Ask an adult to name their favorite part of the day and, nine times out of ten, they’ll describe that blissful feeling of sinking into their mattress at night. Ask a toddler what their favorite moment of the day is and they’ll probably tell you that it’s any moment that isn’t bedtime.
This leaves adults and their toddlers at a crossroads. If a toddler isn’t feeling tired, their parents might struggle to get them to climb into bed and sleep. If this happens to you and Baby, it can help to incorporate more active play into her daily schedule. Making Baby’s lifestyle more active will improve her physical and mental health, and may even leave her all tuckered out when bedtime or nap time rolls around. Here are some ideas for games that are bound to turn Baby into nap time’s #1 fan.
Walking on bubble wrap
If toddlers and adults can agree on one thing, it’s that bubble wrap is super fun to play with. Tape some bubble wrap to the floor and encourage Baby to crawl, walk, or run across it. And get ready for a lot of popping sounds.
Hide and seek
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else was losing things for a change? Here’s your chance to turn the tables. Hide some toys around the house or yard and bring Baby on a treasure hunt to see how many things she can find.
Since they don’t make treadmills in Baby’s size, this one is going to require some creativity on your part. Put on some upbeat music and lead Baby in a toddler-friendly exercise routine. Hopping, toe-touching, squatting down and touching the floor, and trying to walk a straight line are all things you and Baby can do to try and break a sweat together.
Red light, green light
Losing things, exercising, and now having to stop at red light after red light? It’s starting to sound like Baby is just getting initiated into adult life. For this game, you can cut out a large circle of green construction paper and a large circle of red construction paper. Explain to Baby to run to you when you’re holding up the green ‘light,’ and to stand still when you are holding the red ‘light.’ Baby might enjoy making car noises, too.
Touch the . . .
If all else fails, you can try and get Baby to run around in circles. Make a game of having her run to and touch different objects that you call out, like toys, a door, or even things that are certain shapes and colors. And if you need to get some cleaning done, you could always not-so-secretly call out little things that are strewn around the room!