Why are you reading an article on finding fun activities for kids?
Perhaps you were attracted by the short, snappy title and the promise of many pearls of wisdom contained within?!
Was it just another way to waste time you really should be spending working?!
Or, possibly, you are the same as most of us… With children to entertain, the simplest of daily activities – a car journey, a shopping trip – suddenly becomes much more stressful. You need ideas. And you need them fast. This magical promise of ideas has lured you in… Ideas to transform the most mundane of tasks into an activity fun for kids too.
A quick Internet search will show you that there’s a lot out there (‘bored kids’ yields over 3 million sites!). Be honest, this is not the first article you’ve read that claims to have all the answers to the age-old problem of keeping your kids busy.
A correction : this article doesn’t claim to have all the answers. However, with any luck you might find one or two ideas here that will stop your nerves from being frazzled just yet…
Be a spin-doctor.
In today’s political environment, the ‘spin-doctor’ is widely regarded as someone pretty low on the popularity scale. Putting a positive ‘spin’ on otherwise negative looking unemployment statistics or election results can often look like thinly disguised dishonesty.
Parents? Teachers? It’s time to reclaim the role of spin-doctor for ourselves. That’s right; we’ve been doing it for centuries. Of course, kids can often see through the old “It’s not broccoli, it’s a mini-tree… Now eat it up!” But that doesn’t mean the ancient art of spin is dead. Keep at it.
Laying the table can be turned into a game where someone plays the role of an extremely discerning guest and your child has to lay the table as a posh waiter possible. Give it a catchy title (Sack the Waiter? Posh Nosh?) and you’ll soon see your kids having fun whilst doing the most menial chore.
I once knew a teacher who, before a test of any sort, said to his class, “I’ve got a fun activity for you today. I just can’t wait to see your excited faces…” The kids, of course, knew exactly what this meant and groaned on cue; but they loved the way it was dealt with. Recognise that going grocery shopping isn’t going to be number one on your kid’s ‘Fun Activity List’ and use this to your advantage. “Guess where I’ve planned for us to go today. Your favourite place?” Cue groans. “I was only planning to be quick, but seeing as you enjoy it so much… We can take all morning if you like?!” Before you know it, you’ll have a child begging you to do a quick shop. You may even have a pair of hands to speed things up!
Do your research.
As mentioned already, there are plenty of websites in existence that claim to provide ‘fun’ activities for kids. Be careful, however. Many of these charge a join-up fee and don’t provide a great deal in return. Your best bet is to search for articles that simply promise ideas. Keep a notebook of what you find. Having done your research, you will be less likely to be stumped when crunch-time comes.
And on the subject of ideas…
Here are one or two to start you off. All of them stem from possible boredom hotspots and I hope that they prove to be as useful as you hope they will be!
- YOU’RE THE DJ! (for the long car journey) Using a CD or a local radio station, it can be fun for your kids if you let them play the role of DJ. They have to rate each track a Hit, Miss or Maybe and even predict what you think of each one.
- RECONNAISANCE MAN/WOMAN (for the nature walk) If going on a walk instils boredom in your kids, fun can be established by having a ‘rekky’ beforehand. What unique sights are on the route? Then when you return, instead of telling your children they are going for a walk, invite them on a voyage of discovery. “Do you want to see a sheep’s skull?” “Have you ever seen a flower that looks like a man’s face?”
- THE FORGETFUL WAITER (for the meal-table) Someone closes their eyes after studying the table carefully. An object is taken and hidden. What’s missing? What did the waiter forget? A good test of observation skills.
- MAKING A ROUGHIE (for time spent in the kitchen) A roughie is like a smoothie… but far more delicious. You will need a banana, some yoghurt, a variety of squashable fruit and a big bowl. Although you may not find this activity much fun, for kids to squidge, squash and smudge the ingredients between their fingers is a feeling second to none! Let them drink (eat?) the resulting mess!
There are more ideas where those came from. And you can think of them yourself. Think of the times you most need a series of fun activities for your kids…
Do some research with a reliable site, add a little spin, a catchy title, use humour and you’ll be surprised what results.
The art of the spin doctor is not dead yet.
Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse