CM's Homepage area being rebuilt

Welcome to the homepage area of Christianmums.com. This area is under redevelopment at the moment. Please proceed to the fully functioning FORUM area and meet the whole community. Feel free to register in the forum and post away, ... just forgive the work going on at the front of house here for the time being. Thank you! Gurney - site admin!

image
Welcome to Christianmums.com! At the heart of this community is a lively forum area with nearly 2000 Christian Mums chatting away about everything under the sun! Come and join in!
*
image
Forums
Interact with other mums from around the world
1600 members worldwide
Share your faith with other Christians
Pray for one another privately
Bible study groups
Practical hints and tips
Blogs
Share your thoughts
your own blog space
freedom to add images and other media files
social web integration
Sign Up Now Sign Up to get access now!
Gallery
post your images
enjoy other people's galleries
send e-cards from the images in the gallery
social web enabled
Sign Up Now Sign Up to get access now!
Articles
A wide range of useful and inspiring articles to help you as a mum
Interviews with real life mums
feed your soul, and your brain
book reviews, recipes, days out, ...
Sign Up Now Sign Up to get access now!
Articles Really Useful Lists Entertaining Young Children

Entertaining Young Children

Anyone who has had anything to do with young children knows how difficult it can be to keep them busy and happy. Here are some ideas for keeping small people entertained. Please do make use of these ideas or go to the end of this thread to add your own.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts - messy but fun!

Outdoor Games

Indoor Games

Let's Pretend

Making Music

Cooking

Computing, TV and Video

Books

Miscellaneous

 

Arts and Crafts

  • Draw on a chalkboard.
  • A bag of fabric scraps can be used to make pictures of faces etc.
  • Make sheep out of cardboard and cotton wool.
  • Buy a big roll of lining paper and let your child draw huge pictures.
  • Get some stencils and draw in them together. They can feel like they are 'drawing' things that are actually too complicated to draw freehand.
  • Make figures from a story you've read out of card and make a stand for them to stand up.
  • Act out a little play of the story using figures.
  • Draw a picture of something your child likes for them to colour in.
  • Write 'Thank you God for.' at the top of a piece of paper and use catalogue pictures for your child to find things he likes and/or has got at home which he would like to say thank you for then write 'Amen' at the bottom.
  • Make cardboard faces and use lengths of wool for hair.
  • Clear a big space on the kitchen table and make a huge picture out of playdough. We chose a space scene so we had stars, planets, rockets, spacemen etc. It was really big and colourful and it was interesting to watch them converting all the things they draw proficiently into another medium. And here's the best bit, the playdough would go hard after a while so you take a photo of your creation and squash it back in the pots ~ no paper mountain of pictures! Try an underwater scene too.
  • Give him a paper plate and he can draw his tea on it or cut pictures of food out of a catalogue to stick on.
  • Decorate a paper plate for everyone in your family to eat from. Probably a biscuit or cake rather than beans and egg!
  • Make a book by stapling paper together and write a story about your children. Stick appropriate photos of your children into it. They will love it. 
  • Use newspaper to fold into hats and boats and other simple shapes. 
  • Make wrapping paper from big sheets of lining paper decorated with pens, stickers etc. 
  • Make a person out of card with a stand so it stands up. Then make lots of clothes out of paper. Your child can colour them as he wishes, then you can put them on the person with blue tack. The funnier the combinations, the better.
  • Use cardboard, silver foil, string and glue make shiny fishes you can hang up.
  • Make homemade boats from empty margarine tubs. Decorate a mast (1 or 2 triangles of paper) on a lollystick and wedge into some bluetak in the middle of the margarine tub.
  • Make your own flash cards with card and pictures cut out of an old catalogue. (or a card with a letter on and then pictures cut out that began with that letter).
  • For Christmas, print off oversized star shapes and crowns and Christmas tree shapes (all from Word or some other package with shapes) and then let the kids paint/glitter them.
  • Print out a picture from a website, colour them in, stick them on card, then cut them up into jigsaw pieces to make your very own puzzles. The trick is to cut up your own first so the world won't end when you start chopping into your child's picture!
  • Buy some Hama beads and design your own creations with those. Basically, you get these little beads, you make designs out of them on a board, then iron them and you've got your little design to keep.
  • Ikea do large tubs of the beads and the plastic 'prong things' that you set the beads on.
  • Make them each a little blank book out of some card, paper and a staple and let them fill their books with careful pictures and writing.
  • Draw eight boxes on a piece of paper for children to draw in and, the same again, having small boxes will turn a quick picture into a lengthy work of art as they choose what to draw in each box, carefully draw it, choose colours etc.
  • Get the play dough out.
  • Make a height chart for your family by putting a long piece of paper on a door or wall. Measure each family member in turn and write their name on the mark you've made. This works best, probably, the more people you have in your family but you could insist on measuring family, friends, neighbours, the postman etc when they pop by.
  • When we decorated the stairs we drew hand prints of the children on the landing wall and painted them in gold, and wrote their names and ages on the wall next to their hand prints.
  • Look through photo albums- create a scrapbook together with stickers, etc. 

