Boredom often leads children to bickering and whining. Planning organized games at home for your children helps keep your own sanity intact. Games also stimulate the children, offering educational and social benefits that go beyond game play. Many games use basic materials that you probably already have in the cupboard.
Organized games teach children how to follow rules while increasing sportsmanship. Kids learn to follow instructions when you play a new game with them. Many of the activities include counting, reading and other academic elements, but the entertaining format makes the learning more appealing to children. They often don’t realize they are learning or practicing academic skills.
Organizing all of the materials before you start makes game time run smoothly. You save time by organizing the game. The kids don’t have a chance to get impatient as they wait for you to figure out the game. A game cupboard or shelf allows you to keep all of the typical game components in one central location for easier access.
Indoor games are typically less active because of space constraints and the chance of breaking decorative items. These games work well when you cannot get outside with the kids because of weather or other factors. Balloons work well in place of balls for indoor games because they fall to the ground slowly without the risk of breaking items. Disney Family Fun recommends balloon volleyball using feet instead of hands for an indoor game. Another option is to set up a soft obstacle course in the home using pillows, beanbag chairs and other soft items as the obstacles. The kids can complete the course with or without a blindfold.
Outdoor games allow your children to get more active, especially if you have a large backyard. A backyard scavenger hunt works well for children of preschool age and above. They seek items from a list created ahead of time. Relay races also provide an active form of entertainment that works best outdoors. The kids take turns running around cones set up at the opposite end of the yard before running back to the starting line. Adding different elements, such as dressing up in a costume before running the course or skipping instead of running, makes the game more interesting.
The age of the children playing the home games makes an impact on the actual games selected. Many options are easy to adapt to fit younger or older kids by simply changing a few rules or procedures in the game. Safety is another priority when it comes to planning games at home for kids. Inspecting the playing area for hazards and establishing game rules are two ways to decrease the chances of injury during game play.
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