|Fun Indoor Games
by SARA AHMAD
Stuck inside? Try these fun indoor games and activities
The next time your kids complain about having nothing to do, consider these creative and fun indoor kids' games and activities. Playing indoor games means your family can have fun together and create something they can be proud of instead of watching TV or playing videogames for hours. Here are some great ideas.
1. Put On Finger-Puppet Plays
A great idea is to put a finger puppet on your fingers. Have your child invite some friends over and put on a production with finger puppets as actors. Help the kids write a play and then put on a show with dialogue, and maybe even a few songs. If you don't have finger puppets, you can use stuffed animals or make your own characters using construction paper cut-outs and ice pop sticks or straws. You can even videotape the show to watch later and remember the fun all over again!
2. Have A Silly Song Writing Contest
Who can write the silliest song with the most nonsensical lyrics? Explore different genres of music, this is a great way to have your child explore the differences among jazz, rock, and blues. Gather up all your shakers, harmonicas and anything that can be turned into a musical instrument and put on a performance.
3. Write Letters
That's right – actual written words on actual paper. No email. No texting. Not only is this an excellent way to get your grade-schooler to practice handwriting and forming sentences, but it shows them an alternative to the fast-paced world of electronic communication. They won't believe that there was once a time in which people actually had to sit down and write letters to put into the mailbox to communicate with each other. They can even draw a picture for grandma or grandpa to include in their letter.
4. Have A Publishing Party
Grade-schoolers are getting into reading on their own and many are growing familiar with different types of books (fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, series, and so on). Have your child make up his own character or use his favourite ones from a favourite book or movie and write a story. It can be a short story or a comic. Then, when everyone is done, you can publish it, (staple it together or put it in a binder) and have a group reading time where each author can share his work. You can even videotape an interview with the author, asking your child questions about how she came up with the characters or the ideas for her story.
5. Hold A Reading Session
An important skill for grade-schoolers to develop is reading out loud. You can help your child become comfortable reading out loud by taking turns reading to each other. All you need is a favourite book and a comfy sofa to snuggle on together. If you want to pretend you're participating in a Selected Shorts type of reading in front of an audience, you can set up a stage and have family members take turns being a celebrity reader. This can give your child extra incentive to perform the dialogue and add some dramatic intonations to the stories.
Raising A Confident Kid
Instill a 'can-do' attitude in kids so that they'll bravely take on new challenges
The roots of self-confidence are born or broken in childhood. Early experiences shape our sense of self. It is often just little words that wound kids or empower their dreams. So having a heightened awareness as to the enormous power of your words and communication to kids is essential for fostering confidence in children.
Confidence literally means "with trust" or "with faith". A confident child demonstrates self-trust in his or her abilities. Such confidence is developed over time but it is shaken or supported by the surrounding adults. Cultivating confidence in children takes time, effort and mindfulness. Some key tips to cultivate confidence in your children are:
Mirror back to your child his or her strengths, skills and qualities that create a positive view of self.
Every child needs encouragement. It is encouragement that actually enables a child to risk becoming more and believing in him or herself.
Extend trust to your child. Let him or her know that you believe in their abilities.
Let Them "Show Off"
Give your child an opportunity to show you and others their skills. It may be doing somersault, singing, hopping or completing a complicated puzzle all alone. It give your child a chance to shine!
View Mistakes As Gifts
There are no mistakes, they are actually gifts given to us to learn from. Helping a child shape a worldview where mistakes are not only expected but accepted as necessary parts of his or her growth is essential - it helps them feel good regardless of whether they fail or succeed at a task.
Praise your child and not necessarily what they do. A common mistake in parenting is to solely focus on what your child does (i.e. plays violin, gets good grades) versus who your child is in this moment. Children grow confident by feeling good about who they are on the inside and trusting whoever they are is good, capable, smart and able to face whatever life presents them.
Children imprint what they see and look to model the behaviour of the honoured people in their life. So working on being the confident adult that you are (or can become!) will enormously help develop this quality in your child. Some straightforward things that undermine a child's confidence are listed below. Please avoid the following:
• Harsh criticism
• Questioning them constantly
• Praising solely actions (not them)
• Discouraging exploration
• Comparing them to other kids
Each of these may sound so obvious but it does take mindfulness and awareness in what you say as well as the non-verbal communication that you send to your child (i.e. emotions, body language).
Confidence Is Core
Confidence is a prerequisite to pursuing your dreams, believing in your talents and paving your unique path of highest potential. So mindfully cultivating self-confidence in children is really giving them a foundation upon which their own happiness can grow!