As a parent, you want to make the most of time with your kids. You don’t need elaborate activities to keep them engaged and happy. Simple, fun things you can do from home provide quality time together. Best of all, basic activities allow your child’s creativity and interests to shine. Here are some simple ways to pass time that kids love.
One of the best activities you can do with your child is read together. Keep favorite books around the house and make reading part of your daily routine. Cuddle up and enjoy story time before bed or after school. Let your child pick out books at the library on topics they love. Stop and ask questions as you read to boost comprehension. Reading fosters imagination, expands vocabulary, and builds listening skills. It also provides a chance for one-on-one bonding. Make reading an enjoyable habit.
Play Card Games
A deck of cards opens up endless possibilities for easy entertainment. Play classic kid games like Go Fish, Crazy Eights, or War. Invent your own rules to keeps things interesting. Have them practice identifying numbers, colors, or suits. Build a house of cards together. Use jumbo cards for little hands. The conversations that happen over a game of cards are priceless. This simple activity builds math skills, strategy, and sportsmanship.
Puzzles are an engaging way to pass time while honing fine motor and problem-solving abilities. Choose age-appropriate puzzles with big pieces and your child’s favorite characters or animals. Work on them together on a large surface like the floor or table. Sort by color or shape. Praise progress putting pieces in place. Take a break and come back to it. Display completed puzzles proudly before taking them apart to do again. Doing puzzles together teaches patience and persistence through a fun challenge.
Cook or Bake Together
Cooking and baking double as learning opportunities. Give your child simple recipes and tasks like measuring, pouring, mixing, assembling, and decorating. Let them sprinkle on toppings and cut shapes with cookie cutters. Demonstrate how to safely use appliances. Have them help clean up too. Making yummy treats they get to eat builds confidence. Thank them for being your little helper in the kitchen. Cooking together teaches reading, math, science, and responsibility.
Arts and crafts provide an outlet for kids to express themselves. Cover the table with paper and let them finger paint with pudding or shaving cream. Use washable markers and thick paper to draw their dream house or favorite animal. String colorful beads or macaroni to make necklaces. Decorate frames and piggy banks with glitter, sequins, and stickers. Play with clay or antibacterial play dough to create 3D sculptures. Display your child’s masterpieces proudly. Crafting builds creativity, fine motor skills, and self-esteem.
Have a Ball
Playing with balls helps refine coordination and gross motor skills. Toss or kick a ball back and forth. See how many times you can pass a ball without dropping it. Stack plastic cups and take turns using a soft ball to knock them down. Blow up balloons and bat them around. Set up empty containers to aim at. Invent ball games and keep score. Outdoor options include basketball, soccer, catch, and bowling. Staying active provides healthy physical activity and laughter.
Build Indoor Forts
On a rainy day, use furniture, pillows, cushions, and blankets to construct an indoor fort. Drape blankets overhead to make a roof and use heavy items to hold down the edges. Fill it with stuffed animals, books, flashlights or other special toys. This cozy spot becomes a place for play and imagination. Make it a secret clubhouse or magic castle. Bring snacks into the fort for added fun. Building a fort together encourages creativity, communication, and engineering skills.
Do Science Experiments
Young scientists will be enthralled by doing simple science experiments at home using common household items. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a bottle to create an erupting volcano. Float an egg in water with salt. Mix colors using paints or food coloring. Look at flowers under a magnifying glass. Crystals can form on a string dipped in a borax solution. These hands-on experiments get kids curious about science and how the world works.
Have a family jam session with pots, pans, spoons, empty boxes, and PVC pipes for improvised drums. Shake maracas or jingle bells to the beat. Let your child select songs and take the lead to invent dances. Hold a karaoke contest using a hairbrush microphone. Make your own instruments with elastics and cereal boxes or coffee cans. Making music together allows kids to be loud, work on rhythm and patterning, and get energy out.
Play classic movement games like Follow the Leader, Dance Freeze, or Hokey Pokey. Invent obstacle courses in the living room using cushions, chairs, and tunnels made from sheets and furniture. Play “I Spy” calling out something to find in a room. Do yoga or stretches together. Shadow each other copying movements and making silly faces. Moving your bodies gets wiggles out, builds listening skills, and makes everyone giggle.
Simple, open-ended activities allow your child’s interests and creativity to shine. Have supplies on hand to do crafts, science, cooking, reading, and pretend play. Engage with your child instead of just supervising play. Ask them questions and follow their lead in playing, singing, dancing, building, storytelling and more. Simple play is the best way to pass meaningful time with your kids.