Instead of giving in to the temptation to just troop over to the mall for a few hours’ worth of entertainment to kill boredom, why not think of fun activities that will encourage your children’s physical, cognitive, and creative learning? This is the perfect time to introduce eco-friendly activities as well and help in your efforts in raising a green guru. This sure beats having to go out and spend money just to have fun.
Here are some fun activities at home for kids to do when you’re stuck at home this fall and winter:
Sort the laundry
Your kids can help out at home and have fun at the same time. So how do you do it? Teach them how to sort out laundry! Gather your freshly washed clothes into a pile and make them sort the items into groups. For instance, you can make them separate the clothes according to family members or according to clothing type. You can deliberately make mistakes in sorting out while teaching them how to do it; this will help them recognize mistakes and correct them. This activity helps the kids’ ability to sort and classify objects.
Create fingerprint artwork
This can be quite messy, but the fun that your little ones will have in this activity is totally worth the clean up. You will need cardboard and ink pads or bond papers as canvas. The kids can dip their fingers into stamp pads and jars of washable paint and create their own patterns on the paper. Make sure to provide paper towels and wet wipes so the kids can wipe their fingers clean and avoid unnecessary mess. This activity enhances the kids’ motor skills and creativity.
Putting together cutout pieces of pictures may be old school entertainment, but hey, it’s still fun. Solving puzzles is a home activity that is perfect for those who have lots of time to kill. When you make a trip to the bookstore, be sure to pick up puzzles that are made for your kids’ age group. They can spend countless hours trying to put everything together. You can also give this a personalized touch and create puzzles of your own for them to solve. Have your kids draw the pictures and you can just cut them into pieces. This helps develop the kids’ problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to draw and color pictures.
There’s no need for you to take them someplace else for this activity; your home and your backyard will do. This will encourage your kids’ instinct for exploration. You can make use of stuff you already have at your house or you can pick some fruits from the grocery and have the kids search for them in the backyard. You can also try a simpler approach and just make them search for a particular item in use in your home, such as milk cartons or a pair of socks.
This is best done when there are other children in the house aside from your own. Invite the neighborhood kids for some afternoon playtime. Bring out the rope and let the kiddos engage in some good, old fashioned tug-of-war! Both children and adults can participate in the game, just make sure to arrange the players properly – put the stronger and bigger ones at the end of the rope and the smallest ones in the middle. This is a strenuous game that is perfectly safe for the kids.
If you want a game that is designed to enhance problem-solving skills as well as language skills, then twenty questions is the perfect game for you. Think of a person, place, or object that you would like your kids to guess. Give them a clue and tell them in which category that specific thing belongs. Tell them that they are allowed twenty questions to get clues on the thing they have to guess. This is also an exercise that will sharpen the kids’ memory and recall skills.
Gather clothing and items that your actors can use as costumes and props. Have them enact the scenes of their favorite cartoons, movies, television shows or books. Better yet, give them a certain costume and prop and make them come up with the scenario that befits that item. Aside from playing up to their creativity, this is also a great opportunity to see how your child sees the scenarios of daily life.
Make their introduction to the animal kingdom a fun and interactive activity. Make good use of the internet to increase their learning. Search for online games made for children’s activities. Look for a game that makes different types of animal sounds and make the kids guess which animal a particular sound belongs to. You can also use this game style to let the kids guess different types of sounds from musical instruments.
Introduction to music
Speaking of musical instruments, a vacation break is the perfect time to get the kids started in honing their talents. Encourage their inner rock star or diva by having them play the guitar, piano, drums, or any other instrument that they can pick up easily. Having a tutor on standby is recommended if you see signs that your kid is very interested to learn the craft. Who knows, it might lead to a serious career when he gets older.
It pays to develop your kids’ strategy-making skills at an early stage. There are board games that are perfect for this purpose and will teach them how to follow rules and at the same time learn the skills needed to get ahead of opponents.
If your kid is already old enough, try teaching him to play chess, one of the greatest games for strategic thinking. Board games that involve using play money are good for teaching kids about saving.
Spending autumn at home doesn’t have to be boring. There are lots of ways to make the most of it and enjoy your kids’ undivided attention. Take advantage of this time to have fun and instill learning at the same time.
Jeanette Anzon is a graduate of Architecture. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film, writing and continuous education. To get to know her more, you can follow @jeanetteanzon
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