Play Ideas

I promise not to go on and on  today as I wrap up this series on playing with your child. I have to confess I cringed when glancing at my very lengthy last post… the thing is… play is super important to me. (obviously LOL)

Today’s post promises to be much shorter. Now that you understand the role ‘play’ holds in life… I thought I’d just share a few ideas to get your imagination moving along playfully. In fact, below you’ll find a link to several suggestions of things to do. When you’re running out of ideas it might be handy to have on hand.

Some of the best games to play cost absolutely nothing and require nothing more than a willingness to let loose: peek-a-boo, stack the cups, I Spy, and The Color Game (find a blue rock, find a red circle, etc.) all come to mind.

And of course there are a plethora of games that require only a piece of paper and something to write with. Hangman, Connect Four, Dots and Boxes, tic tac toe, are all examples of this. Then there are the tried and true games that call for some inexpensive items like, jacks and balls, dominoes, a deck of cards, a group of dice, etc.

I’ve already talked about the pointlessness of games of pure chance, so if you’re going to buy games be sure to look for games that provide a suitable challenge for the age group. And never hesitate to create your own game with things you find around the house. For instance, Candyland is hardly an optimal children’s game… but you can make it far more interesting and a better learning experience if you all recreate a version of the Candyland gameboard on the family room floor or backyard, using colored construction paper for the squares, and yourselves as the playing pieces.

Be adaptable!

Consider making any game better by giving each player a second pawn so they at least have to make a decision about which one to move on any given turn.

Instead of using a spinner use a deck of cards. Deal each player 3-5 cards and on their turn they can decide which to use, lay it down, move their pawn and draw another.

How about each player picking a ‘superpower’ before beginning the game.  For instance, always moving one more or one less space than the die or spinner says. Or getting two rolls each turn with the option to choose. Just focus on abilities that open the game up to some decision-making.

To save you from another looooooong post and because it’s winter (still) here in Minnesota where a fresh foot of snow is lying on the ground today, I’ve compiled 25 ideas designed to spark your imagination and that of your child. There are plenty of links inside that will take you to sites where you can find ‘how-to’s’ for helping you create something… out of virtually nothing. You can grab it here: CABIN FEVER CURES

The most important thing is to keep your eye on the BIG picture and remember, this time with your kids slips away quickly. So grab today and PLAY!

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