Simple games

I've been having far too much fun looking at Christmas gift possibilities for my kids. I love to find just the right toy for them.

But on Monday, I remembered once again that it's less about toys and more about using what you have in an innovative way. After all, we have boxes and boxes of toys that are rarely used. I spread out a blanket and put a bin in the middle. Red Chief and Tiger Lily had a great time throwing balls into it—the rule for Red Chief was to get it in without stepping on a blanket, which I found to be a bit more concrete for him than drawing a line. Then we played catch over the blanket.

Later I was looking at preschool workbooks for Red Chief. Five or six dollars doesn't seem like much, but then I remembered the preschool papers my mom used to make for me. She'd draw up little matching games and things for me. I was looking at this cutting book and thinking that it would be pretty easy for me to draw lines across paper for him to cut. I don't need all these fancy materials to teach my child: I can start today, with what I already have.

I'm trying to step up my efforts lately to actually be involved with my children. If I don't pay attention, I find I'm easily distracted by a hundred different things and a sometimes a whole day goes by without an ounce of quality time.

What simple things do you enjoy doing with your kids?


  1. Well, my kids are of course, much older than yours so we do different things, but here are some favorites:
    *bake together
    *cook together (every week they each get to choose one recipe they want to try, they are responsible for writing up the grocery list and bringing it along on shopping day- they have always loved that part!)
    *read together and kind of live the book. For example when we read the Hobbit we looked online for examples of the various "languages" and learned some common words, tried making some of the dishes, the kids made models of the weapons out of cardboard, we incorporated some of the scenes and scenarios into their playtime.
    that sort of thing.
    *nature walks, trips to state park
    *"adopting" an elderly person at a nursing home to visit, make cards for etc.
    Looking forward to reading what other gals do with their kiddos!

  2. My sister recently started doing a small pre-school at her house once a week. she blogs about it at


  3. Last night, Annalise and I laid in bed and stayed up telling stories. Have Red Chief tell you a story. It can get HUH larious. Also, see if there's a children's museum near you. I might be a little biased, but I think all kids should go to children's museums at least once. :-)

  4. I really enjoy doing simple things with my son. He's 2, but we have a lot of fun. When I was so terribly sick the last few weeks, one of the very simplest things that we did was go out and play in his playhouse. I sat with him in it, and listened as he told me more stories than I could count in his adorable toddler language. We also very much enjoy baking and cooking - especially making "Mommy Toast" which is the only French Toast he will eat.

    Just spending time with him and watching him explore the world is so exciting to me. It reminds me of when he was a newborn and I would spend hours describing the way the world looked to him, just so that he would know what he was looking at. Sometimes we really do just need to sit down and return to those basics. Great post!

  5. Great idea to use things at home... a friend of mine told me about bday party when a mom used boxes to set up a tunnel system in a garage to have treasure hunt/indiana jones kind of party.. the kids loved it