We all know the importance of children being active to be healthy, but you’re probably here because your child has the active part down and you just don’t know what to do with all of that energy! Here are a few tips to help you with taming some of that energy while having fun in the process
1. It’s all about variety
- Have a variety of different materials for children to interact with
- Include more open-ended materials (art and sensory supplies, dress up costumes, blocks) than close-ended materials (video or board games that have a specific set of rules)
- Try a variety of types of activities
- Games that work on their fine motor skills or big movement activities that develop their large motor skills, games that they can be loud or games that they have to be quiet
- Crafts where they create something
- Food activities where they cook something
- Encourage children to try their games and activities both inside and outside- switching it up can turn a game that they’ve gotten tired of into a brand new one
- Take a game that they are familiar with and give it a new set of rules
- For example: Instead of playing catch, mix it up to where they have to clap before they catch the ball or they have to catch it behind their back
2. It’s all about balance
- Try to have a good balance between activities that children do on their own with ones that you do with them
- Set up materials so that they can play by themselves or with their siblings- often when children play on their own, they create and come up with more play scenarios than when playing with an adult
3. It’s all about them
- What are your child’s interests? Most of the time, if you link an activity to something that your child is over the moon about, they will do that activity for much longer than you think.
- For example: if your child loves ninjas you could turn a game of Simon Says into “Ninja Says” where they have to do different ninja poses
- For older children, if your child says that they are bored a lot, have them try different things on their own to solve their boredom. Some parents like to use the BORED acronym:
B- Been creative?
R-Read a book?
E-Exercised 20 minutes?
D-Done something helpful?
4. It’s all about being prepared
- Plan ahead and have a few games and activities prepared
- If you anticipate your child asking to do an activity that absolutely isn’t possible at that moment, have an explanation ready and have another activity prepared
- When doing an activity or game with a lot of set up involved, have a smaller activity for the child to do while they wait, or include the child in set up so that there isn’t a lot of down time for them. Also, include them in the clean-up, which can be an activity in itself!
Helpful websites with a wealth of games and activities
- Pinterest page for the CDL Infant Room. This link will take you directly to the board with different sites on activities with children of all ages.
- Has a large amount of activities to do with your children, both indoors and outdoors. Includes a section where you can choose the age of your child to find specific activities for them.
- Choose your child’s age to see different activities, crafts, and learning games
- Includes activities for parents who aren’t so crafty
- Indoor activities for toddlers
- 18 indoor games for younger and older children
- Ideas and games for indoors and outdoors