Stay-At-Home Activities with Kids, Part 1

I hope these ideas will inspire you to try some new ways to be with your kids and add some fun to all the time we are spending at home these days. Let us know what you like the best (comment section at the end of the blog).
Quality time happens when we least expect it, often around the smallest and least expensive events.  You can’t schedule it. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Instead, it takes a lot of small moments. Be prepared for a “magical” moment when doing any of the things in our lists. As long as you are fully tuned into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection.  You could learn something really important about him.  She could show you how important you are to her.  Your hearts will connect.

Stay-at-Home Activities, Part 1 

  1. Let’s go backwards. Do something backwards today. Wear pajama’s until lunchtime. Eat lunch foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for lunch. Walk backwards for a certain amount of time. Wear your clothes inside out.
  2. Let’s play the Pizza Game. 31 Sidebar 2You can find directions for Mr. Steig’s Pizza Game at Summer Fun. You can get a more elaborate idea of the game from the book, PETE’S A PIZZA by William Steig. Get ready for lots of giggles and fun. And, decide ahead of time how many games you’re willing to play, because this one is a game you’ll be asked to do over and over.
  3. Let’s write a story.  One person starts the story by writing a sentence or two on a page. Each person afterwards takes a turn to add another sentence or two one by one. If both younger and older children are doing the activity, let the younger child dictate her idea about what happens next and have an adult or older child write it for her.
  4. Let’s play “What If.” Play “What If” about any situation – going back to school, having super powers,  breaking a toy. You can play it anywhere.  It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask your child a “What If” question like, “What if schools opened up next week? Let your child imagine himself in that situation. By listening to his answers you can learn how he feels about the situation, what he likes or doesn’t like about it, what to expect of him in the situation, and what preparation he may need to be comfortable or successful in the situation. You may need more questions to get him thinking – “What would that be like for you?” “What do you think you would like the most?” “Do you think that is a good idea?”
  5. Let’s read nursery rhymes. 32.2 Sidebar 1Read your child some nursery rhymes – even if he seems to have “outgrown” them. You can find them in library books or on Internet sites. For younger children, have them do an art project about one they like. They can draw, paint, make a sculpture, or make up a song or dance. For older children, ask them what they think the nursery rhyme meant when it was written, or what they think it could mean if someone wrote it today. For example, what could the water stand for that Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch? Who could the three men in the tub be and what were they doing there?
  6. Let’s have an un-birthday party. 52 Sidebar 2Have an un-birthday party for yourself, your child, other family member, a pet. Let your child help prepare the party. You can include ideas from THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll where the “unbirthday” party idea started. You can sing “The Unbirthday Song” from the ALICE IN WONDERLAND movie.
  7. Let’s play ball. Teach your child to play ball against a wall. For younger children, use a nerf ball. For older children, if the weather permits, use a hand-sized rubber ball against the house or garage door outside. If you’re rained in, try bouncing against a basement wall. Count how many times your child catches the ball. Catching in a row is the most difficult, but you can make it easier by counting catches over a certain period of time. Make the time pretty short for younger children or those new to the game. For older children, spell words with a letter for each catch. With more than one player see who can spell a whole word without missing a catch. Make it harder by letting one person be the thrower and the other person be the catcher (and speller). This would be a lot like playing H-O-R-S-E in basketball.
  8. Let’s play “Feeling Faces.”

    47 sidebar 2

    Play a feeling faces game. You can find examples on the Internet. (Search for “feelings faces games.”) You can purchase a game you discover, use one available online, or get ideas about how to make a homemade version.
  9. Let’s do music. 52 Sidebar 1Sing, play music, or dance together. Plan a “show” that you can perform for your family. You can even do it for neighbors because you can perform outside and have seats placed far apart for social distancing. When you are willing to show your talents, you teach your child it is OK to be talented and to enjoy your talents.
  10. Let’s play with a pet. 36 Sidebar 1Take your child and a pet out to play. If you don’t have a pet, borrow a neighbor’s pet. Where to take the pet will depend on the type of animal. For many it might be a park. For others it could be your yard or just letting them out of their cages in the house for some free playtime. Be sure to select a place that will be safe for the type of animal. Be sure birds are protected from other animals and prevented from flying away. Remember, some pets can’t be “taken out to lay” at all because moving them is dangerous to them. – like fish, for example.
  11. Let’s make a calendar. Make a calendar with the birthdays of relatives and friends that are important to your child. Use the calendar to send cards. You can have your child make a card on the birthdays as they come up. Or, if the child is old enough, you could teach him how to send e-cards or notes.
  12. Let’s play an alphabet game. 52 Sidebar 3Play an alphabet word game. Start with the first letter of your name and name a place or thing that starts with that letter. The next person takes the next letter in the alphabet and does the same thing. Take turns back and forth until you have done the whole alphabet. You can name a category first, if you like. For example, each word has to be an animal, fruit, street name, food, etc.
  13. Let’s bake. Bake a cake or cookies. Let your child help decide what flavor, color of icing, and decorations to use. Take pictures and share on the internet or FaceTime.

Look for Stay-At-Home Activities with Kids, Part 3 on June 22, 2020.

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