Parents: Why Games Are So Important
Playing games with toddlers and school-aged children can be SO much fun for you and your kids. I really encourage you to get creative. This post has some ideas for you.
In my family we like to get outside for fresh air and exercise. I always find my kids are WAY better behaved when their bodies are moving, and they are breathing fresh oxygen. But a big part of this is simply attention. When kids get bored, they find ways to eliminate the boredom. Misbehavior is a common “solution”.
Your job as a parent is to head-off the boredom. Get out there. Play with your kids. Make the time to do it. It’s good for you too. Have you ever stopped to realize just how often kids smile and laugh throughout the day? I bet they laugh 10 times more often than us adults. That’s sad!
So get out there and play games. Laugh. Have fun. Your kids won’t stay young forever and you will treasure these memories if you make them NOW.
I love inventing new games to play. I think I do this because I get bored of playing the same old games. Hide and seek is fun, but we run out of places to hide. The school yard playground only has so many trees, slides, and other obstacles to hide behind.
Sneak Attack Hide and Seek
Recently I came up with something my girls absolutely LOVE. It’s called Sneak Attack Hide and Seek. In fact, all the kids at the park love this game and we end up with everyone joining in.
Here’s how it works: The person who is “it” closes his (or her) eyes and counts. Everyone else runs to hide as per normal. But the “it” person has to sneak up on those who are hiding. He has to sneak up and yell “found you” before those who are hiding notice.
If the person hiding notices the sneak attack coming, he can announce “I see you” and get another chance to go hide again.
In the playground this works really well. There are tunnel slides to hide in, and all sorts of other places. The trick is for the person doing the seeking to stay as hidden and as quiet as possible so he can launch his “sneak attack” and catch the people hiding. It doesn’t work well in the house. It’s too hard for the seeker to stay hidden.
Sneak-up Tickle Attack
Here’s another game I came up with after being tired from playing all day. I literally just wanted to lie down anywhere. But oh, no. The girls wanted to play a bit more.
Unconsciously I must have been thinking, “How can I come up with a fun game where I don’t have to move?” Well, the answer was “sneak-up tickle attack”.
It works like this: I find a spot at the end of a hallway where I can lie down on my stomach. I put my head on a pillow, and I put hold another pillow (or soft blanket) to cover my head. It also blocks my hearing just enough to make the game fun.
Now the kids take turns. One at a time, they start at the other end of the hallway. They must sneak up on me and tickle me under my arms without me catching them. I catch them if I hear them coming. When this happens, I just take my head out from under the blanket and announce, “I hear you!”. They switch, and try again.
If you find it too easy to hear them, block your hearing more with the blanket. If you can’t hear them at all, lighten up a bit.
This game is tremendous fun. Even if I can hear them coming, sometimes I just let them tickle me. They think it’s hilarious!
Truth be told … so do I. I think I laugh harder than them.
What are your creative games?
I hope you agree with me that playing with your kids is important. Laughing is important. What better way to do this than to play games. When you run out of games ideas, make up new games.
What are your favorite games? Do tell! Drop a comment below. I’m always looking for fun ideas.
This blog was written by Talking to Toddlers.
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