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Top 10 Activities to Engage Children at Home

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by Happy Mom (subscribe)
I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 23rd 2013
Kids often say "I am bored at home" - Cure the boredom
On a recent trip overseas, I met more than one family that did not have a television in their home. The idea of not having a TV in the household was as foreign to me as encountering perhaps a green flamingo. No television despite the fact that one, they could afford it easily, second, they had children in the house!

After talking to these parents, I realised that they might not be so strange afterall, and not having a TV in the house might not be such a bad thing. Here are the top 10 activities I came up with to involve my children in when we are in the house:

Kitchen aid: Try to find a kid-friendly recipe for something the kids love to eat, e.g. pizza, biscuits or cake/muffins. With pizzas, children love to roll out the dough and decorate their personal favourite toppings on it. The best part is they feel proud of their accomplishment and eat what comes out of the oven. With biscuits and cupcakes, children not only enjoy mixing the ingredients into a batter, but once they are baked, they love to get creative and decorate them with all sorts of toppings.

Kitchen Helper

TIP: Decorating cupcakes can also be a great children's activity at birthday parties or get-togethers. If children are allowed to participate in the kitchen activities, they will be able to participate in their school kitchens with ease and knowledge of handling food.

2. Gardening: Being out and about in the garden and getting the hands and feet and knees dirty is the ideal attraction for children. Gardening is not only fun, it is also a fantastic learning experience for the children as they keenly observe their parents working, asking them questions all the way from how do plants grow to what do plants eat, to the difference between different plant species, etc.

Learning about plants

3. Outdoor games: You are indeed fortunate if you have a covered area in your backyard, which will come in handy on rainy days or sunny. Provide a soccer and/or basketball to the children and see how quickly they pick up skills that we may think are "easy", for instance dribbling or kicking the ball, and steering into a specific direction. An outdoor trampoline keeps them bouncing and healthy, and if you have a really big one, you can join in the fun too. Other outdoor activities can be as simple as a frisbee, skateboard, etc. The next time you visit a department store, check out the outdoor section and you will get tons of ideas. This is a cheap activity with great outcome. Children tire themselves out and eat well too.

Skateboarding is a fun outdoor activity

4. Indoor games: Board games and Lego prove to be an excellent way of keeping the children involved for hours. Lego boosts their creativity skills and board games are fun for family bonding. Puzzles can occupy children over days. Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble are all great board games.

Children busy with a puzzle

5. Clean the room/house or sorting the laundry: Children can be great helpers in household chores, such as vacuuming, dusting or sorting the laundry. These chores can be transformed into "fun activities" for kids, which serves double the purpose: fun for kids, help for parent.

6. Arts and craft: This activity can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. Arts and craft can be hours and hours of fun for adults and children. There are a gazillion ideas on the internet or in the books located in the arts & crafts section of the library. The recycling bin can be a good place to start looking for things that can be used for the art and craft.

We made Photo Frames with magnets to stick on the refrigerator

7. Watch a movie: Moviethons are a great idea. Children love to actually prepare to watch a movie: dim the lights, make popcorn and sit down on recliners with the drinks. It is definitely cheaper than going to the theatres, and bathroom breaks are so much more convenient.

Watching Tangled

8. Read/write a book: Reading books with children is always time well spent. Sometimes, if a book is very captivating, you can make a craft activity that is related to it. It happens rarely that the children are so inspired by a book that they want to write or draw their own book.

Arts and Craft Activity inspired by the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The trunk of the tree is made of tree bark and the leaves are branches of a rose bush.

9. Look at home videos or albums: It is not a bad idea to sometimes replace movies with home videos. Children absolutely love watching themselves when they were babies or a younger version of themselves and the whole family can get a good laugh seeing their own videos from yesteryears. If you keep a journal, you may also want to read parts of the journal for flashbacks.

10. Give the children a bath: If there is nothing else to do, filling up the tub with warm water, putting in some bubble bath and their favourite water toys is a good activity to keep the children busy for about an hour or so. Watching over them while they are in the bath is imperative though. I usually dip my feet in as well, which makes for a nice pedicure for myself.

Whether it is a rainy day, or a lazy day when you don't feel like going out, try some of these ideas, and share your stories about how you keep your children busy and engaged at home.

And if you are one of those parents who do not have a television or have one but have controlled hours of viewing, I would like to ask what kind of activities are you involved in.

Happy reading. I look forward to reading your comments.
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Why? Keep the children occupied at home
When: Anytime
Where: At home
Your Comment
Lots of great ideas. If you are looking for more then There are lots of step by step tutorials for different age ranges from crafts to cooking. We're always looking for new writers too.
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 3097 days ago
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