As I write this, the air temperature outside is 1 degree, with a wind chill making it "feel like" -20 degrees. Welcome to the tundra! I have two little ones bouncing off the walls. They are both quarantined with strep until tomorrow, so braving these wind chills in order to burn off some energy at an indoor play space is not even an option. It's time to get a little creative.
Together we came up with a fun, simple game that requires very little set-up. As a bonus, it gives you something to do with all of those stuffed animals your kids have been collecting over the years.
What you need:
- stuffed animals
- doctor's kit*
- indoor ride-on*
*only needed for extended play options
How to Play:
- Hide all of the animals around the house. You can designate age-appropriate boundaries, like just the first floor or even just a few rooms. Be creative. We put the monkey up on a high shelf and the polar bear was in the freezer!
- Designate "base camp". This is where the kids can bring the animals once they are found. You can use the couch or even a laundry basket.
- Make the game cooperative by having the kids work together. For example, a smaller child might find the monkey up high, so she will need to recruit an older child to help rescue it.
- Add in some friendly competition by seeing who rescues the most animals or by giving a time limit.
- As always, let the kids' imaginations lead the way. Let them build upon the game play with their own creative visions. Remember, the idea here is to break cabin fever. The longer the kids stay engaged, the better.
Extend the Play:
- Animal Doctor: Once all of the animals are rescued and safely back at "base camp", the kids can pretend to be veterinarians and tend to any injuries the animals may have suffered while "trapped".
- Add a Vehicle: My girls utilized their Pillow Racers as "rescue vehicles", zooming around the house to rescue the animals as quickly as possible.
Peace + Play -erica