Entertaining children doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Kids are inquisitive creatures who enjoy adventure and creativity, and there are many inexpensive or free activities that can keep them amused for hours. Why not try some of the following ideas. You may be surprised by how much fun you have as a family.
Feed the Ducks
Don’t throw out stale bread. Take it to a nearby river or pond and feed the local ducks. Children love being close to animals, and are fascinated by bird behaviour. However white bread doesn’t have much nutritional value, so bring along some more natural treats as well, like corn, oats, grapes or peas. And always remember to supervise kids around water.
Enrol your children in a sporting activity, such as a soccer clinic, Little Athletics, dance classes or karate lessons. Not only will they be having fun, they’ll also be getting fresh air, exercise, and learning new skills.
Children love to jump and roll, and learning new tricks is always great fun. If they get bored with the backyard trampoline, why not consider enrolling them in a local gymnastics club? Another option is to inquire with the travelling circus when they’re in town – they often offer free circus workshops.
Most kids love the water, especially as the weather starts to warm up. Head to the beach, or to your local swimming pool. Join a swimming club, or if your children are more adventurous, you might consider joining a surfing, canoeing, diving or junior sailing club.
Fly a Kite
Kites are a cheap way of having fun. You can buy one, or even better, make your own. Watch your child’s eyes light up with amazement as their new kite flutters in the breeze and dives through the air.
Pack a Picnic
Kids love the adventure of eating outdoors, and a picnic is a great way to spend time with your family in the open air. Pack some healthy homemade rolls or sandwiches, fruit, a flask of tea, and a comfy rug. Then head to your local park, playground or beach for the afternoon.
Take a Ride
A sad fact of modern life is that most children are driven everywhere by car. But cycling can be a fun way to get around, and an easy way to exercise. Take a family bike trip to your favourite playground, to the beach, or just around the block. Small children can sit in a child-seat attached to an adult’s bike, or ride on a child’s bike attached by a bar to an adult’s bike. Always wear a helmet, and stay on bike tracks when possible.
Catch the Bus, Train, or Tram
While 80% of children are driven to school, few have stepped on a bus, train, or tram. Plan a trip to a fun destination using public transport. See if you can take a bus there and a train back. Kids will love the adventure of trying a new form of transport.
Gardening can be a great way for children to spend a few hours outside. With a pair of gloves, they can help pull out weeds and sprinkle the flowers with a small watering can. Or why not buy some seeds and sow a vegetable patch together. Your kids will love watching their plants spring to life over the following months.
Wash the Car
We often feel uncomfortable when people stand nearby, and our tolerance of proximity depends on whom we’re talking to. Close friends and family are accepted more readily than strangers and business colleagues.
When someone steps into your personal space, you may begin to feel differing levels of discomfort, depending on your relationship with that person. If you’re interested in a speaker or topic, you might move closer, and this will generally be viewed as positive body language, as long as you don’t invade the speaker’s personal space.
Kids love to keep active, and it’s important for them to burn off their excess energy. Try out the ten fun activities in this article, and if you’d like some more ideas then contact your local Department of Sport and Recreation – they offer a wide range of fun and healthy activities for children, including sports clinics, holiday camps, learn-to classes, night vision walks, horse riding and abseiling, to name a few. And with all that fresh air and exercise, your kids are bound to sleep well at night.