Saturday, March 29, 2014

When toddlers become the big kids

We've been going to a popular, new indoor playground for several months now. We love it because it is a large, clean space with lots of options for jumping, climbing and sliding.

Lately, I've noticed that my toddlers have suddenly become the big kids in the room. I usually arrive right when it opens (9am), but by 9:30, the place is busy and by 10:00am, the place is packed. It's overrun by little ones in the 1-2 age group.

Your girls really are wild, aren't they? My friend said to me yesterday morning at the indoor playground.  I had said it earlier in the morning, so I didn't take offence to the comment. The girls were running laps around a padded trampoline area. This in itself sounds innocent enough, but when the area is occupied by three 14-month olds, it's a different story.

In the last couple of months, I've felt exhausted when we leave this place. I could never really understand why. I used to love going to places like that because the girls were kept busy, which meant that I got some time-off.

Lately, the girls have gotten so silly and wild when we go there, we have had to cut our play time short.    Yesterday they found some soft balls and proceeded to throw them aimlessly in an area full of little ones. Instantly, moms and nannies started covering the heads of their young toddlers. I quickly stopped the game, but offered a alternative -- throwing balls into the playhouse through the large window. They took my suggestion well, but slipped up once hitting the leg of a 16-month old boy. His mom quickly told me that he's a tough guy and it was no biggie. I appreciated her laid-back reaction. Her son hadn't even noticed that the soft ball had grazed his leg. At the risk of sounding slightly judgemental, most of the moms there aren't like that.

My girls love playing at this indoor playground and I will be the first to admit that they can get a bit nuts. As a result, I monitor their play a little bit more closely than I usually would. I know when to slow them down or make a change to what looks like an innocent game. I'm extremely aware of the brand new toddlers waddling around because just yesterday, I had two of them. I'm finding it difficult to find balance though -- creating a safe place for all toddlers without crushing the free spirits of my own kids.

How do you find that balance with your kids? Is the balance different depending on who you're with?


  1. I find that kids are all different but it also depends on their moods. Mine can be perfect angels and at other times be unruly due to exhaustion, hunger, depends.

    I think you handled it fine. It is hard to have the older kids because a baby isn't that much smaller than them so they don't see the difference like we do. :)

  2. We don't have an indoor playground here but the ones I've been to have a seperate or blocked off area for smaller kids & then a close off room for really big kids (5+) then the majority of the place is for the toddlers/preschoolers in between. I know you can't change the set up but maybe you could make a recommendation? :)