Toddlers were not meant to be indoors. First of all, they are just so messy! Second, loud as the dickens. But what about when you need to be inside?
That is when you need some awesome indoor activities for toddlers. In our house, we grow a special breed of toddlers. Super-duper busy ones. My daughter was an exception, but these two little boys – good grief.
This indoor activity for toddlers and preschoolers has kept my two little ones busy for hours. It is a balancing beam, but also doubles as really good heavy work.
The idea is super simple, and hopefully you already have everything you need. Kitchen chairs, and long pieces of wood. We used 2×4’s, only because we had them on hand.
I lugged three of our kitchen chairs downstairs, and put the two pieces of wood resting on the chair braces. Truthfully, I was kinda worried I would break my chairs trying this, but they held up just fine. I chose sturdy ones, and carefully checked them out myself first, stepping on them very gradually.
I often think how hysterical some of the things I do would look to anyone watching through a window. Three kitchen chairs, two pieces of wood, and a Mama gradually and cautiously standing on to the wood. When she prevails, a smile spreads ear to ear and her boys are called!
Anyways, that is precisely how it played out.
Kids not ready for it to be off the ground? Try this simple version.
I introduced the boys to the balance beam assembled, so they could get an idea of the activity. It was quite sturdy, and they quickly got to balancing.
Ben simply worked on balancing and walking from chair to chair. Sam got a little fancy, trying to hop or go backwards as well.
Soon, they started seeing how far they could jump off of the balance beam.
After a little while, they started moving the pieces of wood around (great heavy work). They put the wood on angles, like ramps, and on it’s side.
When they came up with a new arrangement they would give it a try and make any needed adjustments.
This was a good time for them to practice some guess-and-testing, trial and error, and teamwork (and the brother teamwork could stand all the practice it can get)
This turned out to be a great activity for my toddlers mind and his body. He was able to practice balancing and other gross motor movements, and work on visual-spatial skills and even beginning physics skills too.
Yep, my two and a half year old does physics (I’ll be sure to pop that comment in next time there’s a conversation about him still sleeping in a crib or wearing diapers)
This is a great activity to keep up your sleeve when you need to keep your little ones inside. It will burn off some energy, inspire creativity, and should give Mama just a few minutes.