By Lauren Malloy
Quality time is a good thing and we all need to make some time for it. Under the current condition and climate of the world it is hard to look at any of this as “a good thing” but we can try. Shifting our perspective and mindset so we can see ourselves through to the other side.
For families with little ones, it can be hard to stay inside, especially as we have done a good 3 months of it already. Summertime is great because we can utilize the outdoors more. Camps and the usual kid activities may not be available, or you just may not be comfortable, and the task to keep the kids active in creative ways continues.
Here are a few EASY, BUDGET FRIENDLY and FUN activities to do with kids of varying ages that can be aged up or down depending on the need of your family.
1.Shaving Cream Fun– Grab a cheap can of shaving cream (or look on Dads side of the bathroom) and spread the fun! Have kids spread shaving cream all over a flat surface and encourage them create shapes, letters, numbers, math problems or use their imagination to create a work of art. You can also give them tools like paint brushes or sponges to make cool designs.
2. Cotton Ball Race– In this activity you will need enough balls, spoons and bowls for the number of people playing. Have kids line up with a bowl of cotton balls in front of them and spoons in hand. Yell out a number (or math problem) and have them take that many number of cotton balls across the room (just a short distance will do) to the other bowl set up using only their spoon (no fingers) to scoop them up. Make the game your own and have fun!
3. UNO– This oldie but goodie’ is perfect for younger kids learning to match letters, numbers and colors.
4. Playing Cards – Dust off the playing cards and teach your kids how to play any of your favorite games! Don’t forget about kid friendly ones like Old Maid, Goldfish, and SPOONS!
5. Art Fun– While out grabbing items, if your able add some Construction paper, crayons and glue sticks to your list (supplies can be found at any $1 store) and make something! Use all those toilet paper and paper towel rolls that you bought to make rain sticks (need beads, marbles or dry beans) or have your child draw a family portrait! Let them lead this activity and see where their imagination takes you
6. Fee Play– Time to let the kids use the comforters and quilts to build forts, play dress up, take long bubble baths, paint fingernails, and have dance parties. It almost sounds too simple but that is really it. To help kids, feel a little since of control during such an out of control time, let them choose what to do and see if some of these don’t come up as options.
7. Fresh Air– It is still safe to get some fresh air. Taking “eye spy” nature walks, sidewalk chalk , bubbles, water games
8. Family Slumber Party– Grab the blankets and spread them out! Cuddle and watch movies (take it outside and under the stars). Tell stories laugh and make memories! Take it one extra step further and sleep right there in the living room together. Your back may ache in the AM but the kids will never forget it.
All these games and activities are adaptable and can lend themselves to other ideas you may have. This is also a great opportunity incorporate conversations with your kids about what is happening in the world today. Kids will have questions it is crucial to talk to them and make them feel safe. Family activities are a great way for kids to feel connected with you as parents/caregivers and feel safe in such an uncertain time.