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  • 12 Inexpensive Activities for Kids at Home the Next Time They Say, 'I'm Bored!'

    Refer to this list for fun and learning activities at home.
    by Kitty Elicay .
12 Inexpensive Activities for Kids at Home the Next Time They Say, 'I'm Bored!'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Margaret Wuthrich-Sarmenta, Irone Boquiron, and Vanessa Salva
  • School-age kids look forward to summer vacations the most, but we think parents secretly dread it. Sure, it’s a chance to go to the beach with the whole family or maybe see new attractions in the metro. But what about the days when you have nothing planned? You don’t want them to glued to the screens, but their energy means they need something to occupy them.

    12 activities for kids at home

    An easy solution is to enroll your kids in summer workshops, but some registration deadlines have already come and gone (and they can be expensive). It doesn’t help that schools in the country now have different schedules for the school year. The solution is preparing and organizing activities for kids at home, DIY style! You can start with this list we have compiled that your kids will enjoy not only for the summer but for the whole year! They’re not only fun, but they are also mom- and expert-approved to hone essential developmental skills.

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    1. Nature scavenger hunt

    Looking for 'treasure' encourages your children to use their five senses. There are so many things to explore outdoors!
    PHOTO BY @thecrafterteacher/Instagram

    Take your kids outdoors and make a list of objects they need to collect to complete the hunt. Be specific and describe the objects using colors, textures, and sizes to help your kids expand their vocabulary. For example, instruct them to “pick a small red flower.” Let them pick up or cut these to improve their fine motor skills!

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    2. Water xylophone

    This DIY water xylophone teaches your kids about sound and music and is a fun introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Vanessa Salva

    Fill recycled bottles with different levels of water and add food coloring. String them together to create a water xylophone that your kids can use for sensory play.

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    3. Art sessions

    This activity will be messy, but it will be so much fun!
    PHOTO BY @thecrafterteacher/Instagram

    Whatever medium you prefer — watercolor, markers, crayons, and more — letting your kids express themselves through art is essential to child development. Try and ask your child to create a self-portrait, which is a “fantastic way for children to explore their sense of self and build their self-identity,” according to Heidi Overbye, an early years teacher from Brisbane Australia.

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    Another option is to incorporate movement and allow your kids to make use of their whole body to create art. Let them use their hands and feet for painting for a better sensory experience.

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    4. Scoop and pour

    You can add food coloring to make the activity more enjoyable.
    PHOTO BY @alfieangelica/Instagram
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    Water play can help develop an array of skills, including problem-solving, gross and fine motor skills, cognitive skills, and social skills. Try this activity for kids at home: Put plastic and glass containers of different sizes in a plastic storage box. Fill some of the bottles with water, give your child a scooper and let her have a blast filling the empty ones with water!

    5. Create a sensory bin

    Does your kid love construction, the beach, or the cosmos? You can customize the content of the bins depending on what your child likes!
    PHOTO BY @thecrafterteacher/Instagram
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    A sensory bin is a plastic bin or tub filled with materials that stimulate the senses. It’s a form of sensory play that allows children to accomplish more complex learning tasks like gross and fine motor development, cognitive and language development, as well as social and emotional development.

    You can create sensory bins using materials found at home, and you can even make themed bins depending on what you want to teach your child. Choose materials that are of various textures, smell, taste, and colors so you can stimulate different senses all at once.

    6. Create a busy board

    DIY busy boards for kids can also include handles, faucets and dials. They can be made whatever size.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Margaret Wuthrich-Sarmenta
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    A busy board has all kinds of household ware, like locks, switches, handles, and dials for kids to tinker. You can make one for your child or buy it from a store. Congratulations, you’ve just bought yourself a little free time because we bet your kids will be busy with this toy for hours.

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    7. Play with open-ended toys

    This open-ended toy consists of a 12-arc rainbow that kids can stack on top of another. They can also use it to build different things using their imagination!
    PHOTO BY Natz Bade
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    There are no rules when it comes to playing with open-ended toys. Children can use their imagination to create and engage with their surroundings, which helps them build their vocabulary and speech at the same time. Look for toys that can grow with the child, and align with his natural progression and development.

    8. Make an activity table

    Print out a variety of backgrounds like a kitchen, forest, city, and Lego blocks that you can interchange for different days. It will make play time even more exciting!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Bettina L. Ragsag
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    Activity tables provide hours of fun while developing several skills from motor, comprehension, communication, and problem-solving. You can make one yourself, like what this mom from Batangas created for her daughter.

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    9. Go camping

    Complete the experience with a tent and grill camping food like hotdogs, marshmallows, and more.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Vanessa Salva
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    You don’t have to go to the mountains to “camp out.” You can do it in the comforts of your own home! Camping at home lets your child explore and indulge in imaginative play. Try role playing or storytelling to encourage your kids to be more creative and to think out of the box!

    10. Cooking classes

    Make sure you supervise your child while she handles kitchen tools.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Mickey Alingarog
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    No need to enroll in a culinary class when you can teach kids on your own! Not only are you helping your kids learn to be more independent (not to mention self-sufficient), cooking also teaches them about counting, sorting colors, cutting, addition, and so on.

    11. Make a splash in an inflatable pool

    Being in the water encourages the child to do unstructured play and provides sensory stimulation. It sparks creativity and is a fun learning experience!
    PHOTO BY iStock
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    If you can’t go on a road trip, having a pool party at home is the next best thing. No inflatable pool? A water hose, bucket, and a tabo work, too! Children love the water, so no matter what, splashing around will make them happy.

    12. Go hiking

    This dad who took his toddler hiking in the mountains says going outdoors strengthened his daughter's body and immune system.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Irone Boquiron
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    Even if it’s just a short walk to the clubhouse or the park, letting your child play outdoors has its own benefits. Take it a step further by going on a long hike with your kids, or maybe even climb a mountain! Not only will strengthen his immune system and boost brain development, it will also develop his physical strength, endurance, and self-control.

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