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Toddler Talk: Ways to Get the Wiggles Out

Recently, I found myself out and about with Ramona desperately needing to get some wiggles out. Problem was, there wasn’t a playground around! We were waiting for my hubby to finish up at an appointment and I had to kill some time with a toddler who had been strapped in a car seat all day.

What to do? Thankfully, we had some room to run. There just weren’t any formal kid play structures. So I dug deep into my memories of recess as a little girl and went through a list of games I remember having so much fun playing. Ramona had a blast too. It didn’t require any planning or packing and we didn’t have to make sure we were near a playground.

If you find yourself in the same situation, just pull these games out of your bag of tricks and watch your little one get the wiggles out. I can guarantee nap time or bed time that day will be a cinch since they’ll likely just pass out from fun overload (aka exhaustion).

Simon Says

Take turns being Simon. Facing each other, start each instructive with “Simon says...” and follow with movement such as “touch your nose” or “do a jumping jack” or “quack like a duck.” As your little ones picks up, challenge them with “find me three rocks” or “run to that drinking fountain, take a sip, and run back.” You’ll both have a blast coming up with more energetic and even silly activities.


You’re it! Depending on the type of free space you have, take turns just simply chasing each other. Mix this game up by utilizing different types of movement: You can only walk with stiff straight legs, crawling, high knees, on all fours. This game can easily be tailored to fit the sort of space you have.

Follow the Leader

Have your little one follow you around and copy what you’re doing. Up the stairs, down the stairs! Hopping like a frog, barking like a dog, doing a silly dance while making your way to the final destination. When you get there, switch who is the leader!

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