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When it’s a rainy day and everyone is getting antsy, do something to encourage imaginative play and get the wiggles out! In my book Zoe and Robot – Let’s pretend, Zoe creates a mountain out of a stack of pillows and pretends to be a mountain climber. You can do it at home, too.
Create an obstacle course using household objects and items.
BUILD: You’ll need a camp before you scale the mountain so build a tent out of blankets and chairs or sofa cushions. After each exercise, kids must return to camp.
GET TO THE MOUNTAIN: Getting to the mountain can take a while. You’ll need to gallop around the dinning room table or sofa 3 times!
PACK IT: You need to carry all of your supplies so try balancing a pillow on head walk back and forth across the room. (It’s thicker than it sounds)
WATCH OUT FOR TREES: There can be many trees you’ll have to avoid. Set up some cups or plastic bottles on the floor to become trees. Don’t knock them over, but weave in and out – still carrying the pillow.
WATCH OUT FOR ROCKS: Mountains can have rocks in the way. So you’ll need to climb over and under rocks. Set up 3 chairs, they have to climb over one, under the next nad then over the last one.
CLIMB: Now it’s time to climb the mountain. If you have stairs, go up the stairs and then down. Then up again! Until you get to the top! Or, instead of stairs, put a pile of pillows on the bed and climb up that.
COSTUME CHANGE: Now put on a costume, do it all again as a different character (ballerina, cowboy, spaceman, robot or whatever!) How would this character do the course differently?
VARIATIONS: This could also be turned into ”getting ready to go into space”, “Army training”, or “going through the jungles to save animals.” Be creative, make it fit with your child’s interests.
Playing indoor mountain climber encourages creative brainstorming and gives your kids exercise.
Bio: Ryan Sias is the author of “Are You Eating Something Red?”. His story and illustration work has appeared in the “Take Along Learning” series, Nickelodeon magazine, the Flight series and Mad magazine. He publishes a comic, “Silent Kimbly” on the educational website Funbrain.com. He has directed videos for Barney and Chuck E. Cheese and his storyboarding credits include “Bowling for Columbine,” “Robots,” “Pinky Dinky Doo” and “Maya & Miguel” for Scholastic Entertainment.