Playworks for every kid

Games to Play at Home with Your Kids

When friends are not available, try these fun outdoor games.
December 12, 2011

Blogger and mother of two Katie Norris writes for Technorati Women and on her own blog “A Mommy with Selective Memory”. She previously bravely shared how she overcame her iPhone addiction and joined her kids in some quality at home play time. Today she gives us more play tips from her experience at home with kids!

The upside to having a neighborhood full of kids is that playing outside is pure joy for both my kids and for me. The kids run around and ride bikes while the moms look on fondly and chat. The downside is if no kids are available, the world seems to come to an end. The other day it was pretty cold but we bundled up and went outside, hoping the other kids would see us and come out to play. No one came. My three year old kept asking, “Mommy, why won’t my friends come out to play? What can we do out here if my friends won’t come out to play?”
 
I have to admit that this question threw me for a loop. We were so used to having other kids around that I didn’t quite know what to do. We ended up getting cold and going inside. I decided to enlist the help of my friend and fellow blogger, Susan Case. She has a Master in Child Development and is the author Kindergarten: Tattle-tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs, and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents. She also taught Kindergarten for many years so I asked her for some ideas for outdoor play.
 
According to Susan, some outdoor games to consider include: 
Since sidewalk chalk is one of my daughter’s favorites, I decided to try hopscotch, but I’m ashamed to admit that I couldn’t remember how to play it. Again, I asked for Susan’s help. She feels that hopscotch is good for kids because it promotes:
  • Sharing : taking turns
  • Following directions
  • Number recognition
  • Counting and sequencing
  • Concept of the meaning of numbers
  • Physical exercise: balance, hopping, standing on one foot, coordination
  • Cognitive development: following directions
  • Confidence: noticing for accomplishments
Susan suggested that I draw a simple hopscotch pattern and draw numbers. Then we used leaves and rocks. I asked her to put one rock on the number one. Then she put two rocks on the number two and so on. We repeated this with leaves and in the end we ended up just hopping around on the hopscotch and singing. We had a great time, and I think my daughter finally realized that Mommy can be fun outside too! Hopefully someone will be out to play tomorrow, but if not, we’ll try Simon Says.
 
What games do you like to play at home with your kids?