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Twister, Toddler-Style

Maddie loves playing games, and makes up
half a dozen new ones every day: “Now we’re going to
play the Baby Game.” “Now let’s play the
Telescope Game!” “And now this is the Balloon Kite
Game.” She’ll spy an everyday object – say, the
blinds cord in a window- and be off. Her favorite games involve
someone (usually Mommy) making up rules or chores or tasks to be
accomplished, and giving them to Maddie to complete one by one.

Combine this with Maddie’s innate love of movement, dance,
and exercise, and you’ve got one hundred different versions
of Simon Says meets Imagination. So when Maddie discovered our
Twister game sitting in a pile of board games, she was immediately

“Look at this mat, Mommy! It’s
like your yoga mat but bigger! We can all exercise on it!”

Ok, sure, that’s sort of what you do with it. Why not.

“Now tell me again, Mommy – you spin the dial and the
board tells you what to do with your body? Do it to me, do it to

Five minutes into it, Maddie was already impatient with the board;
it was too limiting, the choices too few. So she made a few
refinements, and we’ve now got the official family Twister
game ironed out. Here’s what you do:

Put the Twister mat flat on the ground. Grab a very large, comfy
pillow and place it on the ground nearby, preferably against a
wall. Sit on the pillow and lounge against the wall. Now make up
things for your toddler to do that involve colored dots.

“Ok, Maddie, stand on the top red dot and jump to the second
blue dot!”

“Now, Maddie, sit on your hiney. Put both your hands on
yellow dots and both your feet on blue dots. Push your hiney in the
air and crab-walk to the red dots.”

“Walk backwards down the row of green dots. Oh, no,
don’t look behind you!”

Maddie absolutely adores this game, and sees nothing wrong with a
mommy who hangs out reclining while Maddie works up a sweat. Twenty
minutes later, when she’s huffing and out of breath from my
command to “jump to every dot on the mat – five
times!”, it’s with a regretful face that she announces
she’s tired and plops down to rest.

So Twister folks, I know we’re not your target audience, but
thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


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