Explore advice and suggestions offered by the Baby Research Center for entertaining do-it-yourself games and activities you can share with your children.
Board Games for Children
Time spent indoors offers an opportunity to play a nice board game with mum and dad, and any brothers or sisters. Many board games have great educational value (link to the article on educational playtime) and boost children's skills, teaching them how to socialise and grasp important concepts such as the value of playing by the rules.
Ten things you can do at home with your Children:
Here are just ten suggestions of entertaining games and activities that can be shared with children at home to pro-actively develop their emotional and cognitive skills.
1. Let them help with everyday chores like doing the laundry, using the vacuum cleaner, putting things away: time spent accompanying and imitating parents is an excellent contribution to a child's cognitive and emotional development: both general and fine motor skills are exercised plus the child learns to interact with people.
2. Teach them to get dressed by themselves: when it comes to personal autonomy, we often tend to step in as parents and do things ourselves. Use this an opportunity to explore the necessary steps with your child day after day.
3. Share kitchen activities: have them bake a cake, squeeze an orange, slice a banana or a hard-boiled egg: think of how satisfied your children will be to eat or drink something they made with their own hands.
4. Threading, using spring pins, grouping objects: learning basic concepts like addition and subtraction is as easy as playing a game. Teach kids to group similar objects, thread macaroni into necklaces and bracelets, or collect seasonal fruits in baskets.
5. Tie knots, ribbons and bows: all you need is some colourful string, or learn to tie shoelaces first, for a quick transition from tying knots to doing gymnastics.
6. Play with a ball, wad of paper, or piece of rope: these activities can be done at home and require cooperation, whether between two or more children or between parents and children. It's a way of encouraging harmonic movements, socialisation and awareness of one's surroundings. If you're indoors, try using a wad of paper held together with adhesive tape to form a ball: it's a less noisy option.
7. Read stories to children, build on them and use emphasis: try using a different style and tone for each character to create a more engaging atmosphere as you dedicate this special and unhurried moment to your child. Evenings are a great time for stories and will help kids fall asleep.
8. Use cardboard boxes of different sizes: build houses, cars, planes, swords, armour and helmets. All you need is scissors, adhesive tape and some glue to make an car or a spaceship for your child to sit in and become a pilot, astronaut, knight or princess.
9. Jump around and dance while listening to music together: dancing, moving around and imitating mum and dad's steps encourages children to unwind and feel more at ease during this unusual period.
10. Sing, individually and together. Listening to others and to oneself, memorising easy songs, and learning to rhyme will help children improve their pronunciation.