Back To Top

Messy (but fun!) Arts and Crafts

  • Do some finger-painting.
  • Put shaving cream on a tray, table or tub and let your child play with it, drawing shapes.
  • Sharpen crayons all over a bit of paper, so all the different coloured sharpenings make a mess on half of the paper. Then when you've done, you fold the paper in half and iron it with a coolish iron and the crayon bits melt into a pattern, most often a butterfly, but we've also had a crab and a bat here this morning. You can then use a black pen to draw on extra bits like the butterfly's body inbetween the wings, or legs for the crab etc.
  • Make models out of various empty cartons/bottles and get them to paint them to their hearts content! (empty 2ltr drinks bottles make fantastic rockets!)
  • Do potato printing with paint and potatoes cut into shapes. 
  • Do printing with other things such as cotton reels. 
  • Do printing with sponge cut into shapes. Can be used over and over.
  • Make cards for people's birthdays or for Christmas using glitter, stickers, coloured paper etc. They don't have to be created with great skill to look really good.
  • Give them safety scissors, old magazines and a glue stick and make collages.
  • Using a salt-dough recipe make Christmas decorations using shaped cutters that could be baked then painted and glittered and given out as presents from the kids to family and friends to hang on their trees. You could do it for birthday presents and put a few drops of aftershave/perfume on them as a smelly for the wardrobe.
  • You can make almost anything out of salt dough, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for our recipe and have a go.
  • Make simple Christmas decorations, paper chains, baubles from ping-pong balls, glitter and cotton.
  • Cut pictures out of a catalogue to glue onto a piece of paper.

Back To Top

Outdoor Games

  • Outside at home in winter- let them help shovel snow, make snow angels, and throw snowballs
  • In warmer weather outside at home- children like to dig in dirt, play on the swing or slide, kick a ball, play in sand.
  • Go for a walk in the rain and splash in puddles.
  • Buy some chalks and let your child draw on the paving slabs outside.
  • Roll out the lining paper outside and do foot and hand painting.
  • Wash the car, kids love it and you get a good job done.
  • Supervise them with a digital camera while they take photos of things they find in the garden, then have a look at them inside and try to find out on the internet or in books what they are, what the leaves are from, what sort of beetle you found or whatever.
  • Do rubbings of leaves, walls, flowers with crayons and white paper.
  • Give your child a pot of water and a paintbrush to go and 'paint' pictures outside with no mess.
  • Encourage older children to write letters in water on the slabs.
  • Another great one is to let them 'paint' the garden fence or wall. Great when the sun is out and dries it up before they reach the end - they want to go back and start again!
  • Buy a sandpit - kids will play in it in the summer and even when the snow is here!
  • In hot weather, organize for the kids to have their bath outside in the paddling pool. Bring down some bath toys, some bubble bath and flannels and they have a whale of a time. It's a bit of a faff to organize the hot water but it's worth it for the added fun of doing bathtime outside.
  • If you have a garden that is big enough and are not on a water meter, buy a large plastic sheet from a builder's merchants, spread it out on the ground, set the hose pipe running, sprinkle baby bath/washing up liquid on it, get the children - or adults - changed into their swimming things and let them loose on it!!
  • Go for a walk and find lots of leaves/feathers etc to glue onto a picture when you get home.
  • Draw a picture and put it in an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it and walk down to post it, talking about what happens to letters on their way to the recipient.

Back To Top

Indoor Games

  • Find a box and a bit of material big enough to cover over the top of it. Cut a slit in the material big enough to fit a hand in. Then put different objects in it, for the children to feel and guess what they are. They will be able to both guess the objects and choose more objects for you or a sibling to guess. You can vary the difficulty of this for the age of the child/ren and maybe set up a points system.
  • Somebody two or under may cope better with just pulling things out and then naming them, rather than having to guess without looking.
  • Have a tray of objects to memorize and then try to guess which one is missing. Start with a few objects and you can add to them. Take turns with your children.
  • Find a basket or box and have your child look for things that are a certain colour or shape or texture "let's find something blue" and fill the basket up.
  • Play with cards.
  • Make a set a Pairs cards to play your own game with. Draw or cut out pictures from a catalogue.
  • Play I Spy "I spy something that's green, do you see something that's green? I spy something that's smooth, do you see something that is smooth?"
  • Count things- find numbers or letters around the house, use magnetic letters or numbers.
  • Play with rice or beans- have rice in a plastic box and let them scoop, pour and bury toys.
  • Throw bean bags into the laundry basket.
  • Sort and stack things- clothes, blocks, shoes, books.
  • Put a puzzle together.
  • Make paper aeroplanes and see who can throw theirs the furthest. Decorating them can be fun too.

