Fun Games to Play With Children, 10 Spontaneous Games to Enrich Their Lives

1. NATURE BRACELETS

For Ages: 1-5

You can start your little one’s exploration and appreciation of nature with this game of making a masking tape nature bracelet. They’ll notice all the lovely color and shape variations there are in petals and leaves and adorn their wrists with beauty.

MATERIALS:

Masking tape

Leaves and flower petals

DIRECTIONS:

Wrap a piece of masking tape around your child’s wrist, sticky side up, and then go exploring to find wonderful leaves, beautiful flower petals and other interesting things to attach to the bracelet.

Before bedtime, snip the bracelet off and attach it next to his bed or somewhere in view so he can admire his work and remember his fun time.

2. RING OF STRING

For Ages:3-10 years

In this game, children are encouraged to really look closely at one spot and see all there is to see. There is a lot of pleasure to be had from noticing the tiny wonders of nature that are in our own back yard.

MATERIALS:

String

Magnifying glass or jar with water in it (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Make a small circle on the ground with the string. Look carefully at the enclosed area with your child and notice what is growing there. Pull out a weed or blade of grass and see what the roots looks like. Is there a seedpod in the area? What’s inside?

Poke a hole and see if there are any insects around. What are they? What are they doing? Use a magnifying glass or a jar with water in it and look at different things up close.

Gather small things to examine and collect such as pinecones, acorns, petals, seeds, bark, leaves and pretty pebbles.

3. A SPOTLIGHT IN THE DARK

For Ages 1-5 years

Babies are fascinated with anything new. It’s fun for us to be with a little one when she discovers something for the first time. In this game it’s the delight of a flashlight in the dark

MATERIALS:

One or two flashlights

DIRECTIONS:

Keep the lights off in the room that you are in and scan the room with a flashlight, spotlighting different familiar things. “Look there’s the television. Here is the table and there is your high chair.”

You know your little one is going to want a chance to hold the flashlight. Let her. She can shine it wherever she wants or she has to find, with her flashlight, an object you name.

As she gets older and more coordinated, continue this game, but this time you both have flashlights and you encourage her to “catch” your spotlight. You move your spotlight around the room and she has to move hers so it “catches” yours by covering your spotlight with hers.

Your turn to chase next.

4. THE KNOCKING GAME

For: All Ages

Listening to and identifying the different sounds objects make when you knock on them is a game that can be played at any time. When you want to change the focus of fussing children, try saying: “Hey, let’s play a game. Close your eyes and see if you can tell what I’m knocking on. No peeking”

MATERIALS:

Common objects found around the house

DIRECTIONS:

Ask your player to close her eyes and turn her back to you. Then see if she can guess the object you are knocking on with your fist (or a spoon). Start with easy things such as a table and a window, and work towards sounds that are harder to identify, such as knocking on a book or lamp.

Take turns being the identifier and the “knocker”.

5. TOOTHPICK ART

For: All Ages

There are many ways to teach the hands to have more finesse. This is one of them that you can play together.

MATERIALS:

Toothpicks, plain or colored

DIRECTIONS:

Make an abstract design by laying toothpicks out on a table or floor, with each player adding their toothpick to the design. The first player puts down one toothpick. The next player adds his at just the angle that seems pleasing to him. The next person then adds theirs to that design and so on and so on until an interesting design is formed.

Instead of an abstract design, you can make a specific scene. For example, make a house with a picket fence and trees.

!It takes concentration to pick up a skinny toothpick and decide the best place to put it. Placing each toothpick down carefully and trying not to jiggle the design encourages awareness of hand movements.

It also develops the pincer grasp, the small muscles that control the index finger and thumb.

But mainly, it’s fun to make art together.

6. TOE STEPPING

For: All Ages

Here’s a fun and silly game that requires concentration and quick movement. Try it sometime at a birthday party gathering, when you want to redirect excess energy, or when the kids are bored and want something quick and new to do.

MATERIALS:

None but fancy footwork

DIRECTIONS:

Two people, both barefoot or in stocking feet, face each other and hold hands. Each person tries to step on the others toes while at the same time keep their toes from being stepped on.

You might remind the players to step lightly on each other’s toes so that others will do the same to you. In other words, follow this game’s Golden Rule: Step on others as you would want to be stepped on.

Concentrating on both keeping out of the way and going for the goal is a kind of trial by fire. Pressure on their foot lets them know when they weren’t paying close enough attention!

