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Developing Inner Drive

Learning Off Energy

Kids have so much natural energy it's hard to keep up. We all know those times when they run and jump and run some more, eventually falling down giggling and exhausted. Parents think they're burning off energy. But in fact, they're LEARNING off energy. Huff ‘n puff play helps kids understand how far they can go and when they’ve gone too far.


At the outer reaches of their physical limits kids begin to taste inner drive.

Lots of things are happening when kids are huffing and puffing their way through the day. For instance...

LEARNING LIMITS. If it feels good, kids want more. And while grown-ups provide the important boundaries they need for safety, not until they experience their own physical limits will the idea of going too far become real to them. This is where self-control is born.


At the same time, this is kid-sized FREEDOM. Moving their body with abandon is your child's chance to experience themselves without order or structure. At the outer reaches of their physical limits is where they begin to taste inner drive. 

EMOTIONAL PRACTICE. Huff ‘n puff play gives children a place to practice their emotional range. For instance, few kids race to the top of the monkeybars on the first try. Without anyone telling them, most take it one rung at a time, judging for themselves when it's right to go higher. That doesn't mean they won't make mistakes so be right there when they try. But watch. Chances are you'll see the steady concentration and determination they need to propel themselves, physically and emotionally. 

MINDFULNESS. When kids are fully engaged in physical activity, the body and brain are harmonized. Endorphins start the party and before you know it, they're lost in the moment and the movement -- that space young minds and fertile imaginations need to learn deeply.

What You Can Do

Give them the space and time they need for whole-body play in the backyard, the playground, the playroom, or wherever you can find room to move.


But of course, setting limits is important. Work with your child to figure out the boundaries of their play - where, when, and how. It’s empowering when they feel a part of setting up the rules. It shows you respect their opinion, and they stand a better chance of following their own rules.

Outdoors is best for Power Play, but indoors works too!

Sit facing each other with your feet touching. Pretend to ride a bike together. Call out ways to ride your pretend bike like faster, slower, up a hill, down the slide, backwards. 

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Wherever you are there’s always an opportunity to get some-where fast and first. Race you to the tree at the park. Race you to the cookie jar! Race you to brush your teeth. (And don’t forget to lose the race!)

When reading a book together (not at bedtime) have them pose like the pictures in the book. Turn the page and strike another pose. Putting them-selves in the shoes of the character helps them relate to the story even more.






Kids need natural challenges to stretch themselves to the fullest. LEARN MORE...

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The benefits of Messy Play. LEARN MORE...

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Top 10 Activities on the Playground.


And there's more...

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