Frugal Family Fun: Fun Play-Date Ideas for Your Kids-Guest Post by Megan Gates!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun Play-Date Ideas for Your Kids-Guest Post by Megan Gates!

Play dates are supposed to be good for children, but especially with the younger ones they often result in two kids off doing their own thing while the parents look on. Here are a few ideas to encourage young children to interact:

Costume Party
Children are imaginative creatures and – like most adults – they enjoy inhabiting other personas, if only for a little while. Why let all those old Halloween costumes go to waste? Meet at the park for a costume party play date and let the little ones dress in their holiday attire. Besides gathering appreciative remarks from passers-by, they will also play longer and more creatively in their assumed identities than they would as themselves. The super hero and the fairy princess may have more in common than Ian and Mia. Bring out a dress-up box or a collection of old clothes at home and let their imaginations run wild.

Make a Craft
Younger children enjoy working side-by-side without much interaction. Encourage them to work together by making a “my-hand-your-hand” craft. Trace each child’s hand several times onto sheets of construction paper. Let the children choose the colors – each gets two or three. After an adult cuts out the hand shapes, divide them equally between the children. Let them use a glue stick to attach the hand shapes to a white paper plate to make a wreath. Ask them, “Whose hand is that?” and see if they remember which colors each of them chose. Watch them as they match their hands to the cutouts.

Opposites Hour
Children are delighted by the incongruous; they are creatures of habit. Surprise them by announcing that starting right now it is “Opposites Hour.” For now, socks go on hands, t-shirts go on backwards, “yes” means “no” and “thank you” means “please.” Although young children are sure to goof up, indulge them by wearing a hat on your foot, putting sunglasses on the back of your head and singing when you talk. Set a kitchen timer to make sure “Opposites Hour” ends on time. You don’t have to be one hundred percent accurate in calculating what the opposite of a certain action is. The important thing is breaking the ice and eliciting giggles.

Water Fun Day
Children love water and miss playing with it in the off-season. This activity can be done indoors or out. If it’s wintertime, make sure guests know what’s in store so they can bring along a change of clothes. Have the house heated and something in the oven to make the kitchen nice and cozy. Warning: It will make a mess. Layer the kitchen floor with old towels or blankets and give the children a variety of plastic or wooden bowls, cups and spoons. Place a large bowl full of lukewarm water between them and let them transfer the contents from one container to another. If done outside in summer, you can add a few drops of food coloring to different bowls of water and let the children experiment with mixing and matching.

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to NY Rental Properties, Nassau Real Estate, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

I was compensated for this publishing this post. Please see my disclosure.


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