Finding Fun Activities For Kids When They Can’t Find Any Themselves!

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?!

Finding Fun Activities For Kids When They Can’t Find Any Themselves!

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.

Use humour.
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

Things To Do With Kids – Kids Games When You Are Out And About

Keeping kids entertained while you go out for a walk or on a long car journey can be a challenge, especially if they are little. Here are some great games you can play to make the trip more fun for everyone.

Things To  Do With Kids

Walkin’ the Planks
You will need: An open space with plenty of twigs and branches to hand
Find a patch of ground where there’s plenty of dead wood lying around and play Walkin’ the Planks. Rearrange logs and branches so they link up to form a circle. Be sure to leave a few gaps here and there to jump over. Take turns to walk your wobbly course, balancing as you go. Don’t let your feet touch the floor more than three times per circuit. You go first to test its stability; if it’s very tricky, your children may enjoy looking for a long, sturdy stick with which to steady themselves.

What’s Your Story, Corey?
This is a silly game to liven up an otherwise dull walk around the shops or home from school. As you approach someone coming the other way, have a quick glance at their face. Think up an appropriate first name and concoct a tiny piece of their life. When you’re definitely sure they’re at least ten paces past you and won’t be able to hear you, start up a sentence with their imaginary name, for example: “Norman’s just been to see his granny,” or, “Jo’s got a new car.” Particularly good people to peek at are cyclists, young couples and teenagers, shop assistants and dog walkers – guess the pet’s name, too. Be careful that your children are aware this is a game – this one could backfire horribly!

Granny Went To Market
This is another time-filler for walks or car journeys. Start by saying, “Granny went to market and bought a…” Then choose any item – let’s say a melon. Your child then repeats this and adds another item to the list, maybe a Russian doll. You now repeat these two items and add another, saying, “Granny went to market and bought a melon, a Russian doll and a mobile phone.” Aim for a list of 20 items.

I Spy Alphabet
‘I Spy’ is one of those games that children love to play on a long journey, but which can quickly become over-played and stale! This simple variation might make it a bit more interesting for all involved. He spies something beginning with A, then you spy something beginning with B etc, moving through the alphabet to Z

Blackberry Sludge
You will need: containers to collect the fruit in, a saucepan, sugar, an apron and a sieve
Another way to brighten up a stroll is to spend part of it collecting the best of the season’s fruit growing in the hedgerow. This will depend on where the reader is located – the following idea is based on picking blackberries (raspberries will do also). Collect a tubful, eating one or two ripe ones as you go. It may be an idea to take along a plastic bottle of water to use to rinse the berries before eating! When you get home, give them a good wash, tip into a saucepan with a little sugar and simmer gently for a few minutes. Cover any precious clothes with an apron and burn off more of your child’s energy pushing the blackberries through a sieve. You’ll be left with a delicious, thick syrup that looks rather like congealed blood and tastes fantastic poured over ice-cream.

The Non-Walk
A helpful tip for enticing your children outside for a walk… Firstly, under no circumstances mention the words, “Go for a walk.” Instead, take a little time beforehand to go on a solitary reconnaissance mission to find a few items en route that will hit their interest buttons. All you need to then do is simply ask who fancies seeing a decomposing rabbit, a fox-hole, etc. Fingers crossed, they’ll jump at the chance. Second, select a tree on the walk with a perfect-sized hole in its bark where wrapped sweets can regularly be stashed and discovered. Walks just got a whole lot more interesting!

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe shows you fun things to do with kids whether it’s rain, hail or shine. Your next adventure is only a click away at www.kidsuniverse.com.au. And don’t forget to download your FREE copy of “Fun Activities for Kids – Free Ways to Keep Kids Happy”

Things To Do in Sydney With Kids – Top 7 Playgrounds

If you are wondering what to do in Sydney with kids this weekend, then why not plan a trip to a new playground you haven’t been to before.   Your children will be excited to explore new places and you can sit back, relax and maybe even enjoy a quiet coffee.

The following are some of Sydney’s best playgrounds, as they offer plenty of stimulation for the children, but also all the comforts and amenities for the parents.

