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My son has been too big to sleep in the Pack ‘n Play for some time, but we hold onto it for relatives with babies who come stay with us. I like to come up with fun new games to play with it so it’s not just taking up space!
Indoor soccer is great for cold and rainy days. Although we sometimes take turns, my son just loves being the goalie. And he still gets plenty of gross motor practice by throwing the ball back to me when I score. In addition to building those arm and shoulder muscles up, I love that this activity gets kids crawling and crouching again. It seems like once they start walking, they rarely want to get back down low again! But crouching down helps build leg muscle and helps with practicing balance (think squats!) and crawling uses nearly all of the body’s muscles at once. Indoor soccer gets kids going from standing to walking to crouching to throwing to stretching out their arms and back again all in the span of a minute. Talk about a perfect gross motor activity!
If you want to add a little bit of learning to the exercise, try taking turns counting as you throw (Me: “1!” Him: “2!” Me: “3!”) or taking turns naming letters of the alphabet. For more advanced kiddos, you could name a letter of the alphabet as you throw and your kiddo could name the beginning sound while throwing the ball back to you. Comment with any other fun ideas for mixing play with learning!
Looking for more ways to reuse your Pack ‘n Play for indoor fun? Check out Part 1 and Part 3!