Have you ever drawn a blank when planning the activities for the day? It can happen to anyone; sometimes you just run out of ideas!
Rest assured, we’ve pulled up a “Top 10” list of possible activities that can easily be done with children, that also have some additional benefits that mom and dad are sure to love. Here they are, in no particular order:
· Museums: Whether it’s traditional art or modern art, museums are filled with exciting sights for any child, in addition to being very educational. Many museums offer a day of free admission, so be sure to look out for that check out your local magazines and newspapers for coupons and promotions.
· Creative/Imaginary play: is believed by many researchers and theorists that games involving child-friendly imaginative play (make believe story-telling, dress-up, cashier/supermarket, etc.) is vital to a child’s social and cognitive development.
· Board/card Games: Age appropriate games (such as go fish, memory, Tic Tac Toe, Candyland, and Guess Who to name a few) are an excellent way to work on a child’s cognitive and fine motor skills…not to mention help pass the time away!
· Library or Bookstore: A great and inexpensive way to entertain children is to bring them to the Library and read aloud to them! Many experts believe that reading aloud to children starting at a young age has a multitude of benefits such as improved literacy, language development, enhanced vocabulary, brain development, and much more.
· The Great Outdoors!: Nature walks to collect rocks, leaves, or twigs to make mom/dad a special gift, hunting for seashells and sandcrabs or building sandcastles at the beach…bike/wagon rides will all provide your charge with a daily dose of fresh air and Vitamin D! Just don’t forget to use sunscreen.
· Local Attractions & Events: Keep an eye out for any local events or attractions that would make a suitable outing with the children (carnivals, children’s concerts and plays, local circus, etc.). Be sure to keep an eye out on local magazines, newspapers, and websites such as laweekly, jenslist, ocfamily to keep updated on current events.
· Cooking: There are tons of tasty, HEALTHY and simple recipes that can be done with children. Always be sure to supervise them in the kitchen and be aware of any food allergies that may exist. One excellent snack idea we found from one of our new favorite sites Super Healthy Kids: Apple wedges – great for a snack or dessert!
· Arts and Crafts: Painting, sculpture making, rock painting, homemade play doh or slime—the ideas here are endless. If you feel stumped, Craft stores such as Michaels are filled with great ideas, so something will certainly jump out at you.
· Sports: Sports are a great way for introducing a healthy, active lifestyle to children, but be sure to watch their safety. not to mention are an excellent way to burn off a ton of energy (and it’s most likely his/her/their parents will thank you for this!)
· Farmers’ Markets: a fantastic opportunity for children to feel more connected, and interested in the food they’re eating. A lot of the vendors are very passionate about what they do, and are more than happy to answer any questions. You might get some free samples too but make sure you are completely aware of any food allergies your charge may have before sampling.
Of course, this is just a short list, but hopefully offers some inspiration. Nannies, what are your favorite activities please feel free to share other ideas you’ve come up with!
Helpful Resources for More Ideas: