What does a full, rested, clean and relaxed child want to do? Play, obviously! An attentive and caring parent knows that games are important, and that in order to guarantee a correct psychomotor development of a child, accurately choosing activities is fundamental, but let’s face it, sometimes you need something lighthearted, to play for the sake of playing. A simple and seemingly trivial game isn’t necessarily not educational, games for children are inherently fundamental and educational.
Here is a series of activities that you can carry out with your little ones while anxiously waiting for daddy (or mommy) to come home, to cut yourself some slack.
1. Let’s knock down the tower
Make towers with building blocks, logical blocks or simply plastic cups but don’t expect them to be high, before you get to making a row of three, your kid will have knocked it down already! When the tower is knocked down, don’t forget to associate the “fall” with a word or onomatopoeic sound (e.g. Boom! Drop! Upsy-daisy!), it’s even more amusing and at the same time you’ll stimulate their speech.
2. Passionate about pouring
Grab two small cups, a spoon and something to pour, you can use solid or liquid substances depending upon your child’s age. Fill in only one of the cups with the desired substance, pasta for example, and tell your child to fill in the spoon and pour the contents into the adjacent cup. Maria Montessori wrote pages and pages on this “travasi” (pouring) technique, which apparently has an extremely powerful effect on the intellectual development of a child.
3. Pull the handkerchief
Let’s sit on a carpet with our child, taking a fabric handkerchief, hand out one end to the child and pull the other end towards us…at first the little one will be thrown off but once he understands the game’s mechanism, he’ll start to pull back. At this point, we’ll pretend to fall and cheerfully tell him: “you’re so strong!”. You have no idea how much fun kids have with this game: seeing is believing!
4. Riddle me this, riddle me that
Here or there, guess where! This is the song that my 3 year old daughter sings every time she plays this game with her one year old sister. It’s a game as old as the hills and it’s always effective, our grandmothers played it with us, we all know it. Place a ball – or any object of the same size; I usually bundle up my little girl’s sock – in one hand and ask “where is it?”. If your child guesses, don’t forget to give him a round of applause! This game trains visual attention…and it’s another excuse for making noise! ☺
5. Sock puppets
Come up with stories and simply chit chat with your child with his socks on your hands, he’ll have a ball!
6. Let’s write it on sugar
Grab a plastic tray or a rectangular and shallow food container and fill it in with sugar, then give your child a stick with which he will have fun with by drawing, as if on sand.
7. My ball is getting away
This may seem like an ordinary game but believe me, it’s a lot of fun! Let’s assume that children love to drop things, I guess you know this, so here’s what you must do: grab a ball, throw it into the air and pretend you can’t catch it by making it bounce around and yell “oh, I lost it!” or whatever other phrase will do, they’ll go crazy!
8. Do-it-yourself musician!
Some plastic bottles filled with chickpeas or small pasta can be used as perfect shakers, cans or food containers are drums, a food strainer and a wooden spoon are the perfect combo for simulating a guiro. You can come up with different sounds to invent a musical tune or simply make a lot of racket. Kids go nuts for noise….I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!
9. Animal documentaries
I haven’t lost my mind, it makes sense. Watching video clips of animals while commenting on them can be lots of fun and will surely help stimulate your children’s vocabulary. Don’t expect your kids to learn about a bee’s life cycle and all of the secrets of their honey production, but rest assured that your kids will be mesmerized in front of the computer or TV, watching animals while listening to your voice.
10. Animal sounds
At the same time as the previous activity or even individually, you can have fun by making funny faces, pretending to be a mouse, a cow or a horse. Children love to hear funny sounds, at whatever age; this is why Disney created Donald Duck.
Every time you play with you children, you create a special bond with them, play time is a moment of joy and sharing, a series of useful information for their growth will be imprinted in their memories, as well as pleasant feelings, because you are an example and guide to your children, as well as being the center of their universe. Try It out, they’ll thank you for it. 🙂
Discover Smart Tales
If your child is above 2 years old, technology can also be your ally. Choose apps for kids carefully and limit the time they spend in front of a screen. In Smart Tales, kids can find entertaining stories with funny farm animals and simple games to take their first steps in discovering shapes and colours.