Ever have a day when your boys have more energy left at the end of the day than you do? I know I have. And with three rambunctious boys bouncing off the walls after dinner it’s time for quick thinking!!!
Enter the Animal Parade!!!
I had been working on one of my own New Year’s Resolutions the day I discovered the animal parade with my 5 year old, 3 year old, and 2 year old. Wearing my pedometer, I was trying to hit a daily goal of 10,000 steps. While I had done a decent job to get to that goal, I wasn’t quite there. The stressed out mom in me wanted to escape to the treadmill for a mind clearing walk/run time, but waiting until after the boys bedtime just wouldn’t work on a night like this. I had to somehow get my steps in and help these boys burn off some energy before bed.
“Who wants to have a parade?”
My boys honestly looked at their mama like she had a third eyeball. I could tell this would take some convincing.
So I travelled a path around the living room, marching, and my “monkey see monkey do” boys fell in step behind me.
“What animals do you see in a parade?”
“Horses,” my oldest squeaked. So we galloped and neighed.
And we continued to parade through the living room path, changing to a new animal each lap. Elephants, monkeys, doggies, kitty cats, big cats, birds. As each new animal was shouted out, we morphed into a new character. It was a great chance to talk about the sounds the animals make, the motions the animals make, how the animal walks (on all 4s or upright). We mentally went through the entire zoo.
Before this mommy knew it, I had hit my steps goal for the day and my boys looked exhausted. We had together burned some after dinner energy and would soon be ready to start bedtime.
We try to have an Animal Parade about once a week. My middle son likes to turn it into a fire truck parade, morphing into raise cars, tractors, or other types of transportation vehicles. Even the littlest guy participates, mimicking the movements of his older brothers, giggling and laughing at the animal (or fire truck) sounds.
So don’t lose hope, mamas, on those rambunctious, bedtime is never gonna come soon enough nights…instead, burn some energy for them (and you) with an Animal Parade.