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High Energy Hijinks: Activities For Active Kids

High Energy Hijinks:

Do you have a little one at home who likes to touch everything and get into everything? Does your little one never seem tired? Do they get more and more energy the more wound up they get? It sounds like you have a high-energy child at home!

I’ve been working in early childhood education for over a decade and time after time my favorite students are always the ones that may seem a little exhausting to other adults. High energy kids have the absolute most fun but it can be hard to help direct all that energy sometimes.

It’s important to remember that behavior is how little ones communicate. If a child expends a ton of high energy all of the time they may need help to figure out how to use that energy. We can help and support them by providing them with new and different experiences to help give a place for that energy to go.

How can you meet your little one where they are at and match all of that energy? Is there a way to keep them stimulated and engaged? Will they ever get tired? Well, I can’t answer that last question but I can provide you with some special tips and tricks to help you direct all of that energy into positive experiences!

1. Yoga!

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t yoga for calm bodies and minds? No! Yoga is to help us achieve calm bodies and minds. Try checking out the band for kids The Ohmies on Spotify. Their song “Relaxation Sensation” is super high energy and engages all muscles in the body before a guided meditation! Kids will love using their listening ears to follow along with all of the fast-paced muscle clenching instructions before closing their eyes and imagining they are floating through outer space.

If your child is a little older, you can even try taking a yoga class with them! During the summertime you might be able to find an outdoor yoga class. Your child will love the challenge of showing off to the other adults in class and some of the trickier poses.

Yoga also gives us so much agency over our bodies and minds. You can take fun animal breathing techniques and teach them to your child. Let them know that if they ever feel like they have too much energy in their bodies they can take a deep breath in through their nose and then blow out through their mouth to help calm and stabilize their bodies.

2. Challenging Toys

Ignore the recommended ages on the boxes of toys. For high-energy kids, giving them a challenging toy to play with is the way to go! Engaging their brain can help focus some of the physical energy into accomplishing a goal. A tricky LEGO set or intricate science project can help distract and calm your little one. Just make sure you’re close by if the activity is a little advanced for your little one to help make sure there are no accidents!

3. Help Around the House

Your little one wants nothing more than to get involved and help you throughout your day! It may feel like more work for you at first but the rewards will be so great! Take a look at your day and think through what you’ll be doing. Where can your little one help out? Is there a simple part of dinner that they could help prepare? Is there a game with the laundry you could come up with together? Do they love splashing in the water while you do the dishes? It’s all about integrating your little one (and their high energy) into your day.

Including your little one in grown-up activities will help them feel grown-up themselves. You’ll also feel so much better with that energy working with you rather than against you. They’ll love the extra responsibility. There’s nothing cuter than when a little kid gets very serious. Tell them what a big help they are and always be encouraging. If it starts to get too wild, remind them that we need their extra special care and attention to help get the job done!

4. Follow Their Lead

If your energetic little one has a favorite show, book, or movie, find ways to explore elements of that story in the real world. If they love Paw Patrol take a trip to a local dog park to see pups live in action. If they love Peppa Pig, a rainy playdate in muddy puddles might do just the trick. Try to tap into your inner child and follow their lead. So much of my planning for a preschool class is finding things that I would have been excited to do as a child and passing those down to my students.

The most important thing to remember is that this is a phase and this will pass. It’s hard to believe now but I’m sure there will come a day when you look back fondly on this period in your little ones’ life. Try to stay patient and know that everyone has a meltdown every now and then. Find other parents and adults in your life that can help support you and your little one and won’t make you feel judged for your little ones’ big energy.

At the end of the day, it’s a good thing, not a bad thing that your little one has so much energy. Helping them harness it now will only lead to success later in life when they have the maturity and the tools to use that energy to make a difference in the world!




Bradley Matthews

Bradley Matthews is a children’s artist and educator who specializes in early childhood education. After spending three years touring the world as a member of the children’s band, The Ohmies, he began teaching music and yoga classes for kids all over New York City. Follow him on Instagram @mrbradleynyc

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