7. BALLOON BASEBALL

For Ages: 1-5

Baseball may be fun but those balls can hurt and are hard to hit. For young ones, use a balloon!

MATERIALS:

Balloon

Bat: Make a bat out of anything handy, such as the inside cardboard tube of a paper towel roll or a rolled up section of yesterdays newspaper secured with tape

DIRECTIONS:

. Give the bat to your player and toss the balloon to her. The slow movements of a balloon floating towards her gives her plenty of time to line up her bat, swing at the ‘ball” and get the satisfaction of “connecting.”

If there is just the two of you, take turns being the pitcher/catcher and the batter.

If there are other players, their job is catching the “ball” as it leisurely floats down. Who ever catches it can have the next turn at batting or give it to someone who hasn’t had enough turns.

After everyone gets all the turns they want, you can change the game to “Golf”. Use boxes turned on their sides as “holes” and players see how many strokes it takes to hit the balloon in the box.

8. BACK WRITING

For Ages: 5-12 years

Writing invisible letters on a child’s back a fun way to write a secret message.

MATERIALS:

Paper

Pencil

DIRECTIONS:

One person sits with his back to another and a pad of paper and pencil in front of him.

The other person, using his finger, “draws” a letter on the person’s back.

At the same time, that person draws on the paper what he thinks is being drawn on his back.

Keep writing letter by letter until a whole message is given. The message could be a clue to where a treat is hidden!

Take turns so both the writer and the person written on get to experience what it feels like.

Have an older child play this game with a younger sibling as a fun way to help him learn his letters.

9. SELF PORTRAITS

For Ages: Teens

Many teenagers go through a phase where they become fascinated with their reflection in the mirror, especially during the period when their faces make that change from a child’s to a young adult’s.

In this activity, you and your changing child can take advantage of this fascination by drawing your mirror reflection

MATERIALS:

Mirror

Felt tip marker

Paper (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Both of you sit facing a mirror and draw your reflection directly on the mirror using a felt-tip marker.

You can also draw each other’s on paper but don’t look at the paper until the drawing is done. This often gives a kind of Picasso look to the work

10. SHOE MOUNTAIN

For: All Ages

When the kids are bored but antsy with energy, here is a quickie that is guaranteed to win the hearts of all ages. Your twelve year old will l be just as excited to play this game as your two year old.

MATERIALS:

Shoes

DIRECTIONS

Pile all the shoes you can readily find in a pile in a large cleared out space in the room. Tell the kids that this is not a pile of shoes (silly them to think that!) but is actually a huge mountain and they have to start from a distance away and run towards the mountain and then with one gigantic leap, make it over the top of the mountain to the other side.

It adds to the thrill if the others provide a drum roll–slapping their hands on the floor or on a table or on their knees as the next Leaper makes her run and then when that person is in the air, call out her name!

5 Fun Games to Play With Your Dog That Will Make Him Healthier and Happier

Summer is just around the corner for most of us, so it’s now time to dust of the dog and, yourself of course and, head to the local park for some fun games with your pet. There are a great many dog activities you can choose from that will suit all breeds and, the good part is they are free to play, you don’t need any expensive equipment, and above all they will help to keep your dog in tip top physical and mental condition.

Fetch

One of the most favorite games of all dog breeds, when they learn the rules of course, is fetch. When you teach a dog to fetch it not only adds to your arsenal of dog training techniques, it also helps to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, which will have positive benefits in all areas of your relationship.

When teaching your dog to fetch use a ball that is not too small or too hard, as he could swallow it or damage his teeth. If you have a puppy that you would like to teach to fetch a ball and bring it back, here are some puppy training techniques that will help make playing this game a success.

Put your puppy on a long training lead. Show him the ball while at the same time teasing him a little to get his interest. When your dog shows interest, role the ball across the floor, but only a foot or so and, ask your dog to ‘fetch’ or ‘ get it ‘. As soon as your dog picks up the ball begin excitedly calling him back to you. Once he is in arms length, hold on to the ball and ask your dog to ‘leave ‘ or ‘ drop ‘. When he opens his mouth, praise him and give him a little food treat if you like, or another game of fetch. Keep practicing this exercise by increasing the distance you role the ball across the floor.

