As a father of two girls (4 and 2), I'm finding that I'm running out of imaginative ideas for playing with my kids, especially indoors. Can anyone offer any suggestions on simple games that I can play with them to keep them interested and attentive? We try to do story time every night, so that's already covered, but I want something more interactive. Thanks.

asked 27 Sep '10, 19:27

Tom%201's gravatar image

Tom 1
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Ok, I completely forgot about this. Thanks everyone for all the great answers.

(05 Oct '10, 19:38) Tom 1

My oldest daughter is 4, and my other daughter is almost 2. I often try to find things that I can do with the two of them together so there is no drama. Here are a few things we enjoy.

  • We have cooking set, little kitchen, bunch of plastic food, they go to town cooking and feeding me, good times.
  • We have some rubber/plastic balls that have points on the end so my youngest can grip it well, and we like rolling that around and playing catch. (Even indoors)
  • Popcorn and a movie is always a win, the new Tinkerbell movie was great.
  • Arts & Crafts! Coloring, drawing, painting, glueing, glitter, etc.
  • Puzzles, especially the wooden ones with the little handles.
  • Hide & Go Seek + Tag both are great.
  • Music or Music shows, like "Fresh Beat Band", "The Laurie Berkner Band" and dancing with them in the living room.

I could go on and on, let me know if you want more! :)

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answered 27 Sep '10, 21:49

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My daughter also loves Tinkerbell

(27 Sep '10, 23:21) Tammy ♦♦

My daughter too!

(28 Sep '10, 01:24) Neen

+1 Great! You definitely have a wealth of experience :)

(28 Sep '10, 05:59) Emi
1

We do all those things too, plus I would add "What Time is it Mr. Wolf" and dress-up.

(02 Oct '10, 02:57) Kate

4 and 2 are challenging ages if you want to do something with both of them. My daughters are just past 5 1/2 and 2 1/2, and things have just recently started getting better (them playing together for extended periods, for example).

All excellent suggestions so far, here are a few more.

  • Just lying down on the floor (or on a bed is more comfy) and letting them jump (on) you
  • Lego/Duplo
  • Wooden train sets
  • Drawing quick pictures and having them 'guess' what the picture is (you have to stop big sister from answering all the time to let little sister have a chance)
  • "Hide and seek" (in quotes at that age) is a great favourite
  • Both daughters love this ABC web site

The other day, at the local play ground, I just sat down next to my daughter while she messed around with sticks and stones. After a while she looked up from what she was doing and spontaneously said "Daddy, I love you". I think that just being with them is sometimes enough.

The eldest had great fun decorating the 'IKEA car':

alt text

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answered 29 Sep '10, 06:47

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Benjol
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+1 for cardboard boxes, fun for all ages!! And a great pic!

(30 Sep '10, 15:16) Jeff 2
  • 1 we had a cardboard spaceship in our living room for weeks. It was great fun building, for playing and for decorating.
(02 Oct '10, 02:59) Kate

+1 Great idea and picture!

(02 Oct '10, 05:36) Emi

Try coloring.. I have a 2 year old that is a busy-bod and keeping up to him takes up all of my energy. But after a long day, I give him paper and some crayons or I print out pictures from online that he can color. Those 20 mins are what i need everyday to relax in the afternoons. =)

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answered 01 Oct '10, 18:01

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Things my daughter loves (she just turned two) are:

  • Playing with board puzzles -we use them to teach colours, quantity and animal/object names
  • Interactive books where we point different things out, count etc...
  • Rolling a ball back and forth
  • Play with blocks (mega blocks). She likes to help Daddy make different things.
  • Drawing/colouring and making us draw different things for her.
  • Imaginative play with cars, little people, dolls etc...
  • When we can get them she enjoys playing with big boxes, crawling/climbing around in them or through them like a tunnel.
  • Play some music and dance around
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answered 27 Sep '10, 21:46

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Tammy ♦♦
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+1 Great selection of activities...baby #2 will have the benefit of your daughter too :)

(28 Sep '10, 06:00) Emi

I swear by the "running and screaming game". The official version of this (for older kids) is to start running and yelling at the same time (uh, this is an outdoor thing). You have to stop running when you're out of breath. You'd be surprised at how running while yelling decreases your stamina. The person who ran the farthest wins.

The bunch-of-little-kids version of this is to just run and scream. They think it's hilarious, and it is. The little one will trail behind the big one, but it's been my experience that they're just so happy to be participating in noisemaking, they're content to do it over and over. Don't bother making it a contest.

It's great for wearing them out. It's helpful if you discuss inside/outside voices before and after.

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answered 05 Oct '10, 22:25

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edited 06 Oct '10, 00:10

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Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 27 Sep '10, 19:27

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Last updated: 06 Oct '10, 00:10