Every once in a while it’s time to replenish your menu of around the house activities. New activities offer creative zeal to your household learning environment. They restore motivation, enthusiasm and cooperation. Here’s some fresh around the house activities that supplement these Around the House Activities for Kids Part 1 and Part 2.
Float Stuff: Fill your sink with water. Now see which things from around the house will float: try things like buttons, bottle caps, paper clips, etc. Variation: make a chart and predict what will happen to each item, then record the actual result.
Centripetal Force: Put a small bouncy ball in a large, plastic salad bowl. Now let your child try to swirl the ball around the sides of bowl without allowing the ball to go flying out. For greater challenge, try the same activity with a few marbles.
Household Volleyball: Roll up a blanket and stretch it across the middle of your living room floor. Now use a balloon to play volley ball. If the ball does not make it to the other side, or if it touches a piece of furniture, it’s a point for the other person. Try playing without making sounds.
Bedroom Basketball: Set your child’s bedroom trash can on a chair or desk. Crumple a piece of paper to use as a basketball. Now practice shooting free throws. See who can make the most in a row.
Number Detective: Write the word “Surprise” on a piece of paper. Cut out the word and hide it in a book. (Remember the page). Now have your child open the book and tell you the page number. Tell her higher or lower, depending on where the word is hidden. Count how many turns it takes to find the missing word. Now switch roles.
Use Rubber Bands to Make Music: Simply secure a rolled up a newspaper with tape, then place it on a baking pan. Wrap rubber bands around the baking pan. Now turn the newspaper on an angle so the length of the rubber bands vary. Make two and play something together.
Target Practice: Roll up a piece of paper and secure it with a rubber band. Place it on a table. Stand several feet from the table and take turns shooting rubber bands at it. The first person to knock it down wins. Variation: use different colored paper. Now try knocking the targets down in order: for example, red, blue, green.
Texture Game: Have your child close her eyes and try to find the edge of a roll of masking tape. Now switch rolls. A small red mark near the target will allow your child to watch while you search for the edge with your eyes closed.
Interview Your Child: Ask questions like: How old are you? What’s your favorite game? Favorite book? Favorite place to go, etc. See how the answers change six months from now.
Flying Ribbon: Stick a pencil through the center of a paper plate. Tape the pencil in place. Attach a ribbon (3-4 ft long) to the under-edge of the plate. Now hold the pencil between your hands and rub back and forth (like you’re making heat) to make the ribbon leap and dance. See what happens with two ribbons.
Cotton Ball Painting: Pinch a cotton ball with a clothes pin. Now dip the cotton ball into paint and dab on construction paper to make clouds, flowers or fun designs. For a cleaner design, use a separate cotton ball for each new color.
One Minute Bookmark: Remove the stickiness from a piece of masking tape by dipping it in flour. Shake off excess. Now write your child’s name with a message: for instance- Claire’s favorite book. Use bright markers to decorate.
Easy Necklace Making: Elbow macaroni is perfect for necklace making. Simply decorate noodles with tempera or watercolor, then string together with yarn or kite string. These make great gifts.
Guess Which Hand: Place a peanut in one of your hands while your toddler’s eyes are closed. Now let your toddler guess which hand is hiding the peanut. Switch roles. Now you guess which hand your toddler is using to to hide the peanut. This simple activity builds a range of skills including pattern recognition and strategy making.
Spooky Hand: Next time you make flashlight shadows on the wall, take a minute to make a spooky hand. Simply fill a clear glass 1/2 full of water. Shine the flashlight from underneath. Now ask your child to hold her hand slightly above the glass. On the ceiling you will see a ghostly hand.
Wholesome around the house games are a great way to maintain a robust learning environment. Kids generally learn better when they are enthusiastic, and new activities stimulate your child’s curiosity and eagerness to explore how things work. Plus, a steady course of new activities helps prevent your child from slipping into the passive world of electronic entertainment.
Best of luck!