With the vacations round the corner, parents go into a ‘kid-delight’ mode where they want to ensure that the children have a wonderful time. Purchasing toys or video games is expensive and they get boring after a while. Instead, what the child will enjoy most is the whole-hearted participation of the parents in the ‘games’ being played. Here are ten activities that can be done at home by the parents and toddlers together which promise to create unforgettable moments for everyone concerned.
Pillow Fort Building
Making forts from dozens of pillows and cushions can be great fun and frolic for the kids and a safe game too. Let the kids use the sofa as the base and all the sofa cushions could become building blocks. Pull out some blankets and sheets and add to their fun. Kids are very imaginative and so building a story along with the fort and having mock wars with pillows and sheets can simply fill their evenings with excitement galore. By instinct, they will love cuddling into the ‘forts’ and getting cozy.
Here is a game that could contain teaching along with fun. Kids, especially the girls, watch their mothers, aunts and sisters do their elaborate dress up. It fascinates them and so providing them with some old items of accessories and clothing that you don’t mind doing away with could begin a lovely and interesting game. Provide them with a mirror and some powder too. Yes! The game can get messy, but the fun that you child will have will be something that he/she will never forget. The game can be used to teach the kids how to really dress up well.
Television is often condemned as the idiot box that drains the kids out of creativity and positive energy. If properly utilized, it could become the greatest education-fun combo. Set aside some time in the day when you can watch something that fascinates, educates and is fun at the same time. For instance, watching the animals on National Georgaphic channel while correlating the same to the different cartoons that the kids are familiar with could get the kids fascinated and interested. You could follow this up sometime later with a visit to the zoo and complete the educational experience.
Baking delicious treats is a a wonderful gift that people give to their friends and family. It could also be a great gift of play-time for your kids. All the little ones have some sort of fascination to the ‘kitchen’ where so much seems to be happening daily. Taking their help for simple things like opening packets, adding ingredients or stirring can mean great fun for them. The best thing about the game is that if it is played well, the end result is a sumptuous treat! The activity will not be easy at first for the parents but the kids will learn with each instance. And every instance will be equally fun for the child.
The king’s craftsmen
You are the king/queen and the children are the craftsmen who will create masterpieces for your majesty’s pleasure! Paper craft is one of the best ways to keep your little ones busy. It is fun, it is creative and it can go on for hours. There are hundreds of books and online material for paper craft. To make it completely safe, you could try teaching them the Japanese art of Origami which does not require blades, scissors or glue. To make it a bit more challenging and creative you could add the painting dimension to the craft and make paper magnets, hangings and the like. You could also organize your own in house competition and give away prizes to all the participants.
Waste to no-waste
Continuing with the theme of learning and educating while playing, waste management could be a super idea. You can make a wand from a roll of waste paper along with some tape and a ribbon. Empty cereal boxes can be converted into dustbins with the ‘USE ME’ lettering stenciled across. You could tell the kids to collect all the useless and junk materials at home and encourage them start making things using their imagination. Be around to supervise and help only when necessary.
Bubble bath dishwashing
Water is something that every child loves. Play the ‘ Be a dishwasher’ game. Tell the child that he/she is the dishwasher and put in a few plastic plates, glasses and the like in a water tub. Add skin-friendly and baby-safe detergent into the water and create a sort of bubble bath. The kids will love trashing about in water and the fact that they are helping you to ‘do the dishes’ will make them feel very good about it too. Blowing bubbles and locating small toys immersed in the tub could be other mini-games that the kids could indulge in while ‘ washing dishes’.
For those toddlers that are taking the baby steps in learning, here is a simple game. Collect cardboard boxes of different sizes, shapes and colors. Put them around the child and ask it to build a tower by placing the big boxes below and the little ones above. After the tower is built, let the child to rush into it and bring it crashing down! It will be great fun. Then, have it arrange the boxes according to colors or according to the shapes. You can innovate many variations and keep the child occupied for up to an hour.
Hide and Seek
The game of hide and seek is an all-time classic and never fairs to amaze and thrill the kids. Set the boundaries at home where the game can be played and get the kids started on it. Join them and be there to ensure that they do not get into tight corners or enter prohibited zones. The game will provide hours of non-stop fun and wholesome entertainment. The activities involved in the game also will hone many skills of the child.
The Cleaning robot
Kids idolize cartoons and robots that they watch on television. You can utilize this fascination of theirs to keep them busy and to teach them the importance of cleanliness. One teacher frequently uses this technique wherein she makes one of the kids into a robot by placing over a robot uniform/dress ( made or purchased). The teacher then ‘steers’ and ‘controls’ the robot to put all the littered toys back in place and clean the room. In this manner, work gets done, the kids have fun and they also learn subtly that clean up is an essential part of any fun activity.