Back To Top

Let's Pretend

  • Put plastic bowls and plates in the sink and add some bubbly water for them to 'wash up'.
  • Make a den using chairs and blankets.
  • Do pretend cooking with bowls and wooden spoons and dry pasta/lentils. You can even weigh out the ingredients on your scales.
  • Put some old keys on a key ring for them to play at being grown up. 
  • Dress up in funny hats/gloves/scarves/big shoes and pretend to be different characters.
  • Get a plastic tea set out and make pretend food out of play dough or plasticine.
  • Set up your coffee table as a shop. Put your food tins and packets on it and make some coins from cardboard and notes from paper. Then your child can be the shopkeeper and you can buy things.
  • Invest in some face paints (I prefer ones you paint on with a brush rather than the crayons) and paint your children's faces. even if they won't have it done on days out and at fetes, they may be happy for you to do it at home. It takes a while to do and then they play for ages at being the character you painted.
  • Set up a pretend Post Office with some junk mail, and a post box made out of a painted box. Even make pretend stamps so they can make their own letters.
  • On the Post Office theme, buy some cheap envelopes and writing paper, some stickers to be stamps. Then children can make their own letters to go in the post box.
  • Make a house out of a big cardboard box and decorate it.
  • Make a nest out of pillows and blankets.
  • Put a blanket over a table and make a hideout.
  • Pretend to walk through different things and make sound effects (mud, sticky jelly).
  • Walk like different animals.
  • Play dressing up- they will love Daddy's old shirt, hats, scarves, shoes.

Back To Top

Making Music

  • Make percussion instruments out of jars full of dry pasta, upside down saucepans and bowls and use wooden spoons as drum sticks.
  • Put some music on and dance.
  • Listen to a children's music tape or cd and do the actions to the songs, or make up silly actions if there aren't any.
  • If you have a piano or keyboard, they will love making music on it.
  • Make music- drum, whistle, and shakers.

Back To Top

Cooking

  • Make cakes and have a spoon each to stir the mixture. 
  • Use tubes of icing and sprinkly things to decorate the cakes you have made.
  • Make something simple like angel delight together and serve it up for the family pudding.
  • Make salt dough which you can then use to make things. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for our recipe.
  • Make peppermint creams, all in different colours. 
  • Make no-bake oat cookies.
  • Make a jelly or an angel delight. They are fun to stir, have ingredients to add and are good to eat afterwards!
  • Make biscuits, pizza, pudding, and bread.

Back To Top

Computing, TV and Video

  • Find some children's websites e.g. Bob the Builder, Postman Pat etc and play the games and do the puzzles together.
  • Make Top Trumps sets. You can help by making a template up on a Word document so we can print them out. We decide on the categories and then he can cut them out, add the numbers, draw the pictures and name them. You can even trawl the internet to find out the proper statistics for your subject. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for my templates.
  • Open up a Word document and make the type really big and let your child type a document. Then date it and save it to show them when they are older.
  • Print out their document for them to keep (and colour?)
  • On your computer - let them dictate a story to you - you type it in in a big font, and leave gaps for them to illustrate it.
  • Children love having a go on a play station, or similar, if you have one.
  • You can get suitable games for a normal computer too.
  • Watch a video together and talk about what happened to the characters, what was funny and what you learnt.
  • Rent a video the whole family will enjoy and buy or make popcorn, turn the lights down and make it fun!
  • Do some videoing of your child then watch it back on the television. Let your child have a turn at videoing (heavily supervised, of course!)
  • Do some silly recording onto a cassette then listen back to yourselves - this makes a nice keepsake too.

Back To Top

Books

  • Go through a toy catalogue together, both saying what your favourite thing is on each page
  • Read stories onto cassette then your child can listen back to them whenever they like
  • Find 10 books you haven't read for a while and put them in a pile. Let your child decide what order to read them in.
  • Read books, whatever they bring you.
  • Help your child make their own book to read.
  • When you make up stories for your children, take the time to write them up in a home made book so they can keep them and remember them.
  • Go to the library and let your child choose the books you sit and read together.

Back To Top

Miscellaneous

  • Look out of the window together and talk about what you can see.
  • Play marbles and find lots of containers to put them in and roll them about
  • Buy a cheap one use camera and let your child practise taking real pictures and get them developed to see the results
  • Grow some cress in a yoghurt pot/egg shell
  • Fill a big bowl or pan with soapy water and let your child play with the bubbles
  • Get your puzzles all out together and your child can sort through which pieces go with which puzzle and then gradually do all the puzzles. This can keep children occupied for ages. Works well with those wooden board puzzles, having them all laid out together.
  • Buy some bath letters, they are great fun and help with learning to read and write too.
  • I try and make arrangements to meet up with a different friend or my sister each day, just for a few hours. The kids get to play with a variety of friends, and it breaks the day up.
  • Exercise or dance.
  • Jump on the bed.
  • Keep some toys back for days when you need a bit of fresh input.
  • Use a theme for a day or a few days, eg. Noah's Ark, paintings of rainbows, playing with toy animals, reading animal stories, visit to a farm etc
  • Look in toyshops or newsagents for really cheap toys. It's surprising how many hours of fun your child can get out of something which cost less than 50p.

Back To Top