With the help of these simple activities, it can easily become a time that brings your family closer together.
Use Your Hands
Young children are visual learners. You can use classic finger games as a way to relax and calm both yourself and your child before bed, while at the same time teaching simple concepts. Games such as ‘This Little Piggy,’ ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider,’ and ‘Patty Cake’ can entertain your child while teaching counting, logic, and other concepts. And your child won’t even know they’re learning.
Toddlers are often amused by silly little games, but they may have outgrown ‘This Little Piggy.’ To engage these children, get a water-soluble marker and draw little faces on your fingers. Let these ‘people’ talk to you children, perhaps even creating a story involving these ‘finger people.’
Learn to Play
Many young children don’t really know how to play with their toys; they just throw them around. Many parents have forgotten how to play. Get down on the floor and learn together. Pick a couple of toys, and talk about them with your child. Demonstrate what they toy does, how it is used, and maybe even what it says. Choose different toys every night. Soon, both you and your child will have mastered the art of ‘playing.’
Make It Musical
Make or find simple instruments around the house. You can use two wooden spoons or a plastic container filled with dried rice, beans, or pasta. Get a little more creative and make your own guitar with a cardboard box and a few elastics. Even banging on an old pot will work. Whatever you choose, make sure you and your child each have an instrument. Make up a silly song and play music together for a few minutes. If your child is difficult to get to bed, have them play the song as he or she goes down the hallway toward the bedroom.
Throw an old sheet over a table to create a tent. Let your child pick out several toys to take into the tent. Both of you should climb inside and make up a tale about camping in the wilderness. Include the toys your child has selected in the story. Depending on the age of your child, the stories can get quite wild and entertaining. Consider writing these tales down in a book to revisit when you child is a little older.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do with your children. Just make sure that you’re spending some quality time with each and every one of them before sending them off to bed. The activities here are only presented as a guide. Get creative with your children, and remember to have fun.
What’s your favourite evening kid activity?