Find the treat

Find the treat is another one of those fun games to play with your dog, as it encourages the dog to use his primary sense, his sense of smell. Begin by hiding a food treat, for example a little bit of cheese or sausage for your dog to find. Although dogs have a highly developed sense of smell they still need a little encouragement to discipline their searching abilities, so make it simple to begin with, by basically leading your dog to the treat, while using a word such as ‘ find ‘. Soon you will be able to hide treats in any place and your dog will quickly find them.

Tracking

If you really want to develop and test your dogs abilities in this area you could try the search game in your local park. Use your dogs ball or a small piece of cloth for this exercise. Again, begin by putting your dog on his training lead, as this will help you to guide him initially to the ball or piece of cloth. Begin by walking a little way and, while your dog is not looking discreetly drop the ball or cloth. Walk on a few feet then stop, turn around, give your dog his command, such as ‘find ‘ and begin walking in the direction of the ball or cloth. Encourage your dog all the time you are doing this. When he finds his ball, give him plenty of praise and play the game again. Practice developing this exercise in just the same way as you did with the earlier example.

Tug

A lot of dog breeds enjoy games which involve tugging, especially the larger breeds. Again this is an excellent way of helping your pet get rid of pent up energy however, like all games they are much better enjoyed when everybody plays by the rules. To make tug one of those fun games to play with your dog, make sure that you always initiate this game; your dog must be aware that the tug toy is yours and not his and, it is up to you to decide when you play this game. Don’t over stimulate your dog during this game, and do make sure that you teach him the ‘out’ or ‘ leave’ command first, so as you have control over the game at all times.

Some trainers suggest that you should always ‘win’ the tug toy from your dog, as a way of not encouraging dominant behaviour. I wouldn’t play a game for too long that I didn’t win at occasionally, would you? It’s OK to let your dog ‘win’ his tug toy now and again, providing he plays the games by your rules.

Catch the Frisbee

One last game that is especially popular with a lot of dog breeds, especially with breeds such as Collies, German Shepherds and Retrievers for example, is ‘ catching the Frisbee ‘. If your dog has not played this game before, do make sure that he is healthy enough to do so, as this game can be quite physically demanding. To teach your dog to catch the Frisbee, begin by getting your dog to take the Frisbee by rolling it a foot or so across the floor. When your dog is happily picking up the Frisbee, you can then stand back a couple of feet and throw it to your dog for him to catch. Once your dog is catching the Frisbee from this distance consistently, you can begin increasing the distance gradually.

Go ahead and have fun with these five dog activities. They are a great way to keep both you and your dog healthy. However, do remember not to over do things, especially in hot weather. Take frequent breaks between your play sessions and, don’t forget to take plenty of water for your dog.

Washer Toss – Playing a Simple Yet Fun Game

If you are looking for a simple yet fun game to play right in your back yard, an ice-breaker game during gatherings, or a game anyone could play in party, playing washer toss is ideal. It does not require anything fancy but simple materials only that can be even found at your very own home. The rules are fairly easy to follow that even children can set it up and play it on their own. But even if it is a very basic type of game, it could be very fun too. This game is popular in different countries and both adults and children can play it. Just as long as you are looking for fun and able to throw a washer, you can definitely play washer toss.

Materials needed for the game are washers, boxes, cans or pipes, and strings. Cans or pipes are placed inside the 2 washer boxes which are on opposite sides. The boxes are around 20 feet apart from each other and are connected with a string. Players on opposite teams stand behind or next to the box will take turn in throwing washers. In order to win the game, a team must reach 21 points ahead of the other team. If the washer goes into the can that is within the box, it is scored 3 points. If the washer goes outside the can but inside the box, it is scored 1-point. The point difference in every round is the score of that will be awarded to a team. If the both teams score the same amount of points in every round, they cancel each other’s scores for that particular round. The rules are basically similar to other target toss games such as the cornhole and horseshoes game.

The game could be held in different outdoor places with a wide space such as the yard or the lawn. This type of game has become very popular in other countries that they even hold washer toss tournaments every year with winners getting cash prices and other types of rewards. Though there is a general rule in playing the said game, the setup, materials used, and scoring system may vary in different countries all over the globe. It is considered as a simple yet very fun game that could be ideal also for special events.

Play this game with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors and you are sure to enjoy a lot. No need to spend a lot of money and no need to exert much effort in order to set the game up and play it. You can make the boxes on your own or you can buy a whole set in stores. People of all walks of life and of all ages can play this game easily. You could play it to bond with you family or if you simply want to pass time. The next time you are thinking of a game to play, try playing washer toss and have a blast with others.