Games – ready, steady, go!
There is no need to rack your brain as to which game is most suitable for your kids. Think about what you played back when you were little, ask your siblings or parents or in your kids’ kindergarten or school what the game of the week is, or indeed why not consult your child directly! Remember, children may need some adjustment time if trying out new games so make sure that you have sufficient time and the right peace of mind.
In the Rabbit’s experience the most successful approach is ‘back to basics’. So what are those magical games? All of them can be played indoors and outdoors, do not take too long, and can be played across all generations and are adaptable. I hope the following list will take you down memory lane!
Musical chairs – if chairs are not an option, get the players to lift theirs arms and one leg when the music stops (it is a hilarious sight)! You need the music ideally operated by a slightly older person to make sure it is played long enough to get the moves going! You can also adapt it to Statues – will you manage to tag the curator without being noticed?
Marbles – vastly underestimated these days but so useful in many ways for motor skill practice, distance estimation, counting, and so on. Either play it like boules, or cut three differently sized holes into a box (e.g. shoe box), allocate numbers to the holes and test everyone’s ‘putting’ skills.
Ballgames – if you have a soft ball you can play indoors after removing breakable things. Alternatively, just use a piece of paper to form into a ball and throw it in a basket or any container at hand. Introduce a challenge by writing a number on each paper to count your points! Ask your kid to write a score card! If too easy, extend the throwing distance. In case you have a soft ball at home, play throw and catch; this might not sound exciting but it surely is and you can always raise the stakes by standing on one leg and trying to catch the ball now!
Balloons – let’s enter the fantastic world of balloons. You just need one, do not blow it up to its max, otherwise it will not last all too long. Depending on the number of kids you can make them race through your apartment or garden with the balloon stuck between their tummies, or get them to catch the balloon and whenever it touches the ground they have to do a physical exercise, like push ups, cartwheels, whatever they like to show off.
Hide and seek – no matter what age, it is too much fun to miss and then there is the thrill of the anticipation of being found! If you have ample spaces to hide you can extend the game to sardines (just make sure you do not giggle too loudly, you may be found out).
You laugh – you are out! Place yourself opposite your kid and let it pull faces. Time how long you can sit there without laughing; if you do you are out, take turns. Particularly on a busy day it is a nice way to relax and share a giggle with your family; and it is good for your kids to see you laugh and be silly! Really!
Treasure hunt – needs preparation, do not go overboard, use all rooms and use topics of current interest.
Puppet theatre – kids like role playing and making up stories. Either in the classical setting of a puppet theatre (a cloth cleverly hung up in a door frame will do) or just on the coffee table. It gives you a good insight into the topics your kids are currently processing and you even may be surprised by the ending!
Dressing up – dressing up is always popular, and kids do not need special costumes; let them explore their wardrobes (depending on their age, do tell them to tidy up afterwards). Why not share some of your things, but only items which cannot be easily messed up, let them be you for a day!
Dancing – a must, and if you do not have the odd disco light then just dim the lights, allowing for sufficient visibility and enough space for moving so there are no accidents. Let’s start the music!
The following list is a crossover of interactive games and imaginative arts and crafts:
Mix max painting – one does not need to be a painting pro, it is just fun and the result will be hilarious. And there will be most likely a ‘can we do another one please’.
Battleships – really the only thing you need is a piece of squared paper or you make the squares yourself.
Scattergories – it will give you great insights into what your kids know and spurs great conversations! You can vary the categories by age group – food and cartoon characters are a given, sights of your town, continents, countries, rivers and so on can be playfully introduced.
Jigsaw puzzles – what a great way to relax and get lost in the colours and shapes! If you like to listen to audio books or music in parallel.
Active household participation – kids get tasks allocated at school (classrooms and school lunch duties), why not apply the same at home? Setting the table, making name cards, collecting some spring flowers from your garden or balcony for the table, all allow your kids to participate in the household and gives them responsibility. They will be proud and they will want to do it again (although perhaps not every day or only with a friendly reminder).
The Rabbit wishes a fun playtime and lots of laughing!