Saturday, June 8, 2013

How to Entertain Kids in the Stroller

A few days ago, I got an email from one of my readers and challengers asking me to write a post about keeping kids busy and happy in the stroller.  Since I have been working the stroller in workout settings for almost 8 years now, I can't believe it never crossed my mind to share with you some of the tips I have picked up along the way!  If you have some great tips PLEASE leave a comment!

So here are a few things that work for my boys:

Books:  All three of my boys enjoyed a good stroller ride with a good book.  Most of the time they just hold it in their hands, but sometimes having something to hold is better than having nothing.  Books that have sounds and interactions are the best for this kind of thing -- Jake has a Diego one he LOVES to take on runs.
Picture from Kayli @ http://itrhymeswithbagels.blogspot.com/

Small Toys:  My two year old won't get in the stroller happily without a little train in one hand and a little ball in the other.  About 90% of the time he doesn't throw them out until near the end, but when he does he loses them, they go under his seat, so he is pretty good about not doing that any more.  The reader who sent me this email about stroller entertainment gives her kids pinwheels, I thought that was a great idea too!!

Water Guns:  I used to give my kids water pistols to shoot at stuff as we rode along.  I haven't tried it with Jake, but I should.  One of my Facebook friends gave their little guy a BB gun when they went out in the wildlife.  I don't think I would trust my kids with a BB gun, they would seriously shoot their eyes out... or each others.  But a water gun is fun and harmless.

Treats:  I have a bunch of little tupper-ware things that I cut up fruit in or put some fish crackers.... or even raisins sometimes. My kids have ALWAYS loved having treats.  More examples are: pretzels, fruit snacks, string cheese -- I like to keep it as healthy as possible... but a nice supply of suckers and smarties are kept for dire emergencies!  (A long time ago, I used to walk with this lady that would give her kids full sized candy bars while we were working out!  Teaching good eating and exercising habits are so important.)

Drinks:  I never put my kids in the stroller without a drink.  Water, juice, milk.  Pick one!  I try to find a sippy cup or water bottle that will fit in the cup holder for them -- there is nothing more frustrating to a toddler than to give him a cup that won't fit in the hole...

Music:  When Sam was 3 and Nephi was 2, I had them in the double stroller.  One day, I gave them my old mp3 player loaded with kid music.  They each put a earphone in one ear and kept entertained listening to the music.  Sometimes, I will put my phone on speaker and let them listen to what I am while I am running -- sometimes we sound like an Ice Cream truck running by, but that's okay :)

Other tips for stroller rides:

  • Make sure you put sunscreen on the kiddos.  That little shade thing isn't always covering them.
  • Always bring water, you will never regret having it on hand, but will if you don't!
  • Dress your kids for the weather.  It may seem like a nice breeze to you while you are running, but the little guy in the stroller might be freezing!
  • If you have tired that pump up, you may want to invest in a little air pump to carry with you.  I can't tell you how many times I have run over a nail or thorn and been 3 miles away from the house!
  • Don't give all your goodies to the kids at once!  One thing at a time and only when they start getting restless.  I keep them under the seat in the stroller basket thing.
  • Some kids don't like stroller rides.  Jake HATED them.  But too bad.  Running is the one thing I do for myself, and he is going to deal with it!!  So I just stay constant and we go for 2-3 times a week.  He got used to it after a couple weeks and now it's all good.  So don't give up!

-Cat

Now your turn!  What are your best stroller tips?

1 comment:

Lydia said...

You pretty much named all the things I utilize, although my son actually enjoys riding in the stroller (for the most part). As long as I have several packs of fruit snacks and multiple cups of juice, he's good. He prefers when I run and will actually beg me to run whenever I try to take a walking break. lol!