If you don’t have children in the home, then you are unlikely to have a stash of toys ready when a child visits. Here are some ways to keep a visiting child happy without investing in expensive toys and games.
Let Them Build Things
Get out anything you have that lends itself to stacking. This could be the corks that you’re saving for a craft project or scraps of wood from the workbench. Children love arranging these into patterns and trying to build a tower.
Make a Tent With Chairs and a Blanket
Children love playing in hidey-holes. Let them arrange a sheet or blanket over some chairs and play inside the tent. Watch out with very young children that they don’t pull a chair over.
Get a bottle of this with the wand at the dollar store. It’s easy to store and will provide hours of fun for a child. Actually, adults enjoy these as well.
You can also find recipes to make your own bubble blowing solution.
Start Them Drawing
All you need is paper, even scrap paper, and a pencil. Colored pencils add to the fun, but aren’t absolutely necessary. Sit with the child and suggest things to draw and admire their creations.
Take a Nature Walk
Make a list of things they might see on a walk in your area (mushroom, squirrel, a bug, a “y” shaped stick). As you walk along, they can search for the things on the list like a scavenger hunt. Give them a little reward for finding a certain number of things. It could be a gold star or a cookie, something simple.
Remember that children crave your time and attention. Don’t just park them in front of the television so the adults can talk. Spending time with you and their parents is important to the child’s development.
(post by Virginia Allain – previously published on List My Five)