 PM
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also, do you have an indoor rec area? Like with batting cages or a place he could toss or kick a ball?


sometimes the Y has options for a big gym room for kids to play on mats and whatnot, or structured activity, or toddler/parent pool time or swimming lessons. Your city might also have an indoor pool (with scholarships for swimming lessons), or sometimes you can pay a low rate at a hotel to use their pool all winter.

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#4 of 7 Old 12-19-2010, 06:58 PM
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I'll second a kids indoor play space, or a museum.


We do a lot of crafts {which may not work with an active kiddo..} My daughter is 3 1/2 and I still make her older kid style sensory bins to play in each week that have different materials. The Crafty Crow blog is one of my favorite for crafty inspiration!


Get one of those tents for indoors? If you have the space why not get one of those trampoline things?


Get out weekly for play dates


Try free trial classes for music/sports?

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#5 of 7 Old 12-20-2010, 03:12 PM
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Get one of those little indoor trampolines with the handle. We're working on our 2nd one and they are GREAT!  We play a game called Let's Count How Many Time You Can Jump. Mommy counts and DD jumps. Sometimes we get up to 300 times. It's a wonderful way to use energy. And if your LO starts jumping on the bed or couch you say go jump on your trampoline. :)

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#6 of 7 Old 12-21-2010, 06:31 AM
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oohhh...trampoline is a great idea! I wish we'd had one now.


Another thing I did was sign Ds up for toddler bowling. It got us out of the house every Saturday AM between the ages of 2-4, and it was a nice way to get moving early (830 or 9am I think). It was $4 a week and a lot of leagues offer this. He was in a league. :)

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#7 of 7 Old 12-22-2010, 10:07 AM
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Honestly, I'd go outside more - just make sure everyone has adequate layers and waterproof shoes and good mittens - go for a tromp in the woods, at a park, through the neighborhood. I am in Iowa, so 30s/40s sounds so very nice and temperate. When our temps are down to under 20, it's not so nice outside.


Other things we do at least once in winter:

- make food together

- laundry fiesta (dump laundry on the bed, roll in it, and then throw the warm, clean laundry into the air with wild abandon)

- build indoor obstacle courses and run them

- play chase

- hide and seek

- have scavenger hunts in the house

- dance party

- blanket forts

- foam balls that can be thrown around

- bowling game

- put up a play tent in the house

- buy an under-the-bed size storage box, fill it with lentils or popcorn, bury toys in it and/or get some toy front-end loaders or dumptrucks for an indoor approximation of a sandbox (and put a little painter's tarp under it to catch what will get flung out of the box - you can fold it and store it in the box when not in use)

- local museums

- play place at the mall

- public library visits

- indoor putt-putt or bowling alley

- play dates

My friend also has one of these tunnels, which is a hit.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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