Janet, a former elementary teacher and mom to twins Ashton and Hudson, first found out about the Nugget when the boys were about 14-months-old. Right away, she knew that they needed one! “The boys were not quite walking yet and not at all sure of their movements. The Nugget seemed like a great way for them to learn how to gain confidence with climbing and spatial awareness that translated to more confidence at playgrounds because they understood their skills.”
For almost four years now, the Nugget has been the most used toy in their house. “Our Nugget builds and the way we use the Nugget has definitely changed over the years as the boys grow, because 18 month olds vs almost 5 year olds have different play skills, and this is a big reason Nugget is such a great family investment!” Here, Janet shares some of their favorite ways to use the Nugget.
Some days it is hard for me to convince my little guys to go outside, so we bring the activities inside. Nugget helps us do that in so many ways! One of our recent favorites is 1v1 soccer. They have so much fun kicking the ball and diving on it. I just used some quick reminders to keep the ball low and we had a blast for at least an hour or so. I even got in on the fun when Hudson challenged me, but little did he know I was a soccer player, so it wasn’t a fair match... but the laughter and energy he had for this game was all giggles!Set up is easy on this one: just square the two large pieces to make your goal. Triangles can be used to help prop up the sides if you don’t have a corner area to set up the goal, or for us, we used the triangles as boundaries that the striker had to stay behind to shoot on goal.
My husband and I have wanted to take Hudson and Ashton mini-golfing for a while and just with everything going on in the world and living in California with all the fires and poor air quality, we have not been able to take them, so I set up a mini hole as an invitation to play one day after school. They were so stoked to give the little (plastic) golf balls a whack inside their playroom. Ninety percent of the fun might have been that I brought outside toys in! Showing them the proper stance and way to hold the clubs might have stressed out my husband a tad, but the excitement after Hudson hit a few hole-in-ones washed all of that away.
We tried a few different holes, but I think their favorite was the simple ‘hill’ to the hole set up. It was a great little slope and standing up higher to hit the ball was fun for them. They did also enjoy the tunnel holes as well, but it is much harder to hit a target when you can’t see it. You could try this for older kids, or add in other fun obstacles with toys around your house and you’ve got multiple courses.
Set up: Fold the base Nugget base and add the cushion over top to create a slope to the ground. We used the triangles at the end to just give some bumpers and keep the ball contained. We tried a slight variation of the hill, where the thinner pad was held up by a triangle, but they couldn’t see the hole and that made it a bit difficult for them.No worries if you don’t have a ‘hole’, a plastic cup on it’s side works fine! For tunnels, we made sure to connect the pillows and cushion or base so there were not openings that the ball could roll out of on its way to the hole, but it is such a versatile and open-ended setup, that with trial and error you can set up so many different courses. For those with multiple Nuggets, you could set up an entire mini golf course.
Off to the Races
Combining any play with cars in this house is sure to be a huge check in the ‘win’ column with the boys. This time we made a downhill race track. I used additional toys here, but honestly even just propping the Nugget up to get a slope works. We experimented with different cars for this activity, with each kid trying to find the best car for the race. Some wouldn’t roll on their own, some were slower than others, some turned and would not go straight. I can’t even remember how many race combos we tried, but I seriously said, “On your marks, get set, GO!” about 100 times.
Set up: I folded the thick base over two triangle pillows and then the thin cushion under the slope. Since there is a gap, we filled it with some magnetic tiles, then created the race tracks with our roadways. Eventually, Ashton was changing the road, creating finish lines, and even trying to get the cars to fall in the crevice between the Nuggets.
The Nugget is a family favorite. It is such a great spot to chill, rest and read books, or watch movies. When my husband gets involved, the Nugget is most definitely used as some sort of Super Hero obstacle course: they run over it, flip on it, jump over it, fall on it, create wild obstacle courses. When they were little, my husband would toss them up and let them roll down the slope; now they hide under a pile (junkyard) and pop up. The type of open-ended play and imagination the Nugget has been bringing to our playroom for years will most certainly continue as Ashton and Hudson grow! Hip hip hooray for many more Nugget builds to come!
Thank you to Janet, Ashton, and Hudson for sharing their favorite activities with us! Which one will you try? Share with us on Instagram @nuggetcomfort.