Indoor Summer Play

Last week, we discussed ways to have fun with your kids with some simple outdoor play  at home or a park. But sometimes, it is simply too hot or rainy to head outside or you have a small time frame to fill before another activity. Here are some indoor activities that can be easily tweaked to be fun and age appropriate.

Story Time – It is so important for children of all ages to be introduced to the parts of a story and the idea that they can be their very own authors.

2-4 year olds – Encourage them to tell YOU a story that you can write or type up. Explain some of the basic parts of a story – Introduction, climax, resolution (and explain what those big words mean – simply that we need to meet some characters, have them do something and have them finish) and that we want to hear about one event. See what happens.

4-8 year olds – Depending on their writing abilities, offer to write/type for them or encourage them to write the story for themselves. Ask leading questions about what is going to happen next or help them clarify what they are trying to communicate. Teach fun details like adding the color of the princess’s dress or the size of the truck tires.

8-12 year olds – Challenge them to write their own story. Introduce the concept of character development, using more description words and taking more time before starting the story to outline what parts they want to include in the story. Reintroduce those words of Intro, Climax and Resolution and challenge them to show you how they are using each part.

Reading Time – It is so key to continue those reading skills throughout the summer. Our local KDL branches do an amazing job of providing age appriopriate challenges for our kids.  My 8-year-old who does not LOVE reading yet, is eagerly reading his 15 minutes a day to earn his online badges and points.  Visit KDL.org and click on their summer reading program to learn more.

Craft Time – Often it is wonderful to simply gather around the table and have a chance to use your creative side.  For different age groups, this can look very different.

2-4 year olds – The little ones might want an official coloring book or a chance to draw a picture with you.  Contrary to some opinions, you don’t need to buy big chunky crayons for young children to be able to get a good grip.  Actually, thin and short crayons force children to practice their pencil grip from a young age. If you would like to learn more about pencil grip, here is a great article. http://mamaot.com/3-tricks-to-help-kids-learn-to-hold-their-pencil-correctly/

4-8 year olds – Here, more advanced coloring books might be desired or it is a chance for your child to demonstrate their own creativity. Do they love space and planets or fish and sea creatures. See what they want to draw. Consider offering a different media such as oil pastels (put some paper down under your table first) or colored pencils or markers.

8-12 year olds – Older kids can really enjoy learning some drawing and coloring techniques. Our daughter loves a website called Art Hub where a dad teaches how to draw favorite cartoon or movie characters while his child draws with him giving you the artist perspective and the kid perspective. Very fun!

So, enjoy your summer both indoors or out and have a great time with our kids!

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