KIDS

The best, most fun thing you can do for your child, the thing he wants most in this world is time with YOU his Mom, or Dad.  When one of my three children starts getting an ornery attitude, my husband look at each other and say "Time for some one on one with that kiddo."  (Ok. really, that is our goal response.  If we hit it at least 50 percent of the time we give ourselves a high five.  The other 50 percent we are just as aggravated as always with the demands, defiance and down right ugly demeanor.  But we are trying, just like every other parent out there to find that happy balance.

So now, onto a bit of a list of things to do.  Some are for you and your child, others are for your child to do on their own.  I plan to add to and edit this list periodically, so keep coming back :)

Games My Kids always loved! (still do) Followed By links for fun kid stuff
Parent and Toddler:

Hide and Seek---for fun!  The three year old loves to hide in the same spot every time, and wants me to hide there too.  But I play along, happily calling out several other locations as I walk around the house, without taking too long, because the 3 year old isn't patient.  And she is thrilled!  "Mommy Played with Me!"
  • We have a circular floor plan with stairs in the middle.  Our kids love to use it as a track.  When they were in pre-k we would play "Gingerbread Man"  todd-ler=gingerbread man.  And I would walk or run (sometimes these kids are fast!)  to catch the gingerbread man and gobble him up with tickles and kisses.
  • Snow fun for toddlers:  When the little ones are not yet ready for deep snow and blistering cold, I would bring in a shovel full of clean snow and place it in a baking pan and give the kids an icecube tray with food coloring different colors all over the tray and eyedroppers (or old medicine droppers thouroughly cleaned. They love to see the colors blend in the snow and the eyedropper means you will probably not have to refill the tray more than once, if that.
  • Whole family played "Don't wake the Dragon" tonight.  Fun.  One person is the dragon, the others watch quietly as one brave soul tries to sneak over to the dragon and take the key to the dungeon (we used a lego block)  The idea is to  move stealthily, with finesse so the dragon doesn't hear your approach.  (Got this idea from a Yoga Deck)  this got a little silly at times, and we provided chances for the littlest kiddo to win. . even though she is not that stealthy :)
Preschool and K

  • Run and Roll, Kids can run, then do a special roll or tricky jump onto a huge pillow, or pile of pillows on the floor.  The grownup lays on the couch watching and giving pretend scores.  The idea is not a competition between the siblings who range in age (3,7,and 9) at my house but to make them all feel like acrobatic superstars!!  We also play "Who can flip or roll with the quietest landing?" 
  • Go Fish!!  We have a deck of "Fishy" cards that have sets of different kinds of fish to play this old standby, but you could make your own fishy cards, or veggie cards, or food cards. . .How about we call it "Go grocery shopping"---when I play with my 3 yr old we play cards up on the table- not in hand, because she can't really hold them all yet, and this is about fun time with her and a chance for her to practice matching, and looking for matches.
  • Painting!!   Great form of self expression!! Too messy??  Use dad's old shirt for a smock, keep it with the paint supplies for next time.  Take an easel and paper outside.  No easel?  Get a large cardboard box (stores are getting rid of cardboard all the time) to tape sheets of paper to.  Or. . .just paint the box!  Our local convenience store places boxes out front once a week- I know grocery stores that do this as well.  (Try to avoid doing the painting for your child--they so quickly get the message "Grownup art is better"  even when we don't intend that!

SCHOOL AGE

  • We keep a supply of "stuff"  for inventors.  Inventor supply list:  boxes, anything recycled that looks like a wheel, masking tape, duct tape, string/yarn, glue, (not too) hot glue guns, wooden sticks, buttons, doo dads, and on and on and on, use your imagination when collecting and your kids will use theirs too.
  • knitting/crocheting-  Don't know how to knit or crochet?  We found a Children's book about knitting and crocheting at a tag sale, my son is a reader and taught himself a lot that way, but sometimes you need the real thing.  There are often knitting groups that meet at yarn stores, libraries, senior centers and more.  Lot's of children, boys and girls, find this activity calming.
  • Get outside and play with your kids.  It is nice when they are old enough to go out in the yard on their own, but they still love grownup attention.  Go out and throw a ball, take a bike ride, go walking and exploring. 
Links for Kid stuff: