The school holidays are fast closing in on your kids (if they haven’t already) and you know what that means, right? A good amount of your child’s day is going to be spent sedentary and absorbed; on video games, TV and e-games. While these activities do a good job of entertaining and sometimes intellectually stimulating your child, you will probably feel a tad discomforted by the amount of time they are going to spend on screen-related activities. There is no denying that screens have redefined play in the 21st century but there are practical guidelines recently advised by the American Association of Paediatrics that can help parents to effectively regulate their kids’ digitally wired lives. One of them is ensuring that your child has regular unplugged times. In case you may now be wondering how in the world they are going to occupy themselves for any reasonable amount of time away from a screen, here are a couple of interactive indoor games they are sure to enjoy!
You may remember playing quite a few of these when you were younger and if your child is somewhere between pre-school and upper primary, they will probably be well-acquainted with quite a couple. Hand-memory games usually require two or more players. The hand part of the game involves a coordinated and skillful clapping and engaging of hands among players, as they sing or recite a memory game. The memory part of the game is exercised as players take turns to recite the names of members of a similar grouping such as the names of boys, girls, animals, confectioneries, cars or vegetables. Whoever gets stuck or says a wrong name goes out and the game is continued until there is one survivor left, the winner. There are plenty of such games each with their own rules and methods of engagement. Two that I recall often playing with my sisters, are ‘Amhina Kadeya’ and ‘Let’s play’. The likes of my eight year old daughter and her friends have since advanced and multiplied these hand-memory games to the likes of ‘There’s a party round the corner’, ‘My mother’ and ‘John got shot by the FBI’.
This is a game my daughter often likes to play with me while I cook or drive or washes the dishes. it is better played by two or more people. One person suggests three random things (i.e.a shoe box, a bee and ugogo). The other person then has to make up a story out of these three things. When they are done telling their story, it becomes their turn to suggest the three topics and another takes up the storytelling. My daughter has a tendency to go on and on and on and…ringing a bell?…so we have devised a rule of keeping our stories short, interesting and sweet! For older children, words from the dictionary can be used and they can include none tangible objects like emotions (frustration, anger) and verbs (lovely, awesome)
This game will require at least four players. The amount of chairs should always be one less than the number of players. Usually music is played while the players walk or trot in a circle around the chairs. When the music stops, each player dashes to sit in one of the chairs. The player who is left without a chair is eliminated from the game and a chair is removed. The game continues until one person is left –the winner!
Fun paper and pencil games
Games like Noughts and Crosses, Hangman and Battlemanship are fun to play with another person. Children can spend a reasonable amount of time pleasantly pre-occupied and engaged with pencil and paper. Here are a couple of games they can try out this holiday.
Free play is the potting soil of creativity in young children. Made-up games, building-block constructions, fantasy stories acted out with dolls or Ironmans, and car trips to the moon and back, are all important for building a child’s creativity. This kind of play is vital for children because they are not bound by the constraints of reality and logic. They can fly while running, swim in the grass and bake delicious mud cup cakes. Indulge them this wonderful opportunity!