Patty Craig: A Slice of Time
Warm weather months provide a great opportunity for children to play. Unfortunately, many summer activities are not available this year. Ten easy ways to entertain children are listed below.
-Active Outdoor Games – Active outdoor games might not be too popular in late July, but kids don’t usually mind the heat – especially in the evening. The traditional games, like dodge ball, kick ball, 4 square and flashlight tag, allow children to be active and have fun. These games might be timed games, minimizing exposure to bug bites, heat and exhaustion.
-Beat the Clock – Set a timer. Pick up as much as possible before the buzz, or see how fast kids can finish a project. Work with the child or children as partners or a team, even if you’re in different rooms.
-Board and Card Games – Board and card games continue to be entertaining. Children and teens may not know how to play, but learn easily. One day recently, my granddaughters learned to play Chinese checkers. The next day, they were ready for a rematch, wanting to beat my daughter who had taught them (When my daughter was young, her grandmother taught her to play.). Name Five is also an engaging game; it’s a timed question-and-answer game. Some popular kids’ card games include: spoons (three players or more), Go Fish (preschoolers and younger kids), and Crazy Eights. Uno is also an entertaining card game, and Bible trivia games are fun, too.
-Chore Choice with Some Fun – Write small tasks or chores (kid-level chores) on sticks or paper (index cards work well). Have kids close their eyes and pick one. A few games or fun things might be included, too. Mixing fun with work helps to reduce the dread of chores.
-Coloring, Painting or Chalk Drawing – Coloring or painting a page is relaxing for all ages. Many online sites provide free printable coloring or painting pages. Coloring or painting can provide children with time to unwind. Chalk drawing on the driveway or sidewalk is also fun, but may be less restful. However, painting a rock is an activity that wouldn’t take too long and would be fun.
-Make Some Slime – Slime seems to delight small children. Many recipes are available on the Internet, but I found one that sounded easy at https://www.iheartnaptime.net/homemade-slime/. I believe small children would enjoy watching someone make the slime, but I don’t recommend they take the lead.
-Outdoor Scavenger Hunt – This can provide fun for one child or multiple children. The problem-solving and end-game prize(s) are motivational. Difficulty and clues depend on the age of the participants.
-Puzzles – My mom likes to have a large puzzle that’s in progress set up to entertain children (ages 10 and up). Landscapes are fun to work on as well as vividly-colored pictures. Young children also like age-appropriate puzzles. Puzzles can provide a brief break of quiet time.
-Water Fun – Most children enjoy playing in water. Since public pools and water parks are pretty much closed, some home water activities might include water sprinklers and slip-and-slide water slides. For older children, water balloons may also be entertaining. Although these activities require a small monetary investment and uninterrupted adult supervision, this is certainly the season for outdoor water fun.
-Would You Rather – These questions come as a game or can be obtained free online. The questions online are for children, teens, and adults. For example, one question for children was: Would you rather live in a place with a lot of trees or live in a place near the ocean? Such questions allow children to think about their preferences and strengths.
Maria Montessori said, “Play is the work of the child,” (https://thekindergartenconnection.com/inspiring-quotes-about-play/). Entertaining children requires a bit of planning. And that planning is the work of the supervising adult. Let’s help children enjoy their play time.