I have 3 beautiful daughters, whom I love so much. They are active girls aging from 9 to 2 and so we are always looking for fun ideas to do with kids. The first thing to do, is understand your kids interests. Our girls love horses, barbies, exploring, riding their bikes, swimming, pretending, dress-up, www.barbie.com, cooking, jewelry, hair, archery-bow shooting, listening to stories, make-up, and the list goes on and on.
So, now that I know what they like, then I can find fun activities to work around their interests. One of the movies we just recently watched was Eddie Murphy’s “Imagine That.” It is such an adorably sweet movie about a dad and his daughter and their relationship. However, part of it shows him pretending with her. This is such a fun thing for kids. Think of places you would visit or ways you would dress-up while going places and get creative with your kids. Remember building a tents in your room with blankets. Kids love this. Pretend it’s a cave, or a castle, or a fort. Read stories to your kids while hanging out in your blanket fort!
Go on BIKE RIDES with them to places like an ice-cream stand or the park, and SWING with them!! Ride to the beach (if you’re close to one!) Take the bikes with you to the mountain, and go on a fun forest ride.
WE FEED THINGS….sounds funny, I know. We buy carrots and feed the horses!! We FEED THE DUCKS at the park, or the birds!! Basically any type of animal we can feed!!
Having girls, we have a lot of MAKE-UP PARTIES! Not only do they do their own make-up, I help a bit for mess control, but I let them do my make-up and hair. Believe me, I have come out of these sessions VERY PRETTY! haha.
Make JEWELRY! We have collected beads from all over the place and a few times a week we make bracelets and necklaces for teachers, friends, and family members! Our kids feel so good about giving away their efforts!! However, we do plenty of wearing of our creations too!
ART is a huge one. We do lot’s of coloring, painting, and sketching. Again, some of these go on display in our own home, but many of them are given away as presents!? Lucky recipients! Something else we do that goes in the same category as art is sculpting with play-doh, or clay. We don’t just roll balls or worms with it either. We create scenes from stories we’ve just read and so our imaginations can really carry us away!
WE HAVE TALENT SHOWS!! This is fun and encompasses a lot. Again we can dress up like pop stars and sing, or we break out all of our instruments such as; tambourines, maracas, drums, guitars, whistles, bells, pianos, kazoos, and anything that makes great noise. We will play music like we are in a band!? Or maybe play American Idol! We also have singing and dancing competitions all rated on the 1-10 scale! Prizes for winning are ice-cream or other special desserts. We also have plays, where we act out a scene from a movie or book.
We live in the mountains and are huge outdoor buffs. So we GO ON HIKES that start or end with a picnic. We go on walks through beautiful places and collect beautiful leaves, pinecones, cool rocks, and interesting objects. We BUILD FORTS outside. We shoot archery bows at targets. WE FISH a lot, mostly catch and release, but the girls love it and have so much fun. We SKIP ROCKS, which is always fun when someones face doesn’t get a rock skipped across-ed it. We visit the fish hatchery and feed the fish. We play in the mountain streams, swim in the natural pools, search out the waterfalls and pretend they are mystical lands. We COLLECT BUGS and amphibians. We CARVE OBJECTS OUT OF STICKS. We go SCOUTING/SPOTLIGHTING for animals. We VISIT monuments and become educated on our surroundings.
In the Winter, WE PLAY IN THE SNOW! We dress warm and use inner-tubes, and sleds to rush down the snowy slopes. We always take donuts and hot cocoa or hot chocolate with us. We have so much fun throwing snow-balls, and making snow angels, and snowmen. SNOWMOBILING is great fun when you live or visit somewhere with a lot of snow. SKIING or SNOWBOARDING go right along with this season.
WE VISIT museums and other interesting places and learn more about our heritage, and the history of our local area. We take lots of pictures and have fun with them. Meaning, it’s normally not your typical smiling picture…it’s unique photography!
We Do SERVICE for someone. Generally, we do our service unknowingly to the individual or family. It’s funner this way when it is a secret and stays that way. “SECRET SERVICE AGENTS.” You can dress up for this one too!
We MAKE CARDS AND LETTERS and send them out to those we care about! Special ones, with lot’s of beads, sequins, feathers, and sometimes candy glued to them!!
We MAKE OBSTACLE COURSES to run through, crawl, or bike around them, JUST LIKE WE ARE ON WIPEOUT!
