Indoor wiggle extracting machine
April 28, 2023 6:55 AM   Subscribe

We have very active young kids (8-10) who need help getting wiggles out indoors - especially in the morning before we get up, but also to help regulate during the day / evening.

We have some space - but not heaps - our house is a good size but has a weird layout. We have tried kids striders (which they liked to sit on top of until they fell over), indoor basketball hoop (dunking and balls flying everywhere), and indoor swing pod (they would swing a little too hard on it). We also have crash mats which they do use for jumping off stairs

We do have an outdoor swing they love and is very regulating but its often a little cool first thing and not great if it is raining.

Resigned to the fact that there is no perfect answer / no one answer but what have others found good for highly active kids indoors for wiggle extraction.
posted by inflatablekiwi to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You don't need more stuff / equipment for this.
1. Have a regular afterschool dance party for 2 (or more). Just put on some dance music. A basket of scarves, cheap sunglasses and funky hats to dip into when wanted will make it even more fun.
2. Have jumping-jacks contests.
3. Do they have jumpropes? this is literally what jump ropes are for. Have jumprope contests.
If you do want to buy more stuff get some physical games like Twister and Hullabaloo.
posted by little striped mule at 7:06 AM on April 28, 2023 [4 favorites]

Spooner Boards might be an interesting option.
posted by staggernation at 7:08 AM on April 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

If you have space, an indoor trampoline is amazing. My sister has one for her kids - it’s either 6 or 8 feet- and it is used nearly every day, often multiple times a day.
posted by rockindata at 7:08 AM on April 28, 2023 [7 favorites]

That age range is tough - this is why a lot of us get our kids into some sort of extracurricular sport/hobby that gets them moving.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah, we bought a small (4 feet) trampoline for our active kid during the pandemic, and he really used it. It allowed us to sleep a little longer in the morning.
posted by goatdog at 7:15 AM on April 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also hula hoops, balloons
posted by trig at 7:28 AM on April 28, 2023

Response by poster: I should add they swim, mountain bike, are on ski teams, play soccer, baseball, basketball etc. Extracurricular activities they have got in spades. They both have ADHD and are on the spectrum and need to move to regulate. And they tend to get up at 5am….. jump ropes may work though I can imagine them turning them into whips or trying to use them as climbing ropes to scale exposed stair rails. I may have to measure for some sort of indoor trampoline.

Dance parties are fun and work a little when supervised but they won’t do that themselves at 5am….
posted by inflatablekiwi at 7:28 AM on April 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

A half bosu ball is great for running/jumping on (and develops balance and the small muscles in ankles) You could also look for rebounded (adult trampoline) and yoga swings.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:35 AM on April 28, 2023

Do they have a Nintendo Switch or Sony Playstation? If so you could get them the Just Dance or Dance Dance Revolution games. The competition/game aspect makes it a bit more than just a dance party.
posted by brookeb at 7:43 AM on April 28, 2023 [7 favorites]

Do they have their own access to music? It was a lightbulb moment for mine when they realized they could ask Alexa to play anything they want; I wish I had thought of providing it to them sooner. They spend a lot of time pulling up songs and "getting wiggles out".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:01 AM on April 28, 2023

Response by poster: They do have a Switch but we tend to try and keep it supervised (having lost a decent TV set to an overly vigorous game of Arms on the Switch a year of two back with a controller flying at the TV). Plus trying not to make it screen dependent.

They do have Alexa / Siri - and I should remind them of that. Though the oldest tends to ask Siri to play very loud rock music sometimes…

Thanks for all the suggestions folks. We used to have in an old house a bouncy castle I’d switch on for them - but we really don’t have space big enough for them now - they have grown like weeds / are 95% percentile for height.. :-(
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:05 AM on April 28, 2023

Response by poster: The right answer may partially be - I get up at 5am and take them to a gym that allows kids or simply supervise them. When they are old enough the answer will be “you kids have to walk the dog every morning” - but they are too young for that especially as we have snow 5 months a year and large plows operating on sidewalkless street etc
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:10 AM on April 28, 2023

The Spooner Boards - or any kind of balance board - may work. We had one that looked like this.
They can practice skateboarding-style "tricks." Shove 'em under the sofa.
posted by nkknkk at 8:11 AM on April 28, 2023

Also, you have snow 5 months a year? Get 2 shovels!
posted by nkknkk at 8:15 AM on April 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Hop along ball with handles! my kids bounce on that thing all the time.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:39 AM on April 28, 2023

A lot of schools have stationary bikes indoors for kids that need to burn off energy.

Start collecting kilometers with short journeys around your own city, and post a map where you mark the distance traveled, moving up to a map of your county or state or province, if they get enthusiastic enough to take virtual journeys that take them farther from home.

You could even combine it with geography lessons. If this doesn't mean adding screen time you'd rather not, stationary bikes combined with the right videos will give them a sense of motion - drones, roller coasters, speeded up dash cam, speed runs in Assassins' Creed, etc - they might be happy to take some really long virtual journey challenges. They might find it amusing to peddle to the neighbouring countries, using speed boat dash cam videos for any water crossings that can't be done by road, and knowing they were picking up a little geography as they went along might make you feel better about the screen time.
posted by Jane the Brown at 9:07 AM on April 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

At that age, we did a speed version of Twister: I sat on the sofa with the spinner; mat is on the floor; kid stands by while I spin and call out the instructions -- "Blue, arm!" or whatever. And then I would just go fast fast fast and you can get a kid tuckered out pretty quickly!
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:16 AM on April 28, 2023

Have you been introduced to slide mats? Meant for excercise, and (ice) skaters use them for practice. They are fun as hell and pack a lot of energy-exertion into a very small space.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:07 AM on April 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Exercise balls. Possibly those spinners/ dice with different exercises on them or a smart device analog. Hopscotch (rug). Juggling scarves. Tactile stepping stones (e.g.) to play the floor is lava. (Foam) balance beam. Pullup bar (to hang on). Cones. A climbing wall where kids climb across (and not up) or a hangboard. There are sit n spins in a larger size for big kids or adults.
posted by oceano at 1:47 PM on April 28, 2023

Seconding the small indoor trampoline - we got one of these during early covid when it was challenging to get kiddo enough outdoor time / supervised physical playtime. Ours fits in our foyer - if you have "space but a weird layout" you can probably find a spot for this.

Also, check out kids' exercise videos on YouTube (obviously normal kids/YouTube precaution caveats apply). We will sometimes throw some of these on via chromecast and kid will happily hop around in front of the TV for quite a while.
posted by anotherthink at 8:42 AM on May 2, 2023

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