Yesterday morning I walked out of my bedroom into the freshly cleaned bonus room only to find the kids had emptied an entire laundry hamper full of their stuffed animals in the bonus room and in a trail leading down the hallway to their bedrooms. We had just finished talking to them about keeping the house clean because Oma was coming to visit. My mouth fell open at the perceived disaster in front of me, but before I could gather my thoughts enough to say anything, my two pajama-clad preschoolers dashed out of one of their bedrooms. At a jaunty pace and full of giggles, they proceeded to run along the path of stuffed animals, stepping over each individual animal in their way.
It was only then that I realized a tornado had not in fact struck our house and spewed stuffed animals haphazardly as it tore though. (I bet that same tornado may occasionally strike your house, too!) No, this path of animals, upon closer inspection, had been carefully arranged in a uniformly spaced track of sorts and the kids were using the stuffed animals as mini hurdles to hop over as they ran.
It took a few moments, but their handiwork actually made me smile. My 3 and 4 year old had come up with a really great indoor gross motor activity all on their own — The Stuffed Animal Run!
Luke told me to go get my camera, and of course I did! They were having such fun I forgot all about my initial irritation!!
After a few minutes, I went downstairs to grab my video camera to capture some more of their inventive fun, but I came back up to the final stuffed animals being put back into the bin where they belonged. Perhaps that’s the real video I should have captured: my kids cleaning up a mess without even being asked!
To replicate the Stuffed Animal Run at your house, you just need a bit of an open space. Place stuffed animals around in a track formation. Space them so that the kids can step or hop over them as they run or walk around the track. Then get moving! It’s such a great activity for kids when it’s too cold or nasty to go out, or when they need a little bit of an energy release. Invented by kids for kids.
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