Saturday, September 09, 2006


ROBOTODDLER


While the grandkids were here, one thing I loved to do with the twins whenever the opportunity and energy afforded was to play a game we used to play when Kasumi and Keech were small (Kaya loves it too), that I call "Robotoddler." It costs nothing, requires no equipment and can be played spontaneously anywhere, to great delight, by anyone who has access to kids under about 5 years old.

You put the child's feet on your feet, bend over and, snugging the child's body to your legs, grasp the child's arms at the elbows gently with your big hands so the arms don't bend; then hold the arms full out straight ahead and 'take control,' making the child a robot. You then walk in stiff steps, raising and lowering the child's arms stiffly in counterbalance while talking robot talk (they quickly surrender to the scenario). That's fun.

But the fun escalates when you say e.g., "Robot, go pick up that teddy bear." The robot walks toward the teddy bear on the floor - robot arms pumping stiffly up and down all the way – the robot reaches the teddy bear, bends over at the waist, the robot's arms reach for the teddy bear - not quite accurately, since this is a prototype robot - the arms slowly open wide to accurately grab the teddy bear-- then close too quickly like a bad pair of scissors and the teddy bear is swatted across the room by one of the clumsy robot hands. Drat. Let's try again...

Toddlers just love this bizarre experience and can't get enough of it. When I did it with the twins (My turn! My turn! My turn!), we often had to stop because the robot would get hystericogelatinous with laughter; then we'd again go try to pick up a ball or a toy frog, tickle mama or chase one of the other kids with wiggly tickly robot hands, and everybody would get hysterical. The only one who could ever get enough of it was me; a half hour was my limit, with 15 minute breaks.

So try this with any toddler you can get your hands on; neither of you will be disappointed.

10 comments:

annie said...

I can't wait to try this...these kinds of games are such good excuses to revert to toddler age for all out laughs.

The Shiga Window is lovely today.

kenju said...

You and mr. kenju could give each other lessons on how to play with children. This is right up his alley.

Robert Brady said...

There's also ants' picnic, ticklebug, wandering buffalo, freezy etc. but I'll get to those later...

Joy Des Jardins said...

Robotoddler...awesome Robert. Of course, I can see why you'd need little breaks for Robograndpa.

Robert Brady said...

That's RoboG, if you please...

Joy Des Jardins said...

How did I know you were going to say that? I almost typed it, but....

RoboG really does suit you much better.

Robert Brady said...

Also, I don't need to change my tights.

Chancy said...

Darn, that sounds like such fun. I wish I had known about Robotman earlier before my grands got to be too big to fit on my feet. :)

6,8,7,10,12 and 18....Naw I'd break a foot.

Robert Brady said...

It might be doable for the 6-7-8 year olds, if you wear strong shoes...

Maya's Granny said...

I agree with Chancy. Why didn't I know about this before Maya was ten? We'd never make it now.