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Children learn through playChildren of all ages get bored quickly. Creative play allows them to use their imagination and express themselves freely. You don't need to fill your house with expensive toys to entertain your children. Especially since children's toys seem to be getting more expensive. Children often have more fun with household items, as these are interesting and new to them. Here are some ideas for inexpensive activities:
Here are a few things that he likes to do:
• Look in the mirror • Play boo • Play with cardboard tubes • Different textured materials • Drawing with wax crayons • Help fold laundry (he will sit between clean laundry and shake the clothes and 'sort them'.) • He will happily play with odd socks or empty containers • He finds a CD fascinating he will watch the light reflect from it • Copies expressions and sounds • Puppets - We love playing with puppets
You don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun, collecting and keeping things from around the home can have many different uses for making and playing. Children grow up so quickly, so it's important to let them have fun and be children while they are young. Don't worry about mess and try not to restrict them from having fun. It won't take long to tidy up any mess at the end of playing, plus you can also encourage your children to help clean away.
Here are some general ideas for activities and games:
Treasure BoxChildren love to explore, by keeping a box and putting in different objects for them to pull out they can have fun finding different things, you can add different objects and change the contents from time to time.Fill a box with things like• Different squares of fabric
• Paper • Cardboard • Corrugated cardboard • Sponge • Sandpaper • Cotton wool • Net And any other interesting materials and objects
Use plastic tubs of different sizes to construct a noisy drum set, if you keep the lids you could try filling them with things like sand to change the sound they make. Pots and pans also make a good drum set.Collect leaves and make picturesWhen the leaves have fallen in autumn children will have fun collecting different coloured and shaped leaves to take home, they can then arrange them and stick them onto paper to make a picture, and if you want they can even paint the leaves. As an alternative you can also use rice, pasta, and other dried foods
Pictures of Member Advice on Children Activities
Wax crayons for drawing and colouring
to make collages.
Playing with water
You can use all different things in the kitchen for your children to use in the water, a whisk, beakers to pour water, colander, food containers, things that will float or sink, older children will have fun guessing if the item will float or sink before they put it onto the water. Just remember this can be quite messy so be prepared.
Take your child to playgroup
Each session only cost a small amount and you don't need to go every week. There will be lots of different toys for your child to play with, and different activities. Also the main benefit is the fact they will get to interact with other children.Go out on an adventureWhen out walking try turning it into an adventure. Ask your child/children what they can see, and what they can hear whilst they are walking. They may be able to hear the wind blowing if they listen carefully and the sound of their feet walking. You can also see how many animals you can see while out. Don't worry if you live in a city as there is still plenty of wildlife to be found. I live in the middle of a city but we still see things like birds, cats, dogs, and even squirrels . A similar game to this can be played on those long and boring car journeys, what can you see? Ask your child what they can see.
Or, say who can see a tree first, or a dog, or a lady walking a dog, this will keep children entertained for a while.Make a Tent or PlayhouseUsing the furniture you can make a tent just put two chairs back to back about 2-3 foot apart and lay a large blanket or sheet across them to make a small tent. The tent can then become anything your child's imagination allows it to be from a secret hideout to a spaceship.
Collect all of your packaging from food, tubes from tin foil and materials from around your home, to make models. You can make all different things, from robots to castles.With older children you can also make gifts for birthdays and Christmas, people love homemade gifts especially grandma and granddad.
Keep old magazines; let your children cut out the pictures to make collages. You can have a theme for the collage such as a holiday scene, or underwater or just let them create whatever they want.
Keep a spare button box, collect buttons cotton reels and beads, and use them to thread. Or make gifts or pictures using these.
Keep left over wallpaper for drawing and painting. Also DIY shops sometimes have discontinued rolls of wall paper for a low price; this makes great paper for all kinds of art and painting.PaintingThis is a cheap activity that children of all ages can enjoy. Once a baby is old enough you can start out by finger painting. You will need to find an area where you can set up the equipment needed, you want this to be fun, so you don't want to be worrying about them making a mess, if the weather is good then you can do this outside, on wet and cold days, find a large plastic cover, you can buy plastic covers for messy play and for using under a highchair, I find these are usually expensive, a cheap plain plastic shower curtain is perfect for this and will cost no more than £2. Buy the paints as the big ready mix bottles as these work out cheaper and you can then water them down for your children to use to make them last even longer. Buy the primary paint colours RED, BLUE and YELLOW so you can then mix the paints to make all different colours instead of buying all the different colours your children would want or need. If you run out of paper you can use any paper, packaging, boxes such as cereal boxes can be opened out flat, left over wallpaper.
As your child gets older let them do hand and feet prints using paint. Children will also enjoy Sponge painting and Potato prints.DrawingUse Felt tip pens, wax crayons, pencil colours or charcoal and chalk. You can even use all these different mediums to create an even more interesting picture. For example get them to draw on a sheet of white paper with a white wax crayon and then paint over the top with a watered down solution of paint and see the surprise on their face as the invisible picture they just drew appears before their eyes as if by magic!
As with all the activities I have so far talked about dressing up doesn't have to be expensive as a child will be just as happy to dress up in old clothes that would have belonged to Mum or Dad, as they would be in the expensive outfits you can buy from the shops. Plus this will give you the opportunity to take some cute pictures as your child is dressing themselves up in massively over sized clothing.
This is a great activity to do with your child towards the end of the day as it will help to bring a much quieter and relaxed environment for bedtime. It also provides you and your child some quality time together.Singing songs and nursery rhymesYoung children love nursery rhymes especially those with actions, they will soon pick up on the actions. Don't worry if you don't know the correct actions to a nursery rhyme as you can always make them up for your child to copy you.Library. It's free to join and you can borrow all the books you want, children love to go the library and find a different books to take home with them. This can also teach your child how to act responsibly in regards to property that is not their own.Make up storiesIf you don't have access to a local library or haven't had a chance to go there you and your children can always make up stories. Just get your children to tell you how they would like to see the story progress by asking them about what's happening and what could possibly happen next. With older children you can start the story and then get them to continue the story.
Help to set up a shop for them to pretend play in. This activity can be separated over several days as you can make all the bits that you would need prior to be able to play.
Here are some ideas of what they can make for the shop:
Play Money - You can make this using paper and writing the denomination on them. A till - You can make one of these using a box, children will love it no matter how simple it is.
Some items for the shop - You can use any empty packets from food, milk bottles or juice bottles just wash them out. Empty cereal boxes, egg cartons.For the basket – either use a wicker basket or a bag or even just make one using a box.
Now just set up your shop take it in turns to be the shop keeper. For older children you can make the money have a value on each paper, and price the items in the shop, this way they can learn counting, adding and the value of money. You can then change the shop into a doctor's surgery, a school or any other place your child wishes to role play about.
Pretend play stimulates creative thinking.Follow the leaderTake it in turns to let a person lead they can move about freely and you copy them, they can hop skip run crawl or even pretend to fly.Playing with sandThis is best kept to outdoors, dry sand indoors will vac up easily if you don't mind a bit of mess. Different containers sieves and colanders can be used in the sand.Using their sensesThe Touch Game:Get your child to close their eyes, then place different objects into their hand and get them to guess what it is.
Also you can get them to guess what sound they can hear, you can make noises using different things, like ripping paper, pouring water.
As children get older involve them in everyday events/activities.Let them help in the kitchen bake cookies, and make lunch and help with other tasks around the kitchen. Let them help around the house and with shopping, give them the shopping list and let them help you find what you need.Creative play is an open-ended activity that can be enjoyed from a young age under supervision.