There are many educational toys and lessons. However, there are also many kinds of play activities that you can do at home as a family which promote learning and communication.
In this article, we will introduce 5 activities that do not require special props and can be easily done at home. Please take them into consideration the next time you are looking for activities to do at home as a family.
Pretend cooking with clay
Most children enjoy pretending to cook with clay. You can try making fruits, vegetables and even bread. Then pretend to cut them up and cook them.
Depending on your child’s age, you can also prepare play knives, pots and pans to make the activity more realistic.
If parents start by explaining the recipe (steps) and ask their child to follow your instructions, your child will gain memory skills and learn how to listen and follow directions Also when pretending to cook for a group of people your child will be able to learn about numbers and counting when dividing the food among the people involved.
Creating “amidakuji” (ladder lottery)
Creating “amidakuji” (ladder lottery) is a traditional Japanese activity that is said to support the development of logical thinking.
It is an easy activity to learn. Simply write an “amidakuji” on a piece of paper then from the spot you choose determine which line you should draw to reach the goal.
Parents should add random lines and allow their child to decide which additional line is needed to win.
You can play with the same “amidakuji” more than once. All you need to play this game is a paper and pencil.
Sewing with felt
Sewing with a needle and thread requires children to use their fine motor skills and concentrate.
For younger children, it is a good idea to start with a needle with a larger hole.
For really young children you can make holes in paper or felt with a hole punch and have them use yarn to go through the holes.
Making and observing colors with paint
Prepare three colors of paint (red, blue, yellow) and explore mixing them to make new colors. Children can experiment to figure out how much of each paint they should add to make the color they want. After many trial and errors children will realize which color can be made by combining each color. This activity supports the development of imagination and exploration skills.
Make your own stories using the characters in picture books
Using the character from your child’s favorite picture book, pretend that your child is that character and have him/her make their own story. This activity will make your child excited about reading and books. You can ask your child what he/she would do if he/she was the main character. This will help him/her develop his/her imagination. By incorporating these activities into your daily family life, play activities can become more educational. On days that you are unable to go out please consider trying some of the activities introduced in this article.