Are you looking for ways to spend time playing with your kids, but you’re not exactly coming up with many ideas of “how” or “what” to play with them? Here are some of the favorite things we used to do with our kids when they were younger. They are all simple ideas that don’t really cost anything other than your time.
Your kids will love the time you spend with them, and they will love the playing as well! Be a FUN parent; take time to play and laugh with your kids. The years go by so quickly, so choose to make the most of them, and have fun ON PURPOSE.
Choose a little toy to hide, and show it to the kids. (we used a Fisher Price little person) Have them all go into the other room, while you hide it in the family room. When you’re done, call them in to find it. The first one who sees it calls out, “Huckle-buckle-beanstalk!”. The one who found it then gets to hide it.
2. Have a sock fight.
Roll matched socks up in a ball, choose teams, and fire away.
3. Have a scavenger hunt.
I have them all go upstairs, and while they aren’t able to watch, I hide a list of items throughout the downstairs rooms. I call the kids down when I’m done, give them the list, and they go hunting to find the items. They don’t say anything when they find an item, but check it off on their list. That way it doesn’t spoil the fun for those who are still looking.
4. Have a treasure hunt.
Hide clues around the house that will take them to a treasure. My kids always loved this, and often the older ones would do it for younger ones, after I had planned one for them.
5. Bean bag toss.
Line up 5 bowls with the biggest one closest to the starting line, and the smallest one farthest away. They get five points for getting it in the smallest bowl, 4 for the next one, etc. Have them stand at the line, and give them 3 bean bags to try to toss in the bowls. (You can keep score for several rounds, or if the kids are younger, don’t even keep score – just have fun!)
6 . I’m Thinking of a Person.
Give your child 20 pennies, and they put a penny in the cup for each question they ask. They try to figure out who the person is by the questions: is the person still alive? male or female? etc. The goal is to guess the person with 20 or less questions.
7. Tic-tac-toe or Hangman on a dry erase board or chalk board.
Stand up empty 2 liter pop bottles (or 20 oz), mark a line to stand behind, and “bowl” a kid size ball at them.
9. Musical freeze march.
Play music (or for us, I’d play the piano) while the kids march around a certain path over and over. (Around the island to office, to living room, to hall, back to around island – this was a big circle they could go round and round) When the music stops, everyone has to freeze. Whoever is in the designated “out” spot, is then eliminated from the game. Play till only one child is left. Start again with a different spot being OUT.
10. Match the lids.
Get several different size plastic bowls & lids from the kitchen. Put them all in a bag, and have the kids take turns seeing who can get the lids & bowls matched up & put on the fastest. (we used empty prescription bottles, empty cottage cheese or sour cream containers, different sizes of storage containers)