Why we love the Energy Rollercoaster

Some children seem to have lots of energy - they like to run, jump, climb! Others seem to have a lower energy output and gravitate towards calm activities.

This activity helps our tamariki think about energy levels and it’s a great way to for them to learn to notice and adapt our energy levels in certain situations. The Energy Rollercoaster can teach us an especially useful way to talk to our kids e.g. "I'm just working right now, and you're having some quiet time, so our energy levels need to be at about a 2. Later we'll go outside and kick the ball around and can be at level 4."

We'll talk you through it!

What to do

Have a chat about these sorts of things

  • How do we feel when we have heaps of energy? Excited, noisy, bustly, you might ask how their bodies feel? Jumpy, sometimes shaky etc.
  • What about when we have no energy? Tired, quiet, teary, angry. Again, how does your body feel when you have no energy? Heavy, slow etc.
  • What’s it like we when we’re tired and someone else is energetic?
  • What about when we’re really energetic and someone else is not? Could give them examples: Like when mum or dad is trying to work and you would really like to do living room gymnastics?

Head outside with the chalk to add a bit more fun, otherwise just use a good-ol' pen and paper!

Discuss 1 as being low energy and 5 as being super high, then work out what they might look and feel like. For example,

  1. Sleeping, lying on the ground, not moving.
  2. Sitting up, reading, slower breathing.
  3. Standing up, little arm movements, some stretches, hanging out with people.
  4. Active: Walking around, dancing, hand claps, normal breathing, talking.
  5. Hyped up! Jumping, making noise, high fiving, swinging arms above head.

Then act out each number, working from 1 to 5; then back from 5 to 1.

Ways to use your Energy Rollercoaster everyday

  • Remind your children about the appropriate energy levels for different situations - e.g. when you're working and it's their quiet time, when you're outside on the lawn, before bed time...
  • Discuss what they might do if they feel like they're at a level 5, while everyone else is at level 2 - take some breaths, run around outside for a bit, try quiet reading
  • And vice versa - what if you need an energy boost? This may be a better question for us parents!