Whether you are looking for an activity to keep your children busy for the weekend or would like to spend some more meaningful time with them during the week, finding some activities to do with your children that will keep them engaged can be challenging.
Kids often lose interest in new things and are always looking for the next thing that will keep them stimulated. Of course, there are a plethora of online apps and games that your children can play, and while they are great, it is also nice to have some face to face contact and interaction with your children and give their eyes a break.
It is important that children engage in a range of physically and cognitively stimulating activities every day, and a great way to do this is to organise games and activities the whole family can get involved with, and have fun.
These kinds of activities are important to your children’s learning and development, as they can help with their communication skills, social interaction, focus, attention, mental health and wellbeing, creativity and imagination.
Below you will find a variety of activities, for all ages. Depending on the age of your children, and their individual interests, some may work better than others. But if you don’t try them and explore them, you’ll never know. You may even take these ideas and create your own.
Introduce your children to the world of creativity with painting. All you need is some simple tools, and your imagination to get started. There are a plethora of benefits that painting can bring to your children, alongside creating some nice memories together.
Some of these include learning to express themselves, encouraging sensory development, learning about colours, shapes, and letters, and developing motor, coordination and mobility skills. The great thing about art is, there is no right or wrong, which means your children are free to explore anything they wish, which can help build self-esteem as they let go of expectations and mistakes.
It can also be an activity that your children do on their own time, and can even carry on throughout their life, regardless of their age.
Walking is often seen as a tool for weight loss, but actually, walking provides valuable time to talk and bond with your family because you are free from tv, mobile devices, and any other distractions that stop the conversation flowing at home.
Walking is a great way to explore your local area and new places, and teach your children the value of nature while learning about their surroundings. Children love the simplest things, for example, on a short walk in Autumn they will be able to have fun in the colourful, crispy leaves, hunt as many species of mushrooms as they can, and learn about all the insects that come out to explore too.
You can set up games and treasure hunts for your children if you wish to experiment with different, and engaging ideas. This is especially helpful if your children aren’t too keen on the outdoors.
Walking can also improve the quality of life of your family, as it is known to boost your mood, your energy levels, improve your circulation, strengthen your muscles, improve your sleep and much more, which benefits your overall mental health and wellbeing.
Depending on the age and preference of your children, it might be that you read books and stories to your children, or you encourage them to read independently. If you are reading to your children, you are opening up their imagination, and helping to expand their understanding of the world.
It can also develop their active listening skills, especially if you get them involved in the reading or you take turns to make up parts of a story together.
Understanding the important of print awareness and exposing your children to books from a young age will help build their memory, and vocabulary, as well as understand printed words, their structure and how to interpret them.
If your children are older, you could also set up a family, or local book club for everyone to get involved in, to spark additional discussions about the books.
This will encourage social interactions, boost confidence and speaking with others about your opinions, learn new perspectives, develop a deeper understanding of literature, develop critical thinking skills and accountability for reading.
Not always the most fun for children at first, but it can be extremely rewarding and help develop key life skills. These can be anything from washing up, setting the table, dusting and hoovering, or a little bit of cleaning.
Household chores can also be rewarded with treats or pocket money, to help motivate your children. This will help expand your children’s knowledge around the value of money, hard work, discipline, cleanliness, time management, and how to look after things. It will also raise awareness about what it takes to run a household.
Cooking is a great way to get your children involved with daily activities, especially if your schedules are busy and there isn’t much time to get out and about. Cooking can engage children in many ways and is a great way to introduce them to food, especially fruit and vegetables from an early age. Cooking is something we do a lot of with Lewis, whether it’s preparing lunch and dinner, or baking some treats for family and friends.
Cooking can also teach children what goes into their meals, and learn more about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. With the physical actions of rolling dough, chopping vegetables, or measuring water, your children are engaging in thinking tasks and positively developing their motor and cognitive skills.
Papercraft is a loose term used to describe a range of activities that include paper and crafts. You can gather old paper, notebooks, card books and newspapers and see what your children come up with. You can also set them tasks to make specific crafts, or let them run with their own imagination and see where it takes them.
Crafting enables your children to analyse and problem solve, experiment with using the resources they have in front of them, focus their time while using their hands, and introduce new ideas.
You can add as many other items as you wish, for example, coloured pens, paintbrushes, old materials, leaves, pipe cleaners, glitter, sequences and any old items you can find around the house. This is also a great lesson in reusing and recycling.
Children have an expansive imagination and love to think up new characters and stories and play them out with people. Pretend play is a great way to allow your children to express themselves and have fun while engaging your children.
You can get involved and role play with them or get them to act out stories for you and your family. Alternatively, you can make up stories and challenges for them to play out. This activity is a great way to develop language and communication skills, make sense of real-life scenarios, co-operation and collaboration with others, and build up their confidence and self-esteem.
There are many activities that you can do with your children that are fun, as well as engaging to support their growth and development. Take these ideas, see which ones they enjoy and make up your own variations. Never stop playing with your children.
Got Something to Add?
What activities do you do with your kids? If you have any additional activities to recommend please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.