-Car or ball maze
-Drumming or musical
-Toy hammer and nail tapping
-Zooming a car back and forth
-‘Round and round the garden’
-‘Row, row, row your boat’
-‘Ring around the Rosy’
*try them in partners or groups!
-Dentist or Doctor’s office
(use teddy bears/dolls for more 'characters')
Stuck on finding interesting ways to play with children especially on rainy days or when their friends are over? About to tear your hair out and drawing blanks for ideas as you’re children are destroying the house out of sheer boredom? Having a list on the fridge of ‘open-ended’ activities that are suitable for any age child or groups of children can come in handy in times of need!
Most children enjoy activities but due to their age, development and understanding, some games have too many rules or the regular toys are too ‘boring’. If you don’t act fast, kids can take over the house causing messes, damage and chaos! A great alternative can be activities, toys, songs and scenarios that are ‘open ended’ and have no particular way of playing them. This is ideal for children who are close in age but at very different developmental stages like a 16 month old and a 3.5 year old. It can allow children to express themselves however they want to as long as it’s safe. There really is no right or wrong way to play these and Parents can join in to!
Children screaming, yelling and hitting all day long can leave a lot of Parents feeling frustrated, fed up and stressed! Here are 3 easy ways to help children increase their communication to help keep a more pleasant atmosphere with in the home.
1.) Encourage children to speak instead of 'acting out'.
For example: Try to ask them to “Use your words!” This may help get their message across in an appropriate way. Explain that no one understands hitting, screaming or yelling but they understand words. If they are young, give them the words to copy such as “Billy, say to your sister ‘I don’t like it’ instead of using your hands”.
2.) Ask your children what they DO want rather than focus on what they don’t want.
For example, if they do the typical whining or screaming when you say it’s bedtime, instead of focusing on not wanting to go to bed, ask them what they do want like story time or turn their sleep time music on. By talking about what they do want, it can leave them feeling more empowered and in control and can leave you feeling more calm.
3.) Give CHOICES by giving kids 2 options with in the desired outcome that you are expecting.
For example: If it’s time to get dressed in the morning, the choices would be ‘do you want the yellow or purple shirt’ OR ‘do you want to choose the clothes or do you want me to?’ Try to avoid asking them if they want to get dressed or not. It would be too easy for them to just say ‘no’ leaving you with a potential power struggle.
Try having a discussion with kids beforehand to let them know new things are happening. This may help them to know what the expectations are. Kids usually love this new found power once they see that they are being heard.
Learn more about Julie Romanowski - Mother, Coach, Leader, Educator, Author, Speaker & founder of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach & consultant service through her tips, blog, e-newsletter, & articles!
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