Are you constantly trying to come up with new and exciting ideas for playtime with your kids? Finding new playtime activities can be a challenge for any parent when it seems you’ve done every activity in the book. There is good news however- new playtime activities are more numerous than you may think. Take a look at the following ideas. These can be done indoors, but can also be changed into outdoor activities if needed.
Obstacle Course: This first activity can be set up easily in your living room, even if space is limited. Just pull out a few chairs, bring out a stepstool, roll up a blanket, and lay down a few pillows. You can also have your kids pick out a few items around the house to add to this obstacle course. This activity is always a hit because kids love crawling over and under chairs, jumping over a blanket, stepping up and down on a stepstool, bouncing from one pillow to the next, and running in a circle around a teddy bear. This is an easy activity and fun for both you and your kids.
Personalized Placemats: Why not turn a boring coloring page into a personalized placemat by laminating it. Better yet, add a few pictures of your child to make it a picture placemat. Also try making a family placemat by having your child draw a picture of each family member, then placing a photo of that family member next to each drawing.
Musical Instruments: Making musical instruments out of household items is easy and inexpensive. For example, a paper towel roll and some dry beans can make a long tamborine. A shoebox with a hole in the middle, and a few rubberbands can make a guitar. An empty oatmeal container can be decorated and used as a drum. Making their own instruments keeps kids busy and is a fun and creative idea.
Scavenger Hunt: This activity just takes some preparation before you get your kids involved. Hide a few items around the house, write up clues for each item, then let your kids find the items using the clues you wrote out. This is a great idea for older and younger children. Just make the clues harder for the older kids, and easier for the younger ones.
Picture Scenes: Who doesn’t have an old stack of magazines and catalogs lying around the house? Put these dust collectors to work. Give your child a project by having them cut out pictures from these magazines and pasting them on paper to make a scene. For example, if you choose a zoo scene then have them cut and paste pictures of animals onto paper. Try a number or color scene for younger kids, this not only keeps them busy but can help them learn their numbers and colors as well. You can give an older child a sentence, then they cut out letters to make that sentence. Kids can be learning as well as having fun.
Finger Painting: Messy activities like finger painting can be done with less mess too. Just lay down an old shower curtain on your kitchen floor to contain the paint splatters. Cut open a few brown grocery sacks, bring out a few different colors of paint and you’re all set. Kids love activities that are messy, and you’ll have the mess fairly contained.
Picture Hunt: This can be used as a quiet time activity, and it is still fun for your child. Get a stack of your child’s books and have them look for a particular picture in each book. You can time them to make it more exciting for them.
Guessing Game: This is another quiet time activity but still fun. Just pick out a few objects, have your child close their eyes, place an object in their hand and have them guess it. You can even have your child pick a few objects and you close your eyes and guess. Kids always get a kick out of seeing their parents play the same game.
Other ideas: Making your own playdough, making puppets out of lunch sacks or socks, a toy hide and seek game- you hide the toy and your child searches for it, doll or teddy bear picnic, building forts out of chairs and blankets. The possibilites are endless.
The good thing is that all these ideas can be recycled, if an idea is a hit use it again in a couple weeks. A great resource to find new ideas are child-related websites. Go to a few different websites and jot down a list of ideas to always have on hand.
The main point is that playtime activities are numerous. You may think finding new activities is a challenge, but use the resources available and then be creative. The most important part is to just have fun with your kids. If they see you having fun then they’ll have fun too- and isn’t that the point of playtime anyway?