kids games & activities

Our kids don't like to watch TV much so we always have to come up with activities to keep them entertained.  I must admit though, our kids' boundless of energy helps us to be less lazy and more active and creative.  There are days where we feel like doing nothing and that's when we pull out the playdoh and lego for them to entertain themselves.  It's always about finding a balance of rest and play time.

Anyways, here are some activities we do around here:

GAMES:

- Green/Yellow/Red (Go/Slow/Stop) - I would put the kids at one end of the house and place myself on the other end, I would yell out each color and they would listen and follow it and the first to get to me wins !
- Musical cushions - place cushions on the floor and dance around to music.  Pause music then yell out a color (on pillow) and everyone will have to stand on pillow with that color.  If not then they will sit out.
- Hide and seek
- Crocodile or shark game - we would pretend to be crocodile or shark and sit stationary in one spot and the kids would run from one side to another, trying to avoid being eaten by us !  Our kids really like this game !
- Freeze - sing or play music then yell out "FREEZE", whoever doesn't stop moving will be out.
- Treasure hunt - make a list of things you want to kids to look for in the house and give them a certain amount of time to find them.
- Hot/Cold - hide an item and ask the kids to go look for it.  If they're close, yell HOT, if they are far, COLD and if they are somewhere near, yell WARM.  Our kids lovvvve this game.

- Fishing - depending on age, when my youngest was 1, I would fill a water table with water and throw bloks in there and let the kids scoop out with a scooper.  Now that she's older, I would fill the bathtub with water (just a couple inches) and put plastic food toys in there for the girls to scoop out.



- Bowling - you can pick up a set from the store or use water bottles and a ball
- Mommy says (like Simon says) - "Mommy says touch your nose", if the kids follow they will continue to next action.  If I say "touch your nose" without saying "Mommy says" and the kid/kids followed then they're out !
- Basketball - Mark a starting point and put a basket a few feet away (move further after a few tosses to make the game more challenging).  We will line up and try to score by throwing a toy in the basket.  This game is great as a clean up game too !
- Memory games - take a pair of each number out from a deck of card, then mixed them up.  Place them all face down on a table and each person will get a turn of flip over 2 cards.  If the cards # matched, they keep the set.  Person with most cards win.
- Bean bags toss - similar to basketball.  We also use them to play catch, stacks, and try to balance most bean bags on our head.

BOARD GAMES (family game night):

- Jenga
- Frustration
- Sorry
- Snake & Ladder
- Operation

HANDS-ON GAMES AND CRAFT:

- Playdoh - we make our own most of the time and get the kids involved in the mixing of colors and mushing the dough.
- Baking/Cooking - I get the kids involved in the mixing and measuring and washing !  They often make extra messes but I don't mind as I think it's good learning activities and we get to bond too !
- Lego/Megablok - let your imaginations run wild !
- Jenga - use the wood pieces to build things
- Drawing/Painting - we do lots of this !  drawing each other, drawing together, drawing other things
- Crafts - you can google up ideas !  For us we use a lot of popsicle sticks and fuzzy wires.

popsicle sticks and clothes pins craft 
we gathered seashells from the beach, dried them out in the sun then paint them !

PRETEND GAMES:

- Restaurant - Our girls would set up a restaurant and hubby and I would be patrons eating there !
- Classroom - Each of our kids would take turn pretending to be teacher and they would "read" us a book or tell us a story.  We would put up our hand to ask questions and have gotten some interesting answers from them !
- Dress up in their princess dresses or my clothes (and pretend to be me :-)


OUTDOOR FUN:



If it's not raining, the easiest and most fun thing to do is to get out !!!  We want to be out as much as possible, playing in our yard or go to one of the 5 playgrounds near our house or drive out somewhere to change up the scene.

We have a small garden and I noticed, while it's therapeutic for me, having the garden also very good for our kids.  They helped us digging up the dirt, picking out seeds, planting them and watering them.  When we're out in the yard, they would check up on the plants and patiently anticipating for fruits to ripe or veggies to grow.  You don't need a huge yard for this, even planters on a balcony will be great.  It's an excellent way to show them how plant grow and where veggies and fruits come from.


We go for a walk often around our neighborhood and when we're out at a park, if there is a short trail nearby we often go for a walk after all the playing is done.  To keep the kids entertained, there are a couple of things I often get them to do:
- collect pine cones
- find and collect interesting rocks
- count how many trees we passed
- while walking, avoid stepping on any stick or line (cracks on paved path)
- lookout for animals - squirrel, bird, dragonfly, butterfly, snail, etc.
- fold a leaf into a cup then get them to gather whatever flowers and weeds they want to put in there


collecting dandelions to make a bouquet !
collecting snails from our yard
making a portion with leaves, flowers and wild berries we found in our garden

There're so much to do outside !  You can play tag, catch a frisbee, kick a ball, dig up sand, go treasure hunt, and the list goes on.  For a list of fun family outdoor activities, click here.
When it rains, as it happened often around here, we frequent free indoor playgrounds.

The best indoor playground is at Lougheed mall and Brentwood mall is second.  Metrotown has no playground but has a kid train, Coquitlam has a small play area, and Oakridge has a relatively large padded area for kids to run around in.