Clontarf Reserve Playground
Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
Clontarf Reserve is located on Sydney’s northern beaches and a great place to visit for the whole family. The playground is shaded and is suitable for kids 0-12 years of age.  For the parents, there is a kiosk, which serves hot food as well as ice cream, cakes and coffee,.  The park has plenty of seating and free BBQs as well as a bubbler and showers. In summer it is ideal for swimming for even young children as there are now waves and at low tide shallow water.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Clontarf Reserve

Flying Fox (Winnererremy Bay) Playground
Mona Street, Mona Vale
This excellent playground has recently been upgraded with new play equipment.  It is suitable for kids of all ages and includes an adventure trail with stone carvings of sea creatures , flying fox, space net, snakes and ladders and spring rockers and many others. Flying Fox Café is located right next to the enclosed playground so parents can keep an eye on the kids.  Free BBQs and shaded tables  are also nearby as is a great bike/scooter track.  Children will also enjoy seeing pelicans wandering nearby.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Flying Fox

Bicentennial Park Playground
Australia Avenue, Homebush
Bicenennial Park offers something for the young and old.  Children will enjoy exploring the adventure playground with sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and shade sails or riding their scooters or bikes on the many bike / pathways.  A great water play area is also located in the park, where kids can run and splash for hours.   Lilies Café is located near the playground and serves great coffee, lunches, drinks, ice creams and cakes.  You can also hire a bike from the bike hire shop located next to the café.  Free BBQs, tables and seating are located next to the playground, so bring sausages for an easy lunch.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Bicentennial Playground

Darling Harbour Playground
Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour
A very popular family spot, Darling Harbour Playground has lots of fun play equipment for kids of all ages.  There is plenty of seating for parents and lots of cafes right next to the playground as well as toilets.  Bring a towel and change of clothes for the kids, as the playground offers several water features.  Also very popular among the kids is a large spider web, slides and sand equipment.  McDonalds is located right next to the playground, so lunch is easily taken care of.  For older kids, there is plenty of green space and ping pong tables.

Things To Do in Sydney - Darling Harbour Playground

Collaroy Beach Playground
Pittwater Road, Collaroy
This enclosed shaded playground is suitable for children from 1 to 8 years of age.   For older children, there is plenty of green open space, where they can run and play. Several BBQs and tables are located inside the playground area.  For coffee, ice cream or lunch there are several takeaway shops and cafes across the road. Toilets and showers are located next to the carpark. During summer you can swim at the patrolled beach and if you have young kids, there is a great rockpool.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Collaroy Beach Playground

Dee Why Beach Playground
Griffin Road, Dee Why
Dee Why Beach has become a very popular family spot due to its recent upgrade. There are 2 excellent playgrounds – one at the southern end, with plenty of tables and seating, making it ideal for families with young children. And another smaller playground is located near the large car park, behind Dee Why Surf Club.  For older kids, there is an oval, where they can play cricket or just kick the ball.  Dee Why Beach has lots of excellent cafes, restaurants and a gelato bar with delcious ice cream and coffee.  There are a couple of toilet and shower blocks nearby, as well as a rockpool.

Things To Do in Sydney With Kids - Dee Why Beach

Cook Park Playgrounds
General Holmes Drive, Rockdale
Cook Park stretches for 8 kilometres along the western foreshore of Botany Bay  It is a fantastic family spot as it offers everything one needs for a great day out.  Several playgrounds offer great entertainment for kids and a long walkway/bike track for children to ride their scooters, rollerblades or bikes.  You will also find BBQs, showers, change rooms, picnic shelters and seating, toilets in several spots.  Grab a coffee, snack or lunch in one of the many great cafes and restaurants located in the park or across the road.  For those wishing to get some exercise, the length of the park offers a great walkway / bike track, where children can ride their bikes, scooters, skateboards or rollerblade. During summer you can swim at the sheltered Brighton Le Sands beach, which is located right next to the park. As the park opposite Sydney Airport, kids will enjoy watching planes take off and land.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Cook Park

Maroubra Beach Playground
Marine Parade, Maroubra
For young kids, Maroubra Beach has a great enclosed and shaded playground and for older children, there is a fun Skate Park, where kids can ride their skateboards, scooters and bikes.  As the playground is located right next to Maroubra Beach, during summer you can take a dip in the ocean, while the kids build sandcastles.  A kiosk and café are located near the Maroubra Surf Club, where you will also find toilets and showers.  The park has several free BBQs and sheltered tables with seating.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Maroubra Beach

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, visit www.KidsUniverse.com.au  join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse

 

Australian Shark & Ray Centre

The Australian Shark & Ray Centre is located in Port Stephens and offers an awesome experience which allows you to get very close to sting rays and sharks. Both children and adults are able to feed stingrays from either the side of the pool or put on dry waterproof pants or a wetsuit and get in the water with them.

The water is only waist deep, so even young children are able to participate. It is amazing to see the looks on their faces as they feed these giant creatures.

Read more about the Australian Shark & Ray Centre

Find more fun things to do with kids.

Australian Shark & Ray Centre

Australian Shark & Ray Centre