Welcome to January: the Monday of all months. (We’ll note: February is a close contender for the title.) It’s cold, gray, and dreary. The holiday decorations have come down. The kids have bottomless energy, and it’s possible that you’re running out of ideas to keep them busy. 

Courtney at @playroominspo helps her kids thrive by making sure they can blow off their “zoomie” energy, no matter the outdoor weather. “We live in Canada, which means we get lots of snow storms and it gets extremely cold – too cold for outdoor playgrounds. I love having active play ideas that are simple to set up to help get their wiggles out!” 

Courtney shared her favorite Nugget builds and ideas to keep your kids moving and creating. 

Active Play Idea #1: Brave an obstacle course

Two children play on an obstacle course, complete with climbing triangle, stepping stones, and Nugget

How to build it: Use your Nugget triangle pillows as launch pads or hurdles. Stepping stones are great for practicing balance — you could also use an old hand towel or painter’s tape to mark spots on your rug or floor. A Pikler triangle makes a great addition here for climbing. Don’t forget to finish the course with a somersault onto a Nugget cushion.

Why Courtney’s kids love it: “My 4-year-old is loving somersaults and using the Nugget has made this much safer! He sets up the stepping stones himself and loves moving them around. This obstacle course is great because his little brother is able to have fun too. We are able to practice so many skills in one activity, such as jumping, leaping, climbing and balancing. They play with this for at least an hour, which is amazing!”

Active Play Idea #2: Activate your inner athlete

Child out of frame throws a basketball at the net, which is framed with a Nugget couch to roll the ball back to the player like an arcade basketball game.

How to build it: Use your Nugget cushions as a basketball backboard, a soccer net, or even a bowling lane. 

Why Courtney’s kids love it: “My two-year-old and four-year-old love physical activities that include catching, throwing, and kicking. They have been getting very good with their basketball net! We will even turn out the lights and turn on a projector for some “cosmic” bowling which they absolutely love!”

A Nugget bowling alley, with the pins and ball framed by two vertical Nugget cushions serving as the alley lanes.

Active Play Idea #3: Conquer the indoor playground

An indoor playground, complete with climbing ramp, swing, and Nugget build. A colorful world map is on the background wall.

How to build it: Create a simple playground starring your Nugget as a slide or even a tunnel. Hang an indoor swing from a strong door frame, and add a ramp up and down the Nugget cushions.

Why Courtney’s kids love it: “These activities are my kids’ favorites! We have a swing that attaches to the ceiling as well as one that fits in a doorway, which sets up in 5 minutes. It is so fun watching them run from activity to activity, which includes their favorite Nugget slide.”

Active Play Idea #4: Hit the arcade

Nugget cushions create a ramp, with wooden arch toys set up as Skee-ball targets

How to build it: Create a Skee-ball-style game using your Nugget to create a lane and a ramp that flings the ball into bullseye rings. Courtney says small baskets are a great option too.

Why Courtney’s kids love it: “Creating fun games that include tossing balls or beanbags is a must with my kids. That is why this setup is always in rotation. We switch it up by using small baskets or even laundry baskets! I love playing too if they let me.”

Active Play Idea #5: Get lost in an indoor maze

Nugget cushions placed vertically to create maze walls. A child walks through the maze towards a bright green tunnel.

How to build it: Set up your Nugget cushions to create a maze across the room. A tunnel makes a fun addition, too. You can extend the maze with leftover boxes from the holidays, or even using painter’s tape on the floor.

Why Courtney’s kids love it: “My 2-year-old loves when I create a maze for him and goes through it over and over again. The Nugget is the perfect height for him so that he can’t see out. I also use painter’s tape on the floor for balance practice or to extend the maze which really makes my kid’s eyes light up. It gets used as a road for their vehicles after which makes it a great 2-in-1 activity.”

Looking for more ideas to get your kids moving and playing? Check out Courtney’s page @playroominspo to find your next activity.