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Old 12-09-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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mariamommy
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Re: Kids activities that require no toys- add to the list!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariamommy View Post
I am posting now so I remember to write on this thread tomorrow, I have a lot of things!
I just remembered I posted that I was going to add some ideas, lol. My memory fails me!

My kids who play together are 2, 5, and 7. The 2 yr old doesn't really mesh well with the older 2 but she gets in on some things. I know you said "no toys" but the Leap Tag reader books and Leap Pad learning system stuff REALLY captivates their attention for long periods of time, all ages.

Other "no toy" game ideas:

- Hangman on the free standing white board. This helps SO much with writing, the alphabet, spelling, and "taking turn" learning. They get creative with the "hangman" ~ they don't just draw a stick man, they make any animal they can think of. If they need help spelling a word, I write it for them on the back of the board that has a chalkboard side. A piece of paper taped to the back would work too. My 5 yr old especially needs that piece of paper as reference so he can be confident where to place the letters. My oldest knows to choose words that he can read, like "Hop on Pop" and phrases like "Red Cars".

- My kids LOVE to color. I don't mine markers/crayons laying all over the table so they always have a creative outlet. We just pack them up quickly when its time to use the table. I use Google search and their brains (whatever they want to color!) by typing in the search bar, for example, "monkey coloring pages". Then I click on images, and this is their favorite part. They excitedly choose which monkey (or whatever) they want and I copy/paste the image onto a Word Document on my computer, narrow the margins, and drag it so it gets huge and fill the whole page. They are jumping up and down with excitement when it comes out of the printer, and they run off and color it which keeps them occupied for a very long time!

- Puzzle Buzz magazines. If you're familiar with them, you'll understand, if not, look them up, and get them! Magazines filled with kid-appropriate SUPER FUN and just-challenging-enough puzzles they enjoy. They almost attack them when two new ones arrive in the mail every 5 or 6 weeks.

- Hide and Seek. This can be made even more interesting with walkie-talkies!!

- Tic Tac Toe on the white board. This makes them fight sometimes because its winning and losing a lot. My 5 yr old can't stand losing more than one game in a row, he wants to take turns winning, lol.

- New batch of library books every couple weeks. My 7 yr old reads to my 5 yr old a lot. It also counts towards he reading minutes goals for school every month.

- "Add to the drawing" game. Get huge pieces of paper and ask one of them to draw something. A box, for example. Then the next person adds an element to the picture, like a roof on top of that box to make a house. Then the next one takes their turn and adds something else, like a tree, or a sidewalk...or clouds/sun...they get super creative with this one.

- Design/make cards and write notes to cousins/family members and mail them off.

- Play your own version of pictionary ~ draw stuff and take turns guessing what it is.

- The cardboard box idea is awesome. My kids STILL love cardboard boxes. I help them by using a cutting tool and cutting out doors/windows on their boxes. They go to town decorating their boxes using markers, crayons, stickers...this is especially awesome for my 2 1/2 yr old - she loves going in and out of the boxes constantly.

- Take newspaper and have the kids roll them up into long tubes...and connect the tubes with packing or duct tape. Create a long tube that goes from somewhere up high (like the top of a bookshelf or a table) and let a marble roll down the tubes. Try get the marble to drop into a bucket.

- Make a paper chain ... how many days til....whatever you want. Birthdays, holidays, a special trip, etc.

- A suuuuper long rope. Tell them to make a spider web by wrapping it around things. You have to be OK with the chaos of this activity because its up to you to untangle it...but its super fun for the kids. I let them make a spiderweb on the basement stairs, using the railing and the opposite hand rail. They even stuck toys/blocks in it like the spider caught lunch.

If I think of more I will post. They come to me when I'm not sitting at the computer. I love games that keep them engaged that don't involve TV or games. I do let my kids play Angry Birds for 20-30 minutes a day and maybe one or two kid cartoons on Netflix but that's about it for "screen time". Creativity is so fun but it also requires mom and dad to be creative to keep them engaged!

Sometimes my two older kids will get some huge crazy idea, and go hog wild trying to create it...and ends up in fits of giggles doing it. Those times are simply awesome.
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Maria, wife to David and stay-at-home-mama to four children.
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