We have collected a few costumes over the course of the year for various reasons but have also gotten creative with some fun animal paper plates that we converted into masks. We do a lot of dressing up, pretending and chasing in these costumes. Exercise that imagination and you'll find yourself having fun in their little world.
Beach balls can be fun in the summer but also a lifesaver in the winter time. They float in the air and do minimal damage to lamps and pets. Play some beach ball basketball, keep away or chase. I discovered that my beach ball skills are akin to that of a Harlem Globetrotter and I impress Calvin with my super skills. Also, it didn't take long for Calvin to discover that if he bounced off the walls with the beach ball in his arms, that he had a built-in airbag for each collision. We had to set some rules in place but this little beach ball ended up expending a lot of his energy.
This one takes commitment. One person needs to pretend to be unaware that the toddler is sneaking/creeping up on them and then pretend to be surprised when they attack with tickles. You can creep really slowly while your child runs around the house and hides. It is endless fun for your toddler and requires little energy on your part.
4. Jumping off furniture
This one may not be socially acceptable at other people's houses, but it's your house so go nuts. You have to get your toddler's energy out SOMEHOW and your options are really limited. Just teach them to jump safely - set boundaries and always observe them - and to bend their knees. Calvin jumped all stiff legged once and ending up jamming his knee. His little 2 year old knees were sore for a few days and I felt like Mother of the Year, but I think he learned a lesson. Always bend your knees upon landing! Now he does a full squat when he lands so he's burning even MORE energy. Win win!
Nothing is more fun or interactive than attacking your child with a TICKLE MONSTER. The squeals of delight will lighten your mood and will exhaust their lungs. Laughing burns 1.3 calories/min and relieves emotional stress. Combine your best tickle monster with any of the above four activities and you'll have yourself one tired toddler. Job well done.