Six Ways to Play With Your Kids: Tips on How and When
Children are our future, but that doesn't mean they don't need to play.
From physical development to social skills, it's imperative for children to have time playing with their parents as well as their peers and the importance of this cannot be understated.
In this article, we've laid out five different ways you can play with your child that allows you both to use your imagination and creativity within a safe environment.
1. Play a board game
Board games are a great way to spend time with your child. From the classic game of Monopoly, to more advanced role-playing board games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), there's something for everyone in this category.
To make sure you get the most out of these experiences, try playing by making up your own rules or changing them mid-game if they aren't working for either party involved.
This allows both children and adults alike to enjoy their time together without restrictive boundaries that can leave one player at an unfair disadvantage later on down the road.
2. Build a fort
Building a fort with your child is an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.
For best results, choose a spacious area such as the living room floor or (where possible), outside in the garden; choosing a place where both parties can move about freely without breaking things that aren't part of their play-area.
After finding this space, get started by asking your child what they want to do, if anything at all.
It's important for children (and adults alike) to feel like they're in control of their own destiny within these types of experiences and allowing them to make decisions early on will help build trust between you.
Once boundaries are set, allow your imaginations free reign over how exactly you'll go about building said fort out of couch cushions, blankets and pillows.
This is a great opportunity to bond with your child while helping them learn how to problem-solve in a fun context that doesn't feel like 'school' or anything remotely similar.
As a final note: when you're done playing in this fort, be sure to leave it standing until the next day (or for as long as you can); allowing children (adults too!) to enjoy their creations for as long possible before they fall apart on their own accord will make these experiences even more rewarding!
3. Make an obstacle course
Turning your backyard into an obstacle course is a fantastic way for children and adults to be able to spend quality-time together.
From climbing walls, monkey bars and balance beams to cargo nets and rope swings; there's something for everyone in this category.
To make sure you get the most out of these experiences, try building obstacles that are meant as fun challenges - depending on the age of the child or children, the emphasis will likely need to be on "fun", rather than "challenge".
This will help ensure that not only do all parties involved enjoy themselves but also they'll be more likely to ask if they'd like another go at completing one of the courses!
The best part about making an obstacle course?
You can adapt it over time by adding new elements or taking some away depending on how often you use it , how long it stays standing and so on.
4. Go on a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are another brilliant way to teach your child how to problem-solve out in the real world.
Start by dividing up into two teams, making sure that there's one adult per team as well as at least one other 'child' (this can be an older sibling or friend).
To make things fair, you should all start out with the same number of clues and items on your list; this helps emphasise teamwork while also not giving either side too much of an advantage over the other.
Once everyone has their lists, take turns reading them aloud so that each party can hear what they need to find before splitting off from one another - once again emphasising teamwork!
The first thing both parties should do is discuss their own clues and decide which items on the list are actually within their current area of exploration (you can cross off that item for both teams when you find it).
Once everyone has found what they were looking for, regroup at a pre-determined spot so that each team can read aloud one clue from their own lists to see who finds them first.
This game works well in any outdoor location but feel free to adapt your rules if you like; try having children take turns reading out clues or make things more difficult by insisting that all members of each party have to be present before anyone reads out another clue.
5. Play hide and seek in your home or neighbourhood
One of the best ways to teach kids about problem-solving and building social skills is by playing games that require them to interact with others.
Hide and seek falls under this umbrella as it requires children (and adults alike) to work together in order to play effectively - you can't win if your child doesn't look for the other players!
Start off by splitting up into two teams so that each team has at least one adult, but also try working on having groups include an older sibling or friend; encouraging teamwork while still making sure both sides have a chance at winning will be key here.
Once everyone knows what they're doing and how exactly these experiences should go down, designate a location where each party will hide then take turns being the seeker.
If you have a large enough backyard, this is an excellent idea for those who live in small apartments or homes as it can help teach children about being creative and playing with what they've got!
Note: As always, make sure to prioritise fair play - hiding spots should be roughly equal distance from one another so that each party has a chance of finding their team mates before anyone else does.
Including all members of both teams will also ensure that everyone's voices get heard during these experiences which is great for building confidence within younger children.
6. Take turns with your child to read them a book
Reading to your child is one of the best ways for them to learn about different experiences, cultures and perspectives.
When you take turns reading with your child , it builds a sense of trust within both parties; after all, this type of activity requires children (and adults alike) to listen carefully in order for everyone involved to enjoy the experience!
If possible try having each member of both parties read out loud or taking turns depending on what makes most sense with regards-to who's got more free time at that particular moment in time.
This game works well when played indoors but can easily be adapted so that kids will have just as much fun if they're playing outside - during summertime these games work particularly well because outdoor spaces are usually spacious and comfortable to sit in.
Don't forget: reading out loud helps improve a child's ability to pay attention for longer periods of time, improving their chances at succeeding both academically and professionally later on in life!
These are just a few of the many activities that create memories that last long after your child has outgrown their clothes.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list and will take some time to try these with your children today!