If you are a busy parent, it's an incredibly tough job to create entertaining activities for young kids on a daily or often hourly basis. Lots of activities also require repeated parent attention and supervision, which can result in the activity often exhausting the parents more than the kids. A great solution for parents is to try the list of Top 10 All Time Best Activities to Entertain the Kids. Even if one or two just work, you will have saved yourself an amazing amount of time and increased the enjoyment factor for your kids. The list (below) is particularly useful for parents who have kids aged between 1 and 8 years of age.
Activity 1: Beach Visit
A trip to the beach is consistently voted the most popular idea to entertain young kids. The sand is a consistent winner for kids to play in particularly with a bucket and spade. The kids can spend hours digging a hole or building a sandcastle, and then knock it down when they feel like they have had enough. Running around on the beach also takes a tremendous amount of energy, so it's a fun way to make sure the kids get some healthy exercise in as well. If you are lucky, you can sometimes collect some shells or see some crabs crawling along the beach or around a rockpool. Going for a swim is often the highlight or playing at the water's edge with the waves lapping in and out is also lots of fun. It's also worth taking a beach ball, a kite or a surfboard to the beach to add to the fun.
Activity 2: Lego or Duplo
Lego and Duplo are quite possibly the toys that will be around forever. They are indestructible and enjoyed year after year by kids of all ages because of the fun of building. In terms of the relative price to other toys, the product isn't cheap, but it really does deliver as kids keep using it, due to the versatility, creativity and the fun factor. The other smart feature is you can just keep buying more of it, because it builds on top of each other and you never throw it out. If you buy a large starter set which is always a good choice first up, make sure you get the Lego or Duplo mat as well so the kids can build a house, village or city.
Activity 3: Zoo Visit
Zoos love parents with kids, so it's a welcome change to find wide paths capable of handling prams and lots of interactive exhibits for younger kids in a safe environment. The larger animals like elephants, giraffes and tigers are usually the most popular so if you do get there early, visit these animals first. Often zoos will provide an opportunity for kids to feed the animals with animal food provided or available for purchase. Kids have trouble dispensing the food in small amounts, so this often needs some adult assistance; otherwise it will be gone in under a minute. The educational aspect of a Zoo is also a major benefit with many helpful and highly qualified staff ready to talk about the animals in their environment. Make sure you grab a map when entering the park and chart a course to maximize your time.
Activity 4: Scooter Ride
Scooters are great fun for kids who like lots of exercise, practicing their balancing skills and the thrill of going fast. A fitted helmut is an absolute must given scooters can reach speeds in excess of running and often travel over bumpy terrain. A three wheel scooter with two wheels at the front are perfect for young kids, and the two wheel variety are more popular with the older kids who like to do a few tricks. Remember that the wider the wheel, the easier it is to balance. Parents can also buy a scooter to encourage their kids to take part. Always check the weight limitations on a scooter before purchasing given most scooters don't cater for weights over 100kg.
Activity 5: iPad
The ipad air for kids case is one of the best inventions of all time for both adults and kids. The hardware is strong and designed well, so it can take some rough handling by the kids. There are also many iPad cases designed for kids if you are worried about the kids dropping the device and cracking the screen. The versatility is amazing with the App Store providing a massive range of free and available for purchase educational apps and games. Even the standard setup of the ipad air for kids case has some amazing camera software allowing both stills and video to allow the kids to become a junior photographer. This can become very addictive for both kids and parents, so be careful how many hours you do spend on the device. You can also upload videos, home movies, etc. for the kids to watch. If you don't have an iPad yet, save every penny until you do.
Activity 6: Trampoline
Trampolines are lots of fun for kids; they can develop balancing skills and are also a good source of exercise. There are many trampolines these days that have protective netting on the sides, so that if your kids do go a little crazy or decide that a flip is what they want to do, the netting catches them before they fall off the side. Size is one of the most important considerations when purchasing, as some only cater for 1 child, and its more fun for kids to be jumping with their friends. Also check how much weight the trampoline can handle particularly if you are a parent and want to have a go. A trampoline is unlikely to be used every day, but it's a great activity for kids when friends come over or they have spent too much time in the house.
Activity 7: Cubbyhouse
Why do kids always run to a Cubbyhouse with a big smile on their face? Is it to get away from their parents or to enter a new little world where they can play and let their imagination go wild? Whatever the reason is, this has to be one of the best presents a kid can get, given it rarely breaks and is fun for many years. Just make sure you measure the proposed location before you buy one. Plastic cubby houses have come down in price so much these days that they are now much easier to afford and quick to assemble. One of the only issues we have found is that the kids will gather up far too many toys and take them to the Cubbyhouse to create their own little world. There are also inexpensive cardboard cubbyhouses which can be assembled and disassembled easily to save on space.
Activity 8: Toy Store Visit
It's hard to beat the excitement of kids visiting a toy store. The kid's will just love looking at so many new toys with each new aisle presenting a different category of toy to keep the kid's excitement levels high. To make the experience more enjoyable for parents, it's probably best to set some rules before entering the toy store such as the number and price of the toys that can be selected. Alternatively, the kids can view the range of toys available from the toy store website and then have a good idea of what they are after before entering.
Activity 9: Swimming
Swimming is a lot of fun for kids, a superb form of exercise and also an important life skill in terms of personal safety. On a hot day, it's one of the best ways to keep cool and can also be used in winter assuming the pool is heated. The exercise benefits from swimming are often forgotten by the kids in all of the fun. Benefits include improved lung capacity, strength and flexibility. Don't forget to take plenty of pool toys to the pool including water pistols, beach balls, snorkel, flippers and other floatation devices. If your kids are having trouble swimming, flippers are a great swimming aid as they assist the kids with getting higher in the water and moving forward. For younger kids, you can't go past a swim ring. These are an absolute must to get younger kids excited about being in the water and allows them to feel comfortable kicking their legs to move around. Goggles are also a great investment to protect your child's eyes and allow them to spend longer swimming.
Activity 10: DVDs
There are just so many great titles for kid's DVDs that it's hard to choose where to start. Some of the most popular movie titles for kids include Toy Story, Ice Age, Shrek, Lion King, Finding Nemo, Happy Feet, Up, to name just a few. Don't forget all the Christmas movies around December with one of the favorites being the Polar Express. Most movies last for 60 to 90 minutes which is a great break for parents who often need time to recharge the batteries.
ipad 4 for kids case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LGC4LTM