Young children are active and curious about the world around them, always seeking to learn more. Introducing them to activities that will educate, occupy, and engage them during their earliest years will help grow their curiosity. But what are the right kinds of activities for young children? In this article, we’ll look into this with suggestions of several great activities that are perfect for young kids.
This classic game requires no equipment. Be sure to explain the basics of the game to ease children’s anxiety. One player is “Simon,” and that person makes simple or funny requests of other players, like “Simon says to raise your left hand.” The trick is that if the request doesn’t start with “Simon says…” then the action should not be performed. This game teaches how to follow simple directions and use listening skills. To add physical activity to the game, add such things as jumping up and down, spinning, hopping, or dancing to the requests.
Guess The Animal
In this game, use your body and make sounds to pretend you’re a specific animal. You’ll have to get down on all fours, flap your arms, make sounds, or move about the room to imitate the animal you are portraying, which your child will find hilarious! All your actions are clues for your child to guess the animal. Children love to watch parents look silly. And make sure your child gets a turn to be an animal too!
Follow The Leader
This is another classic game played at daycares in Chicago where players must follow the player designated as The Leader. It requires copying everything The Leader does from what they say to all actions they perform. It could involve singing, jumping, and moving throughout the house and yard. Switch players eventually so that you become the follower to your child who leads the activities.
Bust The Balloon Game
Blow up a balloon and then take turns trying to burst it by sitting on it. Sometimes this takes several tries as the balloon may wiggle out from under either of you. Have a few extra balloons available as this game gets sillier the more you play it, making it fun for everyone involved.
Go For a Walk
Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to get your child to exercise. To make it fun, turn the walk into a treasure hunt of sorts where you both look along the way for items from a list. They could be red cars or black cats, daffodils or picket fences—whatever is easy to see as you walk.
Everyone loves bubbles and blowing them outdoors can be a lot of fun. If it is even slightly breezy, chasing the bubbles in your yard is a great way to get your child moving around. Bubble wands are also great as they create bubbles without the need to blow them. Your child can learn about the wind and how it effects those bubbles!
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Using various things from your home, set up an obstacle course where you and your child have to navigate your way from start to finish. It could involve running around something, crawling over something else, kicking something, or whatever gets your child physically active.
Arts and Crafts Activities
You can either do this with a coloring book or by printing off coloring pages from the internet. Use pages that contain your child’s favorite cartoon characters or characters from TV shows or books they are fond of. Have a supply of big, fat crayons and let their imaginations go wild. And don’t worry if they color outside the lines!
Chalk Up the Sidewalk
If your backyard has a sidewalk, one fun activity that will keep your child busy for hours is chalk drawing. They can draw pictures, write numbers and letters, create a hopscotch game, and add their personality to part of the sidewalk. The “canvas” can be reused following a rain or hose shower!
One way to avoid the mess of painting with fingers or brushes indoors is to take it all outside on a nice, bright day. Be sure that your child is wearing old clothes so that if they get any paint on them it isn’t an issue. Painting lets children explore their creativity in a fun and colorful way.
Here is an activity where your child can have a lot of input. Create different sandwich combinations like peanut butter and apple or apple and cheese. Once you put together the sandwiches, put out cookie cutters so your kids can cut the sandwiches into fun shapes.
Bake A Cake Together
With an ordinary boxed cake mix or a simple recipe, guide your child through the process of baking a cake following each step. This will help your child to learn how to follow directions and appreciate that some things require a little bit of work. Use measuring spoons and cups, and your child will have early exposure to measuring and fractions and delayed gratification! The finished cake is a great reward.
If you have a fire pit in your yard, make a “camping” meal with your child by roasting hot dogs over the open flame. Once you cook them, fix them up in buns and add condiments and enjoy them as you rest by the fire. And don’t forget the marshmallows for toasting!
It isn’t hard to find things to do with a young child if you are prepared and have some ideas. Remember, children don’t need complicated activities or electronic items to have fun, be engaged, and learn. The list above is just a few ideas to help inspire you. You’ll be able to come up with some great games of your own. If you need additional help, you can search online for games that are specific to the age of your child. According to LadyBug & Friends, playing games is a good way to get your child exercising both body and mind, making playtime the most important part of the day.