Your kid(s) can sometimes be quite exhausting because they always ask for things to do. Sometimes kids get bored and find it hard to think of any activities to do on their own which leads them to get cranky and unruly.
If your kids are young, sending them to a good preschool is an excellent way of engaging them in activities. Some preschools teach students all sorts of skills that they can then practice at home or with their friends on the playground. This includes drawing, playing instruments, reading books, playing sports, and many more.
Kids are very imaginative so there are tons of things they can do on their own to pass time. Here is a list of different ideas that you can use when trying to engage your child in activities. They range from a quick 15 minutes to a whole day.
Here are eight ideas to engage your kids in some activities, so you can have a bit of rest and enjoy some time for yourself:
Play a Board Game
Board games such as Monopoly, Jenga, etc., tend to be rather boring for young kids because their attention span is shorter than most adults. However, if you play with your kid(s) it will be quite fun for both parties. You can either use a regular or electronic version of the game and just add cards that ask questions about what’s going on in the game and then ask questions about school. This is also a great way to keep the little ones occupied while you make dinner, etc.
Building a Fort
Kids can make forts and play in them for hours and even days (they do get hungry and need to use the bathroom). You can either let them go at it or you can tell them what they should build their fort out of based on certain criteria that you want to be met. For example: building a castle with pillows, using their sister’s/brother’s Lego, and having blankets over the top.
Playing Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek is a classic game that everyone loves to play and it only gets better as you grow up. Kids can’t hide for long periods because they are too young, but they still enjoy the hunt. Instead of having them close their eyes while you walk around your house hiding, give them a flashlight or have bright lights on in different rooms where you are going to hide the kid(s). This way they can see where you are putting them which will make it more fun for both parties. Remember to use baby-proofing devices if needed!
Write an Adventure Story
Many kids love using their imagination when playing with toys or pretending different things, however, sometimes kids need some help to get engaged especially if they need some imagination. This is where writing an adventure story comes in. Have the child(ren) describe what their toys/friends/siblings look like and where they are going, etc.
Once they finish describing their new character, have them write a few sentences about how the character got to the place that it is at (i.e., on a boat after crossing an ocean). If you’re having trouble making your kid(s) think up ideas for this type of activity, use pictures from books or magazines and then ask them questions such as, “Where would [character] go if he/she saw [picture]?”.
If your child is in preschool, you can engage them in a few more activities since they are taught more there. They might have become better at writing letters and numbers so you can encourage their passion by letting them write notes for their other family members like siblings and cousins or to friends. You can also ask them to increase the length of their stories.
Watching TV and Movies
Young children don’t watch because most of them can’t sit still for that long. However, once they get a little older, it’s time to let them enjoy some TV and movies. When choosing movies for them to watch, you want to make sure the movie is appropriate based on their age and what you think is best.
You can either pick out certain scenes in an inappropriate movie or fast-forward to only the parts of the film that are appropriate (most DVDs and streaming services allow you to keep track of where your child(ren) last left off).
Have your kid(s) go through magazines/books and find pictures that go with different words or phrases. For example: “mountain” or “frog”. Then have them tell you what word goes along with the picture and why they think the picture goes along with it.
If your kid(s) can read, you can make it a competition between different siblings by saying things like: “Whoever finds the most pictures and tells me what word/phrase goes with it and why I will give some money to”. This is a great way for them to learn new words while having fun.
Kids love pretending and feel like their imaginations are in overdrive when doing so. Depending on their age you can literally just give them random objects that aren’t toys (i.e., kitchen utensils, book, shoe) and tell them what they are; however, make sure you play the game properly by giving your child(ren) clues about what it is if needed (i.e., “I don’t think this is a shoe”).
Visit an Amusement Park
Many amusement parks offer great attractions/rides for children of all ages. Depending on your child’s age, there are different rides they can go on that won’t scare them but also aren’t for babies. If you have a young toddler, you might want to get the unlimited Fastpass which will allow you to skip lines once or twice before it starts working for everyone else!
Warning: Make sure you watch your kid(s) very closely while they are riding these things in case they get scared and need help to get off the ride/attraction. Sometimes parents forget that their kids are too short to see what is going on if they look straight ahead so make sure that their hands are holding onto the bars of the ride/attraction at all times unless instructed by an employee of an amusement park.
If you still can’t come up with any ideas, the suggestions listed above are fun for kids of all ages. Keeping your child(ren) busy will keep them out of trouble so why not introduce one of the activities listed above? Who knows, maybe one day they’ll take an idea from it and create something as well.