We PLAY BALL IN THE HOUSE…mainly volleyball with a huge, overstuffed ball. It’s soft and floats better…so things don’t break…yep, it’s true.
WE PLAY BARBIES which can sometimes seem like the never ending game, but I distinctly remember a day just recently when my daughter wanted me to play barbies with her. Honestly, I was not really wanting to, but I went in and said, “lets just change all of their outfits today,” then I wouldn’t have to commit to a barbie doll monologue. My daughter looked up at me with the brightest smile and said, “mom, this is the best day ever!!! Thank you!” That was all it took for me to realize how special the time we spend with our children truly is.
We DRAW with SIDE WALK CHALK. Our drive way is a colorful expression of our imaginations!
We MAKE BOUQUETS for people with the wild flowers (they are really weeds, but the girls don’t know that.)
WE PLAY SCHOOL with our wire-bound note books and pencils and a teacher with glasses. (This is a great way to get their spelling words practiced!) We use our dry erase board and pretend we are the real deal. We Play Church…and sing songs…again, another good way to learn their religion a little better.
WE PLAY HORSES and ride each other’s backs and neigh like we are the real deal.
WE MAKE CLEANING THE HOUSE A GAME, like who can fold the towels super fast or set the table the really pretty.
WE PLAY SUPER HEROS with real capes and super powers! These days are really fun to clean house on, because everything is done in a super hero way! Or we just fly from one couch to another with our arms out like Superman!
WE PLAY BOARD GAMES, in fact tonight we played “Sorry” as a family and it was a lot of fun. This actually teaches the kids really good lessons on playing fair, obeying the rules of the game, and sometimes letting others win.
WE PLAY Wii and are all pretty amazing wii bowlers and boxers. We absolutely love Wii. We hunt with “Big Game Hunts,” and do Wii fit, and our current favorite is Wii’s Band Hero…let me just say, we totally ROCK..literally!!
WE PUT TOGETHER HARD PUZZLES and this is the perfect activity on really cold inside days.
WE DRIVE TO THE LOOKOUT POINT and watch the lightning shows during storms as we eat our ice cream cones.
WE PLAY IN RAIN PUDDLES AND MUD…not so much mom, but definitely dad and grandma while mommy takes pictures!!
WE HAVE MOVIE NIGHT with popcorn, blankets, pillows, and the newest released family video.
WE BAKE AND COOK TOGETHER, letting the kids layer their own pizzas or make their own hot cocoa concoctions. We bake cookies, brownies, cakes, or cupcakes to share with friends and neighbors.
WE SKATE or roller-blade.
We GO ON DRIVES sometimes, just to take a drive and see things that are new or unseen by us before. This is always a good “relaxing” time for us and usually is accompanied by a meal at a great mom and pop restaurant somewhere.
WE GO CAMPING in the woods. It could be scary and we could be eaten by random wild-life, but we really have fun laying their in our sleeping bags and talking. For some reason it always rains on us, but we love listening to the rain and just being together. Just thinking about our last camping trip, brings tears to my eyes. It was great fun. Sometimes, even without camping, we will just go out to our fire pit and cook smores. It is the illusion of camping coupled with the comfortable bed at the end of the day. or WE sometimes HAVE SLEEP OVERS as a family in the living room. Bring out a tent and all the gear and just pretend we are roughing it.
WE GO TO THE LAKE and do all the fun typical lake activities.
WE GO on ATV RIDES on four-wheelers or other outdoor recreational toys. Having three girls all screaming as we go fast over the bumps is so exhilarating and fun. There are always a ton of laughs when we go out to play.
WE GO SHOPPING or basically take a shopping trip just to get a yummy cinnamon roll at the mall and let the girls play in the childrens play-land. It’s a nice switch-up occasionally.
WE LOOK AT OLD PICTURES and memory books and talk about the times when we, ourselves were kids too. Even watching older family videos is so fun.
MY list of “good ideas and fun things to do with kids” could go on and on, but I truly believe the most important thing to do with children is to spend time with them. It doesn’t matter what kind of fun is being had, but just that it’s happening. Children don’t measure love with what possessions they have, however they do measure love with the amount of time their loved ones spend with them. Truly showing them that we care enough to be with them.
WE CAN NOT GET THESE MOMENTS OF YOUTH BACK, but we can, as parents and guardians, make the very most of it WHILE IT LAST!!!