You don't need elaborate costumes, layers of make-up and a vast budget to provide ample good-times for your children.The humble pen and paper are two aides that are invaluble to anyone who wants to entertain kids, they may not seem like alot on their own, but with another vital tool, imagination, they can be transformed into gateways to hours of fun.
Drawing is a very fulfilling way of letting your children show their artistic side and its a great stress reliever too! If you wanted too you could draw a picture as part of a team effort, for example you could decide to draw an elephant, and you could start at the tail end, and the child could start drawing the head. Ask questions along the way like, "can you remind me where the legs should go?" Children love nothing more than to inform you, and it's a great way of maintaining their concentration!
If you have a little more time to prepare, then you can always purchase a stimulating board game or two for your children. Snakes and ladders, Ludo, and connect4 are all great examples. Once you've played the game through a few times you can always extend the playing time by switching the rules around. By this i don't mean overcomplecating the rules, but for example making children go up the snakes and down the ladders can encourage them to think about breaking conventions. You could even inspire them to make their own customized playing counters which adds an individual twist to the plot and makes the child feel like an important, intergral part of the game.
Games such as hide and seek can also take on a new life, if everybody 'role plays'. Everyone can pick their favorite character from a popular book, or t.v programme, and in so doing the child feels involved in the game. Make sure there are plenty safe places to hide around the house or garden.
Singing songs is another fabulous way to encourage your children's creative side, you don't need to be a fantastic song-bird to get everyone joining in, all you need is a bit of confidence and where you start, the children will usually follow. Making up new lyrics to songs can be rewarding and immensely funny, and you could personalize a song by adding your child's name into it.
Telling stories is one of the most traditional ways of entertaining your children, and aside from the reading part it requires very little effort. You can just select a good yarn from either your own book collection or borrow a book or two from the library. You could even attempt to make up your own story, this is not as daunting as it might first appear. Many Children are fascinated with the world around them, and a story about your day at work, can be enough to get them interested and ask questions. However if you don't have the time to design your own story, there are plenty of popular children's books which can .do the job adequately well. The 'teachersfirst' website provides an extensive list of cracking reads for children!
Going on adventures walks is another great way to pass the time, and keep you fit too! Remember to be enthusiastic and optimistic about your children's discoveries. To you, pebbles or birds' feathers may just be ordinary objects, but to children they can be wondrous, interesting items to get excited about! Encourage your child to describe the 'feel' of the object is it 'hard' or 'smooth'. You could even bring a camera and a drawing pad if you have more time to spare.
At this point, a word of caution, as much as it is a pleasure to let your children discover new things, always keep a watchful eye on them if they are wandering areas which are likely to contain hazards such as broken glass, farm animals or dog excrement, to be on the safe side, you could provide your children with a pair of gloves and make them wash their hands thoroughly when the adventure ends.
I hope some of the tips above can help enhance your play-time with your child and inspire you to come up with numerous better ones! Every child is unique so listen to them, and you will soon find they will entertain you as much as you do them!
Best Wishes for a happy Play-Time!