The Best Simple Free Games For Kids
Simple, entertaining, and virtually free.
If you want to keep your children entertained without resorting to electronics, here are three activities which can be as simple or complex as you care to make them. These activities are very basic but learning will inevitably take place. You need to be involved as a parent, which is another good thing.
1. I call the first activity What's Out Of Place.? It is a more active version of 'What's Wrong With This Picture'. For very small children, you will start off simply. Put a pot in the bathtub or one of Dad's shoes by the baby's crib. Take the child around the house and see if they can find What's Out Of Place? For older children, be more subtle. Tell them how many things are out of place and see how many they can find. For several children, you can make it a competition. Move around pictures, plants, or ornaments. Mismatch shoes in the cupboards, or dishes on a set table. Hang a child's dress in your cupboard, or put a potato in the fruit bow.
As you play, things have to be put back where they belong, which will mean eventually you will be able to get help tidying up. You will also be helping children to become more observant which helps with learning spelling, languages, and science.
2. The second activity is called simply Vehicles. Sit where you can see the road with a paper and pencil. For very young children, sit out when the road is not too busy and simply count the vehicles that go by. Let them put a mark on the paper every time a vehicle passes by and then, count the marks. Only go as high as you know the child can count. Always set a time limit so the activity remains interesting.
For the older children, begin to count cars by color. Separate the numbers that are going east and those going west. Count cars, trucks, and SUVs separately. Count makes of vehicles. Count cars with only one driver vs those with passengers. Average out the number of occupants per vehicles. Work out percentages of colors, type of vehicle or models. Teach chart making and spread sheets to older children. Your interest and enthusiasm are what will make this activity a success.
This simple activity will enable you to teach your children various math skills as you sit together and have some simple fun.
3. The third activity has no name. It involves a very minimal cost. Purchase an inexpensive magnifying glass for each participant. Measure off one square foot of ground, and,lying on your stomachs, look and see what you can find. Look for insects, spiders, seeds, sprouting plants, or tiny bits of stone. Compare what you find and follow up with stories, drawings, charts, collections, or visits to the library.
This is an activity which hopefully will develop an interest in science. It can also get children involved in art, writing, and research.
How much children can benefit from participation in simple activities is limited only by your own imagination and creative spirit.