Whether you're homeschooling or just looking for fun ways to occupy your children, here's an idea for a simple rainy day game that's great for kids of all ages.
Personally, I get tired of seeing my son's head bent over his iPod for hours on end. When he was a preschooler he loved to read books and draw pictures. With the addictive powers of video games, the only way to get him drawing now is for me to get involved.
On one day recently, I decided to put my to-do list aside and take a few minutes to prepare a drawing game for the kids. This game is easy to set up and uses items you already have around the house. All you need is paper, scissors, markers or pencils and your imagination.
Start by brainstorming a bunch of actions that the kids can perform. Write each one on a small slip of paper. Fold the slips and put them in a bowl or other container. We used an empty lollipop container. Then come up with instructions for images to draw. Again, write each one on a slip of paper and add it to the bowl. You should have more actions than drawing instructions.
To give you some examples, here are the actions I came up with:
- Balance a pencil on your nose.
- Do a little dance.
- Do a bird call.
- Do a headstand.
- Tell your sibling one nice thing about him/her (tricky mom, huh?).
- Tap dance.
- Scratch your head while putting one foot on the other leg.
- Make up a rhyme about pigs.
- Hug somebody.
- Balancing on one foot, bend over and touch your toes.
- Kiss Jolene (the dog) on the nose.
As you can see, I went for a mix of silly and sweet.
These were my drawing instructions:
- Draw something with 3 tails and a nose with purple polka dots.
- Draw an angry flower.
- Draw a picture of a place you would like to go.
- Draw a happy banana.
- Draw a freckled girl with a big hat.
- Draw a sad peanut.
Once you have prepared your slips of paper, each person takes a turn, taking slips from the bowl and performing the requested actions. Once a player picks a drawing slip, he or she begins drawing and the next player starts to pick out slips of paper.
I put in more actions than drawings because the kids really enjoyed the action part of things. I would probably include even more next time.
I insisted the kids colour their drawings in, frankly because I was trying to extend the game (and the time away from the TV/iPod).
The game was a great success. The kids loved it and I enjoyed it too. It's fun to see how each person interprets the drawing instructions. My son liked the game so much that he came up with his own ideas to challenge me and his sister with. Here they are:
- Name your sibling's favourite food.
- Do an Apache call.
- Name 5 amphibians.
- Say a tongue twister 5 times fast.
- Rub your belly and pat your head at the same time on one foot for 10 seconds.
- Draw an exploding muffin.
- Draw an embarrassed hand.
My kids are 8 years old and 11 years old, but this game will work for kids of all ages. If your child isn't reading yet, you can either read the notes for her/him or use magazine clippings to show what you want them to do instead.
What's your best tip for keeping kids busy?