The stress of the year is over. Though holidays may be just as stressful for moms, they also give us the chance to spend some real quality time with our children. Below are three games you can play with your kids to get the good times going and start bonding with them. It also gives us a chance to be wacky and have silly fun, which moms never get to do.
- Treasure hunt (Ages 7 to 13)
This game is great because it can be played indoors, in the garden, or around the whole neighbourhood. It’s also a lot of fun for you to set up for the kids, because you get to be as creative as you want to be. Decide on a ‘treasure’ – it could be anything, a bar of chocolate, a new Playstation game, any other toy (or if you’re feeling cheeky, something that already belongs to them, like their favourite computer game). Next, decide where to hide it. Underneath the couch cushion, in your next door neighbour’s garden, in a bush in the park up the road – get inventive! Depending on the age of the children you’re playing with, you can make the next step easier or more difficult.
The next step is to decide where you will hide the clues, and how many of them there will be. Will you draw maps, or will you use riddles to get your kids to go to the right place? Give them the first clue, and send them on their way! They’ll use the first clue to find the next clue (you could add incentives by putting a chocolate with each clue). Eventually, they will find the treasure after a whole bunch of fun and laughter. Go with them on their hunt to give them additional help if they get stuck, and you’ll be part of the merriment too.
- Finish the story (Ages 4 to 13)
Great for getting your kids to be creative, and wonderful for creating videos for your social media feed. It goes like this: start by writing down the beginning of a story, e.g. “Once upon a time, there lived a brave little girl…”. Then ask your child or children you’re playing with to come up with the next part of the story, and go around in circles, expanding on the story. Tell them that they can say anything and everything they want – they must be as creative as you can be!
One way to make the game more structured is to write idea-words on pieces of paper to help the kids think up interesting story extensions. Words like ‘dragon’, or ‘magic sword’, or ‘4×4 bakkie’ – anything you think will help them think imaginatively. Another way to create more structure is to set a limit on the number of sentences allowed in a story. So, when you give them the introduction sentence, tell them that there are only 8 sentences allowed, and by the fifth sentence, they have to start thinking about how to bring the story to a happy ending.
Catch it all on your phone camera and share the joy with your friends on social media. You’ll also be able to capture the moment for years to come, and look back fondly on the good times you had with your kids.
- Get it in the bucket (Ages 4 to 13)
This is another great game that’s good for indoors or outdoors, and can be played with things that you already have in the house. The idea is to set out a bunch of ‘buckets’ – these could be Tupperware, cups, actual buckets, laundry baskets, or dustbins – and to ask the kid to throw a ball into one of the buckets. Draw a line a distance away from the buckets, and tell your kid that they should stand on the line and try to get the ball into the buckets.
Assign a value to each of the buckets, the further ones being 10 points, the middle ones being 5 points, etc, and make a competition out of it. Whoever gets the most points out of five or ten throws wins a prize.
Don’t be afraid to play, moms! One of the best things about having kids is that we get to be kids again sometimes too. Kids learn best through play, and the beautiful bonding moments that you can have with your kids are worth anything and everything.