Doing things with your kids is a great way to make time fly while spending quality time together! It also keeps behavior problems down. An engaged child who feels good and is having fun, will be more likely to behave than a child with idle time on his/her hands who is trying to figure out what to do next.
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Make a plan. Decide on a few activities in a row. Be flexible if your initial schedule doesn’t work out. Change it up if you need to, or include your child in making the plans. Give them choices and see what they would like to do.
Here are ten inexpensive/free activities:
1. Take a walk
2. Draw a picture together. Take turns adding to the picture.
3. Play Hide and Seek
4. Play Teacher/Student
5. Make a meal together
6. Make ramps out of books and play with toy cars
7. Turn lunch time into a restaurant game (great way to practice restaurant behavior, which some kids struggle with)
Check Out: An Interactive Story to Teach Kids About Restaurant Behavior
8. Set up objects/toys as bowling pins and knock them down with a ball
9. Use a pot as a basketball net and try to get the ball in. The image below shows this with dogs, but you get the idea 🙂
10. Build Something (Block Tower, Card Tower, Model Car)
Try making the Eiffel Tower if you are really feeling ambitious.
I hope you enjoy these activities with your kids as much as I do with my son!
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Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, educators, and counselors to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them.