The best way for children to learn is via play. They can learn and explore the world in new ways simply by playing, discovering new things they like or abilities they didn’t know they had, something that should be easy with these home play ideas.
Play is important for children’s and youth’s development since it benefits their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Play is also a great way for parents to spend quality time with their children.
Despite the benefits of play for both children and parents, some children’s free play time has been significantly reduced with more and more time being spent watching streaming shows and excessive stress. As a parent it is your job to give your children the freedom to play.
Everyday Home Items That Can Work As Toys For Babies & Toddlers
You don’t necessarily have to go out to the store or even order things on Amazon. Look around your house and see what’s there and can be used for fun. If you get stuck, think about your childhood – what did you do when you couldn’t go outside when you were a kid (if you can remember that far back).
There are plenty of things you already have in your home that make great baby toys.
- Try setting out your POTS AND PANS to stack inside each other and bang on.
- MEASURING SPOONS make a great clanging toy to dangle over baby and also to let baby hold onto and try to fit their tongues on.
- The classic EMPTY BOX is a great example of a toy that every one laughs about as the real present baby wants to play with.
- EMPTY HUMMUS AND SALSA CONTAINERS make great bath time toys to fill and pour out water.
- A LAUNDRY BASKET or LARGE BROWN BOX is a fun toy baby can climb in to if it is on its side or hide under/behind etc.
Indoor Skill-Building & ‘Quiet’ Play Ideas
When the weather drives your children indoors due to inclement weather, you’ll need a long list of indoor activities to keep them occupied and quiet.
Play With Play Dough
Play dough has long been a favourite of young children. Play dough, whether store-bought or homemade, can keep kids entertained for hours, allowing them to use their imaginations to create all sorts of doughy fun.
This is a classic pastime that we still love as adults, and one of the greatest quiet activities for preschoolers, in our opinion.
Grab a colouring book and some crayons, and you may easily sit quietly for an hour or more while colouring.
Read a Book
Reading can be a fun and quiet activity. Reading should be a part of every childs day, whether its mom or dad reading to them as part of the nighttime routine or a quiet afternoon activity after lunch.
Play Educational Games On The Computer / Tablet
I know we all want to restrict our children’s screen time, but it’s difficult to avoid the magical device that can keep them occupied and quiet for long periods of time.
I think I prefer this to watching TV because there are so many informative games and applications available today (even if the TV show is educational).
Yes, it’s still “screen time,” but it’s also informative and participatory. I wouldn’t want my child to spend hours on it every day (I’m sure she will as a teenager), but I think it’s fine in 30-minute increments.
Indoor Active Play Ideas
Any parent or caregiver understands that being locked inside with children can soon become stressful. They are full of electric energy, which will eventually break out in some form.
Experts advise that children should engage in at least two hours of physical activity that gets their heart pumping per day.
Here are some tips on keeping kids active and able to utilize their energy when they aren’t able to go outside.
Wheelbarrow, Crab, and Bear-Walk Races
Kids will jump at the chance to achieve if you challenge them to do anything. Make it a race, and they’ll get themselves into even more trouble. To see who can get through the fastest, clear a path away from chair legs and table corners. The most difficult aspect is being on all fours or on twos!
Bear-Walking entails walking on all fours with your belly to the ground. Crab-Walking entails walking on all fours with your belly to the ceiling. Wheelbarrow: walk on your hands with your feet in the air with a partner.
If there isn’t enough room for everyone to go at the same time, use a stopwatch to keep the competition going.
Standard Fitness Routine
Train with your children. Children frequently do what their parents do rather than what they say. They’ll imitate your behaviour if you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Instead, involve your children in your workout.
Ask your kids to count and cheer you on as you do pushups or sit-ups. Then repeat the process for them, basic body-weight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, hip thruts and bridges, planks, and otheres are all safe to do for children. Alternatively, put on a workout video that you and your children can do together.
Choose a fun tune that everyone will enjoy. Tell the kids that they can only dance if there is music playing. They must freeze in whatever position they are in when the music stops and you cry “Freeze!”
Every time you restart the song, give new dance instructions to keep the game exciting. Walking on your toes like a ballerina, pretending to be your favourite animal, hopping on one leg, turning and spinning are all possibilities.
Keep the Balloon Up
The goal of the game is for the group to keep a balloon in the air without it touching the ground. It may be less aerobic, but it more than compensates in terms of attention and stretching.
It’s entirely up to you how difficult it becomes. You could employ one or more of the following restrictions, depending on the age of the children: one arm behind your back, no more than one step, no use of hands, no touching it more than once in a succession.
Walk Like a Ballerina
If you’ve ever watched a ballerina dance, you’ll notice that she constantly walks on the balls of her feet. While it may appear simple at first, performing this for a long time will improve your balance and strengthen your core and legs.
Try to see how long you and the kids can go doing housework while only walking on your toes.
This game is not only entertaining and hilarious to play with friends, but it’s also a terrific way to stretch, balance, and work up a sweat!
Home Play Ideas In Closing
Play is a beloved part of childhood that provides children with key developmental benefits while also allowing parents to spend quality time with their children. Multiple forces, on the other hand, are cooperating to effectively diminish many children’s ability to gain from play.
As we work to create the best possible environment for children’s development, it’s critical that play be included alongside academic and social enrichment opportunities, and that all children have access to safe places.