In many aspects, technology is a wonder of the modern world; but I’m sure that like me you have at least once or twice thought that it is sad to see a toddler playing on an iPod. There’s no harm really of course, but it’s also a good idea to at least occasionally go back to basics and teach your children to entertain themselves without the help of technology.
Simple toys & games often offer great educational value, so here are a few simple ways to entertain your children, and at the same time get their brains working and their creativity flowing:
Charades is a brilliant game for a couple of reasons; firstly it requires no equipment, you can play it virtually anyway. Secondly, it forces your children to exercise their creativity, by having to think of interesting ways to act out or describe whatever it is that they are trying to convey.
As well as exercising their creativity, charades is also a family friendly game – you can play with them and both you and them can enjoy it. The benefits are clear, but let’s not also forget that playing with your children is the biggest benefit of all since it builds a stronger bond.
You don’t have to use books or film titles of course. Change the rules to suit the age group of your children by getting them to act out types of animals, their favorite foods, activities etc…
Cuddly toys aren’t a game in their own right, but they are still something that any child can enjoy playing with and collecting. Most young children will naturally select a favorite soft toy, often one that they receive at an early age – this toy will be a comfort to them and something to hold onto when they are feeling insecure.
You can strengthen your own bond with your children by playing along with their game. Treat their favorite toy as an extra member of the family and let him/her play in your family games.
Your child does of course realize that the toy isn’t alive, but playing this game will help fuel their imagination and if you play with them it will help them to feel validated, secure and loved.
This is a great game for adults, similar in many ways to poker; it is full of strategy and a touch of luck. But it can also make a great, educational game for children, you just have to simplify the rules to suit the level of your own children.
The exact game you play is up to your own imagination; for the simplest game, just allow your children to go for the best score they can out of 5 dice. You can also add in the number section (they have to collect 1s, then 2s etc…)
This game is a fantastic way to make math fun and will get them adding and even multiplying numbers in their heads.
If they struggle with maths, consider simplifying the game so that it comes mostly down to luck. That way, they will win more often and learn to enjoy playing and the mental arithmetic involved.
Building is a classic children’s game that has been popular for many years. From the simple blocks that a baby might bash together, to the complex structures one can build with Lego – building games are stimulating, challenging and fun, they are also brilliant for creativity and problem solving.
Start with simple games and encourage your child to try new ideas; for young children with a passion for building you can even set them challenges for new things to create.
The great thing about all of these toys and games is that they are fun, fairly cheap and they help your children to learn value lessons and life-skills. From simple soft toys to construction sets – sometimes the simplest activities are the ones which offer the most benefit.
Hi there, my name is Ricky. I am a father of two and a big fan of making education fun. I write for UK Tutors (visit them here), a website designed to help get the most out of their education or yours.