Scout is sick and can't socialise. She is not however sick enough to lie on the couch and watch TV.
This is a rainy day activity idea I got from Pinterest. The pin was of a small detailed road all through the house for older kids to drive cars around. It was great, there was car parks and round abouts, intersections and lego buildings. Great idea, all you need is a roll of masking tape.
I have a 18 month old and she has the coordination and attention span of, well, an 18 month old. So I made it on a much bigger scale and mixed it up a bit.
When I was in kindergarten at a Montessori school my teacher, whom I now refer to as the Yoda of Montessori Australia had a taped oval in the centre of her circle. She would encourage us to walk heel to toe around it. It's a great gross motor exercise for 3-6 year olds as it is physically challenging but not dangerous so the more cautious kids don't exclude themselves as they may do in a balancing beam situation.
This masking tape highway works on that level but is suitable for younger kids. For Scout to drive a truck around the track it takes her a lot of concentration and purpose. And this is so lovely to see because she is only just exploring purposeful play, before it was all 'throw/hit/push something and see what happens.'
She steadily walked around it and tried to copy me walking heel to toe. Then she rolled a ball carefully after I showed her how. An older child could hop, crab walk or crawl.
The best things will happen when you just let the kids be. Children love limitations, it helps them understand where they fit in the world, in this case physically.
This sort of exercise is best taught by leading. They need no explanation, just lead the way and if they are interested they will follow. If not, at least dad will play with it when he comes home from work.
*Sometimes people ask me how I can be bothered doing all these messy activities at home, the answer is not that I'm an awesome selfless mum who loves cleaning up after creative mess, but that when Scout is happily occupied I have time to work and blog and shower. It really is a win-win-situation. I also know how easy it is to give your children the stimulation they need, at home and for free.