Most of this summer was full of huge transitions for our entire family. During all of this, the kids have struggled with a greater need for burning off energy than usual, and I’ve tried to give them safe outlets whenever possible.
One indoor gross motor idea we came up with, we simply call Pillow Throw.
So, yes, we throw pillows. Seems simple enough, and it is. But I’m always amazed at how much this activity engages both my toddler and my kindergartener, and how they work together with minimal screaming and running until they have to sit down to catch their breath.
(N was 2 years old.
E was 5 years and 8 months old.)
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Materials for Pillow Throw
- Large pillows. We use our sofa throw pillows (and giggle at the appropriate name 😉 ). They’re perfect, because they’re just a little too heavy and too large for toddler N in particular, but still a size he can handle with a little extra effort.
- Laundry basket or similar (optional). You could also mark a target for the kids to throw their pillows at with masking tape, chalk, a small tarp/shower liner or something similar. The activity is still fun without a target, though.
Collect all appropriate pillows and pile them up on the sofa. Start throwing the pillows off the back of the sofa one by one.
This is deceptively hard work for little guys like N, and E works so hard and fast at this that she gets winded, too.
Next, jump off the couch (I don’t let them climb over the back of the couch, but depending on your kids’ size and the height of the couch, YMMV), run around to the other side, pick up the pillows again, and place them back on the couch.
Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, many many times 🙂
Both kids love it when we add the laundry basket. Sometimes, they put it really close to the back of the couch. This gives N a chance to get his pillows into the basket.
It also gives both of them the chance to try and pick up the pillows while hanging over the back of the couch. Spoiler alert: Neither of them can reach 😉
Sometimes, they place the laundry basket as far away as possible. E can still hit the basket about 90% of the time this way. N can’t, but he doesn’t mind.
To make it even more interesting, E has started to extend the activity by throwing the pillow backwards over her head
or throwing it as high in the air as she can and trying to catch it again.
No matter how they play pillow throw, they always both have a blast and burn enough energy that it can turn a questionable situation around within just a few minutes.
It’s definitely become our go-to gross motor activity for the witching hour thanks to the minimal preparation time and the maximum fun 🙂
What’s your go-to activity for when your kids need to burn off energy? Leave a comment below!
Looking for more gross motor activity ideas? Try these fun ones!
Move Like an Insect Gross Motor Activity by Life Over C’s
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