1. Tell stories. Children love bedtime stories. It helps them to relax and fall asleep more easily at night. However, I’ve learned that with my children it can be more fun to TELL stories rather than simply read them. Back when I was in college, I used to take an improv acting class. Of course, my child is too young to understand what improv is, but he still understands the “yes, and” part of it. I start off by asking him what he wants to hear a story about. I start the story and pause with a “and then….” for him to continue. We take turns “passing the torch” with our “and then…” until we both feel the story has reached its end. Our stories may not always make that much sense, but this is still always a fun activity that teaches my child to think creatively without having to search Google for answers or depend on others to tell a story for him.
2. Put on puppet shows. When I was a child, I used to love to perform puppet shows with my older sister. We used to make up all kinds of stories and use our dolls and stuffed animals as puppets for it. Now I enjoy sharing this activity with my son. Sometimes we even use the previous night’s bedtime story as our “script”. Sadly, this activity is becoming rarer and rarer these days. Whenever I tell my other friends who have children about this activity my son and I do together they are always surprised. Most of them have stated that they didn’t even know you could purchase a puppet theatre. However, they are not too difficult to find online. I purchased this special space-saving one for my son. My family and I currently live in just a tiny apartment where space is scarce, so this is perfect for us. It gives him a place to channel his creativity in a fun and unique way without taking up too much space. Plus, it’s really easy to pack away when he is finished playing with it.
3. Arts and Crafts. Stories and puppet shows may not work for all children, but that shouldn't keep them from getting creative. Some children are more into hands-on activities. There are endless ways to allow your children to channel their creativity with arts and crafts. Pinterest should be your best friend when it comes to finding these activities. One that I found recently and did with my son is the “paint in a bag” activity. I don’t know about your kids, but my son is practically obsessed with paint. However, I learned over the years that my carpet and furniture are not big fans of it. Fortunately, with this activity, the paint never leaves the bag. Your child can still “write” and “draw” with the paint, but the paint will stay in a zip-lock bag that will act as a shield for your table, carpet, and other furniture. However, I still highly recommend using safe and washable paint like Natural Earth Paint just in case your child spills or ingests it.
Clarissa Brooks a busy mother to two beautiful children. As a family of four, Clarissa is always looking for new ways to entertain the family, stimulate their creativity, and keep the laughter coming! Visit her on Facebook here.