This post is inspired by my niece: we’ll call her Eris — Greek Goddess of Discord/Chaos. And much of it is also learned from Thor and probably most children.
Eris is a force of nature. She can dish it out to older children far harder than anyone can hit back. She manages to get into everything. If there is something that you don’t want her to do, there is a chance that she will do exactly that.
Eris has an older brother, who requested that his blog name be Iron Man, so shopping fro gifts can be difficult. What can I buy her that she a) doesn’t already have access to because Iron Man owns it and b) can stand up to her.
From Thor, there are already Google searches that come up “Toys for Destructive Toddlers.” From Thor also comes my personal experiences of channeling those destructive forces into something constructive.
Destructive to constructive first goes to constructive toys. Thor loves to build; we have stacking blocks that he likes to use and he has a set of Mega Blocks. Right now, he builds towers and knocks them over with his nose. And then he does it again. I see a future involving Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and Legos. My feet sting already but I can live with it. These toys are good for children. What I’m looking forward to are the newer magnetic sets that are coming out.
One of the toys that I considered for Eris are Tegu Blocks. They are magnetic blocks and I was very excited about this until I checked the dimensions. The square is 1.8×1.8×1.8. That’s a bit small for her at the moment, but something to consider in the future.
Another constructive activity for Thor is art. He likes to draw and paint and color, and it is a great way to calm him down, even if it only keeps his attention for a few minutes. A few minutes is all that is needed to redirect the destructive energy. Sometimes he likes to use play dough, smashing it flat and smushing it between his fingers. Another big favorite of his is chalk, because he can color and erase and color again. It is new every time he comes back to his chalkboard.
I found a toy that does both; Imaginarium Chalk Blocks. Actually, Imaginarium has a lot of interesting toys in many departments that I want to own. So, I finally found a gift for Eris and I may have found another toy brand to rave about. They are different and I’m all about the unique for toys.
And for more activities for the destructive engergies: reading and running. Sometimes, a few minutes of sitting and reading through a book is enough to bring Thor down from his high energy levels. If he is willing to sit and calm down, it is also a sign that he is ready to eat and take a nap. And running in circles while chasing a ball never goes out of style either.
These are my main ways to redirect my high energy child when he hits the destructive level of his energy. What works for you?