Parenting requires undying ingenuity. The last thing you want is your kiddos complaining about how boring your suggestions are, distracting you with their messy or dangerous pursuits instead. Hopefully with the following recommendations, you will find a few new strategies for having genuine fun with your children in many different settings.
Channeling yours and your kids’ creative energy into something that will last a long time is one of the best ways to keep everyone busy. If you have the space in your backyard, consider designing and building your very own tree house. You can draw up blueprints together, designate rooms in the structure for various purposes, and choose amenities like swings, slides, monkey bars, fire poles, and so on. Then you can go on a scavenger hunt for recycled materials and get the rest of what you need at the store. This activity will challenge you and your little ones to think intently, and will provide a permanent fixture for future adventures to play out.
For those without the resources for a tree house construction project, a classic indoor winner throughout the ages is that of fort assembly. You’ll need chairs, pillows, blankets, string lights, snacks, and any other elements you deem appropriate. Permitting your kids to set up a fort in their bedroom or a spare room can make them feel like royalty with unique privacy privileges. Once there, they can tell scary stories, read books together, watch movies, and take long naps. The possibilities are endless, so get crafty!
Keeping your kids engaged with what they’re learning in school is a concern for most parents; it can also be unnecessarily challenging. So how do you supplement their education with activities that they won’t groan at?
Start by urging your blossoming students to select what topic they’re most interested in at the moment. If it’s reading and spelling, perhaps you could stage a miniature spelling bee or writing workshop with simple prompts. If it’s math and science, see if you can find problems around your house that need solving, and allow them to use their existing skills and knowledge to tasks like recovering a sad houseplant or repairing the porch steps. If they’re keen on practicing a new instrument, encourage them to memorize a few songs and pretend to be your pre-dinner entertainment. Making space for kids to apply what they already know in their immediate surroundings can spark a fire of curiosity and commitment in them.
Traveling with your kids can open up a world of exhilaration and novelty, despite all the exhaustion that comes with it. Let’s say your children are tired of the long and laborious road trips to see extended family, or the flights to Disney World for three jam-packed days. You’ve already been camping, rafting, surfing, and rock climbing. Where on earth could you take them next that they will be enthusiastic about?
Perhaps it’s time for something a little more laid back. What about an all-inclusive float trip with buffet dining and stunning sunsets? Check out these cruises for kids to see if any spike your interest. To keep them happy while you’re away from home, try putting on a fashion show in your family’s room, where everyone swaps clothing with each other for a comedic effect. To encourage an early bedtime, set them up with their own little movie screening including popcorn and candy.
Getting outside is almost always an effective way to show your kids a good time and guarantee that they will sleep soundly at night, too. But maybe they’re worn out by the usual biking, roller blading, ball catching, and playground tumbling. Thankfully, bringing innovation into nature with you is fairly easy to do.
In the summertime, try setting up a sprinkler system in your yard. Kids of all ages can entertain themselves for hours with enough water to go around. When going for a walk, ask them to find five things of different sizes that all start with the same letter. For older ones, consider purchasing binoculars, magnifying glasses and field guides for identifying local birds and insects, then take them out to the woods or some other remote ecosystem with new creatures to observe. You can also collect leaves and flowers and bring them home to make paper versions, attaching their scientific names and hanging them around the house. Helping your kids become acquainted with their environments in this way can be truly exciting and rewarding!
Whatever you do, don’t despair. We all experience boredom at times, and it just takes the right amount of inspiration to get us moving again. When in doubt, let your kids offer their own ideas for what sounds fun to them, and find ways to compromise if necessary. Showing your children that you care about their happiness by trying new things with them is sure to build trust and create lasting memories.