“It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.” Dr. Seuss
Sometimes we need a few ideas to get playing moving along. I consulted with my kids preschool teacher, Ms. Kari, who was kind enough to put this wonderful list together.
- DRIVE-IN MOVIE Have children decorate a cardboard box (one that is big enough for them to sit in) to look like a car. Have fun and add all the details of a real car….wheels, license place, door handles, lights etc. Then have a drive in movie in your living room complete with all the yummy treats. Disney+ & Netflix are great places to get movies.
- ART HUB FOR KIDS – is an amazing website to learn how to draw anything. The artist takes gives you step by step instructions to draw your picture. www.artforkidshub.com
- MAKE YOUR OWN CHIA PET – All you need is a plastic red solo cup, soil, grass seed and a nylon sock. Decorate the cup, tie the sock at one end, fill the sock with soil and grass seed, put it in the cup, water and watch it grow. Cut the hair if you want.
- CORN SYRUP PAINTING. All you need is some empty egg cartons, corn syrup, food coloring & Q-tips. Pour the corn syrup into the egg cartons, add food coloring, Paint your own picture or one that you’ve drawn. When your picture is dry, it will be shiny and still look wet.
- TIC-TAC-TOE – Make your own tic-tac-toe with rocks and sticks. collect rocks, paint them two different colors, find 4 sticks and set them up to play tic-tac-toe
- NATURE WALK – Go on a nature walk and look & collect: rocks, sticks, pine cones, leaves. You can make them into a table setting, put them in a jar, or make crafts out of them.
- NEIGHBOURHOOD SCAVENGER HUNT – Make a list of items and how many of the items you want to look for: 4 stop signs, 3 white vehicles, 6 ppl walking, 5 dogs etc.. can be anything you like. Make the list with your children.
- OUTSIDE FUN – Go for a walk, scooter or bike ride. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hidenseek, TAG, lay on the grass and look at the clouds and find objects and shapes. Play EYE SPY.
- MUD KITCHEN – Kids love to play house in the mud, dirt and with natural ingredients. All you need to do is t0 head outside and set up some old utensils, pots or plastic tubs (recycled stuff can be great), and just add water and dirt.
- BOARD GAMES – A few of our favourites in our family are: CLUE kids, Monopoly (kid and adult), Bolkus, Candyland, Memory, Quirkle, Skip-Bo, UNO, Busytown (great for the younger kiddos).
- PAINTING – Put out paper, cardboard or any other surface that can be painted on and set up paints and brushes. You can make homemade paint with flour and water, see the recipe at https://tinkerlab.com/salt-and-flour-paint/
- OPEN ART SHELF: a variety of arts and craft materials for the children to create what they want. Make sure you have scissors, glue, tape, and any other fun stuff they can use.
- TIN FOIL AND PERMANENT MARKERS – Make some beautiful pictures with tin foil and permanent markers. This website has some good examples – http://www.housingaforest.com/tinfoil-and-sharpies/
- BEADING – all you need is beads and string. You can make your own beads out of homemade clay or playdoh that dries. See this site for 18 different kinds –https://buggyandbuddy.com/18-ways-for-kids-to-make-beads/
- BUILD FORTS – All you need is your imagination along with some blankets, chairs, couch cushions. Flashlights are a fun addition too.
- PICNIC TIME – Have an indoor picnic with ‘tea’ and finger sandwiches
- CAMP INSIDE – Go Camping in your house. If you have a small tent, set it up and have a family campout.
- CANVAS AND PAINTING – Use a canvas, put painters tape on your canvas to create a design, paint. When your painting is dry, remove tape and admire your creation.
- BAKE with your kiddos, they love to help measure, pour, mix and taste!
- FASHION SHOW – Have everyone create different outfits from their closet or another person’s closet, and have a fashion show set to music. You can even have people do each other’s hair and make-up for an added bonus.
Dr. Deborah MacNamara is the Director of Kid’s Best Bet counselling center, she is on Faculty at the Neufeld Institute, the author of Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (or anyone who acts like one), which has been translated into 11 languages, and a children’s picture book The Sorry Plane.