I have DEFINITELY been the mom who counts the minutes until my husband gets off work this Covid. Some days I just have no idea what to do with the kids and the long hours…especially now that we’re almost a year into our quarantine. The toys have all been played with, the couch is no longer fun to jump on, and we’ve practically turned into Sand People with all the time we spend in the sandbox…
So, I wrote this list of ten awesome activities to boost your child’s IMAGINATION and transform a typical day into an extraordinary one! May it get us all out of our Covid-funk. 🙂
- Make a Zoo!
Get out every single one of your child’s stuffed animals and arrange them into sections like you would see in a zoo. (Ex. bunnies, teddy bears, even dinosaurs!) Have your child make a sign and tickets to the zoo (great handwriting practice). If you have any fake plants you can use them as decorations. Your child can even draw a map of the zoo. They can then give the tickets to parents and siblings and offer personalized zoo tours!
- Play “Walk Like an Animal”
I adore this game because BOTH my 5-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son love it and it’s something we can all do together. All you have to do is find an open stretch of space outside or in the house and take turns picking an animal. Whatever animal someone decides on you all try to walk and make sounds like that animal! The kiddos crack up when we hop like kangaroos or flap our wings like a butterfly! It often devolves into other things as well like their favorite superheroes, ballerinas, or even DINOSAURS! It’s one of our FAVORITE GAMES!
- Let Them Paint BIG
This is my favorite good weather activity to do with the kids. Have a big roll of white paper on-hand, and cut a GIANT sheet of it. I mean like six feet by three feet. Tape it down outside onto the cement. Get out big jars of washable paint and a few brushes. Dress the kids in old clothes, and just let them GO TO TOWN. They can spend hours working paint around and just being generally messy. Bonus: you end up with a beautiful, huge piece of art work at the end.
- Have a Birthday Party for Their Favorite Stuffed Animal
Most children don’t know that their favorite stuffed animal has a birthday too! They can spend the morning making birthday hats, decorations, and a card for the birthday stuffie. Then, you can either serve pretend food and drinks, or use snack time to offer some special birthday treats. They get to choose the “guest list” by picking out other stuffies. Sing “Happy Birthday,” and create an amazing memory!
- Have Them Make a Date Night for You
I’m always stressing the importance of a date night for my hubby and me. Take this opportunity to let them plan a pretend-food-date-night for you! They can use fake food they already have, or even make food out of clay or construction paper. They can write up a menu of items, set a fancy table, and wait on you and your partner, just like a real restaurant! (I’m not above having wine in my little pink plastic teacup either…just sayin’.)
- Stage A Disney Princess Show
My daughter is 1000% princess, and, as such, has way too many princess dresses thanks to family, friends, and a mom who loves to sew. Instead of just dressing up, though, we make a whole performance out of it. She puts each dress on, comes out and sings to that specific princess’s music. Then I have her sign a folded piece of paper we make into a pretend signature book as if we’re really at Disneyland. It’s the cutest thing ever. Even if you don’t have a ton of dresses, get clothes out of the closet and just let them dress up in your stuff for fun. Nothing is cuter than a four-year-old in her mom’s high heels!
- Blanket Forts
I LOVE a good blanket fort! This one is perfect for rainy days at home. Stretch blankets across chairs or a couch, put in pillows, stuffed animals, books, and flashlights, and you have an entire afternoon of fun! Tell the kids to watch out for the dreaded tickle spiders – they just love to invade blanket forts! 🙂
- Find A HUGE Field
Let them go completely nuts and just run. Just run, and run, and run. We live in California, so yards are typically small. The first time we did this I realized my children have never been told they could just run as far and as fast as their little legs could carry them. Their eyes lit up, and they took off! Huge bonus: they’ll nap for HOURS when you get back home. 🙂
- Have Them Go on a Treasure Hunt
This is basically like hunting for Easter eggs, but it can be done any time of the year and with any items you desire. Choose an age-appropriate toy, hide it for them, and then have them search for it in your home or yard. You can have them dress up and go on a Unicorn Hunt by hiding a stuffed unicorn somewhere. You can also turn it into a Pirate Treasure Hunt by hiding play jewelry or coins. My daughter LOVES this game and typically wants to keep playing over and over again! If you have an alphabet puzzle or foam letters, you can make it educational by hiding the letters and having them name the letter as they find it.
- Make a Ninja Course
Set up an obstacle course for them to complete. It can be literally anything, like running around a chair, swinging on the swing, bouncing a ball, doing a forward roll, blowing a bubble, running through cones, doing jumping jacks, etc. Count them down from three, and set them loose on the course. You can time them, or count the number of times they can complete it. This is a GREAT one for wearing them out before nap time, and it makes getting exercise a lot more fun.
I hope this list has inspired some fun ideas for you to do with your kiddos today! Every day with them is a gift, and the days I remember and embrace that are always the best ones.
Until next time, keep raising EXTRAORDINARY kids!