Betsy Kerekes shares five more ideas for fun activities to do with kids from her book Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying.
Now that we’re just about home for the holidays, possibly without the benefit of grandma, grandpa, and other family members joining us, the days can just drag, especially for our kids. Here are five more tips from Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying to help shake things up and have more fun at home. (Catch up on Part 1 of this series: 5 Ways to Have More Fun with Your Kids.)
Makeshift Bowling Alley
My husband has been known to bowl in the hallway with the kids by knocking down princess dolls instead of pins. (He must find it very satisfying.) If anyone topples Gustav from Frozen, he or she gets extra points since he’s sturdier. If you don’t have princess dolls, consider yourself lucky, and get creative. Even if you already have a bowling set, using unique toys and assigning different point values could up your game.
If you’ve got them, create a similar game to the bowling one above, but with stairs, sort of like Plinko on The Price is Right. Line up toys on different steps and either roll/bounce balls down from above, or toss them up from the bottom, taking aim at the various targets. Once again, if desired, you could assign different point values to each toy. Giving a child the task of keeping score will help build that child’s math skills. But, shhh … keep that little tidbit to yourself.
Dancing is my favorite form of exercise, and it’s great for kids too. I love grabbing their hands and having them join in. I taught my 8-year-old to swing dance to a Bob Dylan song because, why not? If anyone in the family seems mopey or sad, turn on some uplifting tunes. I read somewhere that when David danced before the ark of the covenant, Saul’s hardened heart was softened. The music in praise of the Lord drove out the spirit of anger in Saul. Perhaps a little Christian praise and worship will drive out the spirit of boredom in your kids.
Even if it means rearranging furniture, fulfill a childhood fantasy and make the biggest, baddest blanket fort ever! Bring out mattresses from bedrooms if you’re feeling extra adventurous. And then, if you can pull it off, do a family sleepover in the living room. Will this be fun to construct, and memorable for both you and your kids? You betcha!
Though I’m hesitant to recommend shows, Studio C on YouTube has been enjoyable for our family. It’s sketch comedy that’s actually clean. Did you know such a thing existed? Start with season 1 because the earlier seasons are the best. Of course you should preview them before showing your children. Quoting our favorite episodes (each one is about 3-5 minutes) has brought us laughter and inside jokes. In addition to entertainment, it’s created a family bond.
And finally, every now and then, ignore the dishes, the chores, and the strict bedtime. Drop everything and go on a walk, or go fishing, or make a backyard bonfire and roast s’mores. If it’s too cold out, use your indoor fireplace or even a gas stove. This kind of spontaneity is what having fun with kids is all about!
Copyright 2020 Betsy Kerekes
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About the Author
Betsy Kerekes is the author of Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying (Our Sunday Visitor 2019) and coauthor with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person (Ave Maria Press 2016) and 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage (Ave Maria Press 2019). She homeschools her four children and writes about her experiences in motherhood at ParentingIsFunny.wordpress.com.