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 – Top 6 Child Friendly Museums in Sydney

If you are feeling guilty about the amount of time you let your kids spend in front of the computer / TV or playing electronic games, while you get all your work/housework done, then why not plan a day out during the school holidays or on the weekend, when you do something educational with your kids. Museums often conjure up images of boring school excursions, but the truth is there are many fantastic museums which are not only educational, but also very interactive. Even if the kids grumble while you pry the Xbox controller from them, you will see once you arrive at the museum, their imagination will take over and they will start to explore and have lots of fun.

Australian Museum – Sydney
Address: College Street, Sydney
The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia, and specialises in the fields of natural history and anthropology. It features collections of vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, as well as mineralogy, palaeontology, and anthropology. Located in the heart of Sydney, the museum has something for everyone, including young children. Kidspace is a mini museum which features cubby houses loaded with fun activities. It also has a special closed off area for babies and toddlers. Several times a week, the museum runs a ‘Carla’s Deep Sea treasure Hunt’ which allows 3-5 year olds to decorate their own treasure box and then to follow clues to discover the amazing deep sea creatures and collecting little treasure along the way. For older children, the museum organises kids sleepovers, dinosaur detective kids workshops, marine worlds kids workshop and many others.

Powerhouse Museum – Sydney
Address: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
The Powerhouse Museum is a home to a unique and diverse collection spanning history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. It is estimated to have well over 500,000 separate items in an ever-changing program of temporary displays and permanent exhibitions. It has a state of the art playground and café and is guaranteed to keep the children amused for hours.
Currently the museum has a Wiggles Exhibit and in early June 2012 the Sydney Brickshow will make its appearance. You can experience amazing creations built by adult fans of Lego or learn from one of Lego certified professionals how to use bricks in ways that challenge the normal concepts of Lego building. For children 3-8 Powerhouse runs powerplay – creative artists lead children in hands on arts and crafts, storytelling and performances. The exhibitions and activities change regularly so check out their website for the latest news.

Kids Museum - Powerhouse Museum

Kids Museum – Powerhouse Museum

Maritime Museum – Sydney
Address: 2 Murray Street, Sydney
The Australian National Maritime Museum explores Australia’s links with the sea and features displays which show how maritime activities and issues have shaped the lives of people in Australia. Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre next door is the museum’s ‘backstage’ area, housing the Vaughan Evans Library, museum collection storage, boatbuilding workshops, the conservation laboratory, ship model workshop and display area, a design studio, photographic studio and other facilities. At the museum wharves, you will find one of the largest fleets housing 14 vessels which include a former navy destroyer HMAS Vampire, a former navy submarine HMAS Onslow, a full-scale replica of Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour and a variety of smaller vessels.

The Rocks Discovery Museum – Sydney
Address; Kendall Lane, The Rocks
The Rocks Discovery Museum is a free, family friendly museum which tells the story of The Rocks area of Sydney from pre-European days to the present. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, The Rocks Discovery Museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks. The exhibits are filled with interactive fun for kids of all ages and uses touch screens, audio and visual elements to bring the history of the area alive.

Kids Museum - The Rocks Discovery Museum

Kids Museum – The Rocks Discovery Museum

Hyde Park Barracks – Sydney
Address: Macquarie Street, Sydney
The Hyde Park Barracks was built in 1819 to house, clothe and feed convict men and boys. Later the building became a hub of government departments and renamed Chancery Square. Until the late 1970s, thousands of public servants, legal workers and litigants occupied dingy office spaces, courtrooms and corridors, scattered throughout the increasingly crowded complex. Today the Hyde Park Barracks is a museum about itself.

Kids Museum - Hyde Park Barracks

Kids Museum – Hyde Park Barracks

Cockatoo Island – Sydney
Address: Cockatoo Island, Sydney
Cockatoo Island is the largest heritage listed island in Sydney Harbour and is located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. The Island is a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. The Island offers guided tours, and include an overview of the island’s interesting history, and features some of the best examples of early colonial life.

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Ivana Katz of Kids Universe shows you where to go, what to do and how to save on things to do with kids and kids activities.  Join Kids Universe Facebook page