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Need some ideas for fun/play activities

Need some ideas for fun/play activities

For an-almost-12 year old girl, and a 10 year old boy. In all honesfy, life has been somewhat hectic for awhile now, and we have allowed them to get too attached to their tablets (gaming & youtube). This is so sad to me because I always wanted my kiddos to be creative, playful, and involved in the real world. For a background story, we live in a very small town with limited options and the nearest bigger town is about 30 miles away. Right now the vehicle I drive is not very reliable, and so hubby doesn't want me to go further than our hometown. It's becoming harder and harder to find things that interest my children and fill their after-school hours. There are no other children in our neighborhood. All the children in the church where we attend live at least an hour from us, and we cannot join a homeschool co-op, so they usually only have each other to play with during week days. So, I constantly struggle daily trying to limit their electronic time, but also find something to take it's place. I'm looking for some really good ideas for kids in this age group. We already play board games sometimes, my daughter reads a lot, my son plays with legos, we go to the library on occasion, we watch family movies, but they are still often bored. I wish they could have a pet, but their dad has refused to allow one. We live right in town with limited space, both in the home and yard. I've always taken them to parks, but here over the past year, they've totally lost interest in that. There are no organized sports they can join. I am so at a loss. Does anyone have any good suggestions that would truly help fill their days?

re: Need some ideas for fun/play activities

Do you knit or crochet, or know someone who can teach them? Or sewing or embroidery? They are fulfilling crafts that take time and patience, and they can make useful items for themselves or gifts for friends and relatives.

If you don't have someone close by who can teach them, YouTube is a goldmine of videos on every conceivable craft or DIY project.

Our then landlady taught my younger dd to do embroidery when she was 8 and she still retains the skills and enjoys it to this day (she's 17). She's been crocheting since she was 10 and makes her own blankets, hats, scarves, etc.

Teach them to cook! They can easily cook a simple meal and learn to bake at their ages.

They will feel more fulfilled and accomplished if they use some of their time to develop skills that will last a lifetime. :)

ETA: be sure and check for any activities that your library might have. Ours regularly has movie days, craft afternoons for teens, etc. - all free.

This post was edited on Jan 13, 2018 12:52 AM

re: Need some ideas for fun/play activities

Roller skating, pogo sticks (maybe skateboarding, the real deal...not hover boards!)

Playing catch (get used gloves or use a kickball and also use for 4 square)

Pickleball (they can do it without a net and just against one another in a parking lot, driveway, etc.)

Bike rides

Training for 5k race (which they can walk/run in the city a couple of times a them a goal). Walking it is just fine and plently of kids participate around here. You can train with them. Do charts showing you guys working up to the 3.5 miles toward the target date. (DH did this with our youngest when he was hs in elem. school and it was a HUGE thing he looked forward to...the training and the races!)

Mother's helper for someone with kids that are 3-6 years old (maybe for free while you visit with the mom or oversee the help). Doing this at a park will make the park fun again.

Getting a scout book and doing some of the activities in there for badges. They don't have to BE in scouts (boy or girl) to purchase a book and find badges they want to work on. Maybe you and hubby can do something special for them every couple of months based on badge completions (which you can adapt to what is available for you, but will give you/them ideas)

Order some Sculpy from Michael's or another craft store...older kid play-dough that doesn't dry out.


Letting dd do your hair


Helping plan and cook dinner with you

Having them make lunch (easy stuff)

Writing to elderly relative (postcards are easy!) who will write back if possible. Fun to get real mail.

If there is one in your town, adopting a grandparent at a local nursing or assisted living home and visiting 2x a month to read to them, sing to them, sit with them, walk with them/push wheel chair outside.

Hope this helps. I actually would use the school lunch menu for my two in catholic school and let my hs son circle things he would like and we'd make them as an activity. Same with other things. My 2 in school would tell me what they did in PE and other extra curricular classes at school and I'd adapt some for my hs son and sometimes a friend. He did not care for scouts and did not stay in it, but did most of the badges with his brother and enjoyed that part for years!

re: Need some ideas for fun/play activities

Thank you to both of you ladies for the wonderful ideas! Although a few of them are not feasible due to location, time constraints, ease of access, etc, I did find plenty that I think I can incorporate, plus some of what you mentioned helped me think of other things:)

Thank you so, so much!!! :)

re: Need some ideas for fun/play activities

My kids this age loved making movies!

It can be as simple or as involved as they would like. Do you have a digital camera that takes video? That is all my kids have used. They wrote scripts, memorized lines, put together costumes and props, and acted and directed. Then my oldest would do all the tech stuff like editing and publishing.

They had great fun with this, and the movies are such fun memories to watch now and then.

re: Need some ideas for fun/play activities

Yes, the movie idea is a great one. My kids loved to do this. Mine would even do stop motion animation with their Legos to make great movies. They also used Powerpoint and Moviemaker to make cartoonish movies.

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