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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creative Ways to Have Fun with Our Kids

The following is a guest post by Kelsey Clark from Thank-you Kelsey for your time in putting together this great article with advice and these 10 tips to have fun with your child.

There are so many ways to have fun with your kids or grandkids that don’t cost a lot of money. When we spend time with our children we can build memories for a lifetime. My children are a little older now but I’ve been thinking about some of the things we did when they were younger and still do now. With the computers, video games, and cell phones we have now it’s hard to just step away from technology and play. I know with my children that the most memorable times they have in their lives are not the video games they have played but the time spent as a family. I love finding out new ways to spend time with my children. One of the greatest joys I have comes when I hear them reminiscing about “the time when”. I’m going to list a few things my children love to remember:

1. Blanket Forts – My children loved making blanket forts in the house or outside if the weather was nice. Using two chairs or even couches to throw the blanket over, getting inside, watching a movie and having snacks. I always put an old blanket down on the floor first so that we didn’t have to worry about spills. There’s just something about being in a tent that is so exciting for children. I’ve even let them put the pup tent we have up in the family room and have sleepovers! They absolutely love it.

2. Puppet Shows – This one can combine arts and crafts before the puppet show if you don’t have any puppets around the house. I always had small brown paper sacks on hand purchased at the dollar stores in bundles. Get out the crayons or markers and let them draw faces on the bags and you have your puppets! We usually just got behind the couch orturned a table on its side for them to get behind. Sometimes we had a large box and cut a hole out for the show and a door in back to enter. (Like a refrigerator box or washer/dryer box.) They felt like they were real puppeteers!

3. Elmer’s Glue on Wax Paper – We had a sliding glass door that needed decorating (because you know I kept it so clean that people would walk right into it….not!). If you make a picture on wax paper with Elmer’s glue and peel it off you can stick it to your windows. You can add food coloring to the glue to make colors and use craft sticks to “paint” it on. Sometimes they didn’t turn out so well but the kids had a great time trying.

4. Balloon Pong – Blow up balloons and use badminton racquets, tennis racquets, or ping pong paddles to hit the balloons back and forth. If you don’t have any racquets then you can use the paint stirring sticks and glue paper plates to the ends. This can really help your kids (and you) to expend some energy.

5. Bike Rides to the Park with Snacks – Ride as a family to your local park and take along a backpack with snacks and drink boxes for everyone. When you are there play on the playground equipment with your children. It’s surprising how even the older children love it when mom and dad swing, slide, or play on the monkey bars with them.

6. Go on a Hike, Explore a Creek – Many times we have taken our kids somewhere to walk through the woods and check out the wildlife and creatures. We live in a large city but there are many habitats and manmade trails with lovely ponds or creeks. No matter where you live you should be able to find a place to hike, even it it’s just a jogging trail somewhere. There are always bugs, leaves, rocks, and interesting walking sticks to find along the way. My kids loved taking along small nets and would try to catch minnows or tadpoles in the ponds. Often we would take along a jar with holes punched in the top to take the critters home with us.

7. Fishing – We don’t live far from the ocean and there are several lakes within an hour of our home. There are also local parks with small ponds and some catfish farms not too far away. Even if you live in a city there are almost always small ponds at the parks that they will allow you to drop a line down. If you don’t have minnows or worms there is always whole kernel corn or pinched off a pieces of bread rolled into a balls. The small fish love that. If you don’t want to fish or don’t have poles then just take bread and feed the fish. It’s great just to be outdoors and having an adventure.

8. Cooking – In my experience all children love to cook. Whether you are baking cookies or making a full meal you can find something for your kids to help with. You can find aprons at the dollar store, and if you can find plain ones then you can also have fun decorating your aprons together with fabric paint. My children especially loved it when it was their birthday. We had a book just for homemade birthday cakes and cupcakes. Every year I would let them pick out the one they wanted. It had the cutest cakes. The monster decorated cake was my son’s favorite, he asked for it every year, never would change. My daughter asked for a different one each year but had a favorite pony carrousel one she asked for more than once. They would watch as I made them and help with whatever they could. They were so proud when their friends saw their cakes.

Another time I recall when I was taking care of my kids and my six nieces and nephews. It was a holiday and I was trying to make the holiday meal while the rest of the family was out shopping. I wanted to keep track of all the kiddos so I put them to work. I put an older child with a younger and gave them a job. A lot of the appetizers were eaten ahead of time and it was a little messier than usual but they still talk about it to this day. The time they helped make the holiday meal and it was delicious! (Their parents knew better than to make any comments about the meal when they got home!)

9. Hide and Seek – I don’t believe I’ve ever met a child that didn’t love hide and seek. It’s just as much fun inside as it is outside especially when children are small. My children would ask me almost nightly before bed time to play hide and seek with them. My husband or I would help them hide while the other one would find them. Then we would turn it around and we would hide. They put a stop to mom hiding after a few times though. I would jump out and scare them when they would find me. Bad mom! I reformed.

10. Charades – We didn’t go by any set rules in our games. We would come up with a genre like movies, television shows, kinds of animals, books we loved, or whatever. After we settled on the genre we would take turns and act it out until someone guessed. We had so much fun, laughed so hard, and never got tired of this game. We allowed props too. I guess sometimes it was charades and other times it was a full fledged play with costumes and props, but it was always fun.

These make for some really good memories for my children and for us as parents. These are just a few of the things that we do with our children. There are so many things you can do that don’t cost any money and make your children happier than if they got a new video game. I have a nephew that was visiting me recently that loved to play in the rain. I just sat on the porch and watched him run around in the rain and had a hot bath and towel ready for him when it stopped. You’d have thought I’d given him the world. It really doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to make children happy.

Many times all our kids want is our undivided attention and our child like excitement for simple things. These are the things that bring us closer and hold us in their hearts. These are the bonding moments that keep us close. So go out and have some fun with your kids!


Kelsey is the editor in chief for She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

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