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Saida asks: What to do with two energetic children age 4 and 3?

"I have a 4 years old boy and 3 years girl. They are so energetic, and I don't know what to do with them. Any ideas?"

Above question asked by an Education.com visitor after reviewing the activity, "Make Noodle Necklaces!":
http://www.education.com/activity/article/Noodl...
In Topics: Family fun / holiday celebrations, Parenting siblings
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Candace_Lindemann
Jun 17, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Preschoolers are perpetual motion machines and can easily wear out their parents. Fresh air and exercise are essential. Head outside whenever possible.  Ask your local civic association about area playgrounds, parks, beaches, public pools, nature centers, or any other outdoor activities.

In my opinion, children need plenty of unstructured, free play.  Just set up a safe space with a few age-appropriate toys and let them tire themselves out!  If they need help getting started, you will find excellent ideas for outdoor activities, like obstacle course, animal exercises, and more at Education.com: http://www.education.com/activity/preschool/outdoor/

I am also a big fan of the book Unplugged Play, which has hundreds of activities that children can do together, with an adult, or solo, at every age.

Most towns also have a newspaper and/or website where you can find out about fairs, festivals, children's concerts, and other outdoor events and venues during the spring and summer.

As the weather turns cooler, your local library may offer music and movement classes for free.  You may also find indoor playgrounds in your area. These charge admission, but often you will find discounts online.

If you find your children's energy level crosses from the usual preschool non-stop motion into overly rambunctious, your kids may actually be over-tired. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, manic and hyperactive may signal a need for more sleep.  Make sure they are getting enough rest at night. Many preschoolers still need a nap but refuse to take one.  Instead, try setting up a "quiet time" in the middle of the day before they get over-stimulated.  Make a fort with sheets, bring in favorite blankets, pillows, and plush friends, and put on some soft music or read a calm book or two.  This relaxing time may help your children re-charge and at the very least it will give you a well-deserved break!

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Candace Lindemann, Ed.M.
JustAsk Expert
http://CandaceLindemann.com
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Additional Answers (3)

bob
bob , Parent writes:
My answer is, "channel it."  Undirected energy is indistinguishable from chaos, and chaotic behavior can drive parents stir crazy.  Channeling means adding structure and framework to the expression of the energy.  Something organized.  Sports is the most popular channel.  At that age, there aren't too many options, but in my area, there are city-run sports activities for kids of all ages...stick ball, soccer, gymnastics.  Options increase year after year.

Sometimes the whole family needs to rally in order to accommodate an energetic child, but this shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.  More outings.  Go to the beach (or whatever is the equivalent in your area), more trips to the park (you might get more time for reading, sitting on a bench, if you can handle your kids playing autonomously with only a watchful eye from you), outings to the local zoo or tech museum if you have one.  Go to professional or semi-professional sports games (maybe a couple of years later).

If you had the energy your kids have (I wish I did) what would YOU do with it?
> 60 days ago

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Tklsh2
Tklsh2 writes:
Take them to learn how to roller skate, my boys ages 4 and 8 have been skating since they were very young, 1 and 3 and absolutely love it. It improves their coordination for other activities they do and creates phenomenal balance.
> 60 days ago

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BigSis
BigSis writes:
I had a lot of energy when I was little too and really enjoyed doing gymnastics, riding my bike, jump rope... Doing activities with them that will be fun (and exercise) could be the key to getting their energy at manageable levels. They can also play soccer or other sports once they are older :)
> 60 days ago

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