Your turn!

Rainy day?  Cold day?  Sick day?  In need of a quiet day activity?  Break out the board games.  Board games teach turn taking, patience, following directions, and more depending on the game.

As parents running a household we are constantly running around to work, school, daycare, sports, grocery shopping and home only to run around the house doing laundry, doing dishes, giving baths, picking up toys, making dinner, drinking coffee and deciding which items spark joy.  Take time to stop what you are doing and play.  Playing with your child creates and strengthens your relationship.  Through eye contact, conversations, simple touches and the attention you are providing, your child will feel loved and respected and will reciprocate those feelings to others.  Board games are a great way to establish one on one time.

In addition, board games strengthen your child’s social skills such as turn taking, sharing, and patience as well as cognitive skills including memory, vocabulary, and problem solving with these SIMPLE games: Elefun, Go Fishing, Hot Potato, Don’t Break the Ice, Hungry Hippos, Walk Like a Chicken

Shark Attack, Pop the Pig, any other Jack in the Box style game are great for turn taking.  The waiting time is short, and the pay off is big!  Practice colors and counting too!

Remember, it’s okay to bend the rules.  Pick one skill to work on and let the others fly, such as, work on waiting for your turn by sitting on your hands or squeezing hands together, then the adult does the counting or point to where the game piece needs to move to.

And as a Play to Grow motto reminder, LET THE CHILDREN PLAY!  While it can be frustrating to play the game exactly how the rules state, if your child just wants to play with the game pieces or sort pretend money, let them.  They may not be ready for the game yet, or just not today.  If you force them to sit and roll the dice and count spaces and leave their game piece on the blue spot, they are not going to be happy, neither of you will have fun and boards will get flipped and you’ll be the sore loser.

Now, go play!

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Get me outta here!

cab·in fe·ver
noun
  1. irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.

We know the feeling.  We’ve all experienced it.  Whether it’s because you are snowed in, rained in, frozen in, stomach bugged in, humidity-ed in, no car-ed in, whatever the reason you are stuck inside with tiny humans it can get tense, reaaallllll quick.  Get through the day with these easy, minimal prep activities.

Cotton Ball Snow Angels

 

Materials:
-Cotton balls or craft puffs for “rainbow snow” (no cotton balls? no problem! Crumple up scrap paper, tissue paper, toilet paper, whatever you’ve got!)
-floor space

Have your child lay on his back and count to 3.  Dump the cotton balls all over him and let him make snow angels.  Have him collect the “snow” and put it back in the bin/bowl/bag to do it again.

Extending the activity:
-Sing a winter song
-Count the snowballs
-Let them roll around in the “snow”, throw it in the air themselves, have a snowball fight

 

Play Doh Invitation to Play

mama.papa_.bubba_.

Note: your child’s snowman will NOT look like this.

Materials:
-play doh of any color
-snowman making materials: sticks, stones, buttons, baby socks for hat, googly eyes, baby carrots, anything you can find in your junk drawer or craft box
-glitter if you’re brave.

Place all items in small containers or bowls so your child can see all there is to offer (this is perfect).  He may decide to only use one item or just the play doh.  Practice rolling the play doh into balls.  Stacking the balls.   Push the balls down to make a melting snowman.

 

Snowball Soup

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Materials:
-Actual snow if it’s available, otherwise bring back those cotton balls/paper snowballs, or crack some ice cube trays
-2 pots or large bowls
-spoons, cups, small bowls
-large towel

Spread the towel out and have a snowball picnic.   Allow your child to scoop and pour from one bowl to the other.   If snow is in short supply, fill a bowl with an inch or two of water (it will go a long way!) and a handful of ice cubes.  Your little will LOVE scooping the ice from the water.  Make a coffee, sit back and scroll through the gram.

 

Freeze Dance
Materials:
-music or favorite songs
-floor space
-blue suede shoes

As simple as it sounds, this will surely get some energy out.  Practice directional words like “stop/go” or “fast/slow”  Hint: dance with your child, you both need it.

 

How else do you get through a looonnng day?  Leave a comment below!