Do you also find it challenging to find group activities for kids of different ages?
I do, specially when the weather is bad and we are stuck inside. Many times I wish for some great play ideas that would let my 6, 4 and 2 years old kids play together without getting in each others’ way (too much).
So I decided to start building a list of group activities for kids that I can come back to in time of need. And if you have kids of different ages in the house, this list might be useful for you too so read closely.
Active group activities for kids to unleash the energy
On rainy days , the kids can’t go outside to play but they still need to unleash their energy. So here are some ideas to do just that!
- Make an indoor slide from a mattress and let the kids take turns in going down the slide. If you want it a bit more adventurous, you can try this cardboard slide on the stairs.
- Build a cardboard race track for cars from the table to the floor and have some time to relax and enjoy. It’s not going to be a quiet time, but it’s going to be a hands-off one 😉
- Build a pool noodle marble race on the stairs, or in the living room. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like lots of fun and easy to make. So I definetly will thanks to m myhomespunthreads and buggyandbuddy for coming up with thee ideas!
- Stick some paper tape on the floor in the shape of roads and invite the kids to take the cars out for a ride. For the older ones – more or less as of 4 years- they can blow small balls of paper through a straw and try to keep them on the road. Lukas had lots of fun with this one and was very determined to improve his “accuracy blowing” 😉
- Play balloon ping pong using as rackets paper plates combined with wooden sticks or plastic spoons.
- Challenge the kids to exercise their lungs and play with straws and napkins. The goal is carry pieces of paper from one place to the other by using a straw and the suction power of their lungs
Arts and Crafts
The arts & crafts group activities for kids are certainly my favorite. That’s because everyone can take part in the creation and the age is not that important. Everybody has fun and they will play with the same things in their own way.
- Recycle something like cardboard, egg carton, bottles … My kids are always having fun with these:
- Color and Cut: print some free printables like these masks or these owl coloring pages and let the kids color and cut.
- Help them build a cozy space. Just have a look at how much fun we had when making this tunnel from cardboard.
I find it wonderful to see my kids’s eyes sparkle when they discover and learn something new. There are loads of activities that fit here, but I limited myself to a couple of ideas that are easy to do.
- Play with snow inside the house. Last winter I took a box of snow inside and added some toys. Later on I added also some paint and left the kids to experiment and play. They really had fun with this!
- Prepare a bath with colored water. If you add some shaving cream to the mix, you’ll surely give them the coolest and nicest bath experience they ever had!
- Play with colored spaghetti. It’s true that this one requires some. preparation, but my kids had so much fun with it that it’s now a regular activity in our house.
- Make something. Play-dough is of course always good to entertain the little ones, but it’s a bit messy. Alternatively if you want something that involves less mess, you can play with corn starch noodles.
Experimentation and investigation
Kids are natural scientist and love to experiment and investigate and that’s how they learn about the world around them. Whenever I say let’s try something out, you can be sure that I have their attention.
- Learn about fire. My kids are playing with fire sometimes and I think that’s a very good way for them to experience this element and learn to be safe around it.
- Involve them in a fun rescue mission to save their toys that have been trapped in ice and investigate how the ice is melting when they use the “mysterious powder”. Did you see how much fun we had with this kids activity?
- Do some science experiments for kids at home. These are my 2 favorite ones, because they are so easy to setup and they put on a good show for the kids:
Give them grown-up tasks
When I really need to get something done myself and I find that the kids are a bit too demanding, I try to involve them in whatever I’m doing. It does not always work, but it does most of the time. So if they are not tired or hungry then these are the things they are helping with.
- Cooking with the kids. I would typically have my kids cut some (soft) vegetables and stir in the pots of pasta, soup or whatever I am making. They love it. At grandma’s place, they would often make pancakes together. If you haven’t done this yet and you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of having your kids in the kitchen, check out this advice from PBS Parents and go for it!
- Take them shopping…. and make it fun. Shopping with kids can be very stressful, but we try to be well prepared and then it can be super fun!
- Asking them to help you clean the house and give them chores. Kids usually like to unpack suitcases, get the grocery out of the car, get clothes out or into the washing machine or drier and yes … they might even enjoy to vacuum clean and do some sort of window washing.
Now, no matter what activity you do, if you do it with kids of different ages, then read these 7 activity tips for toddler and big kids from “HandsOnAsWeGrow.com”. She gives some excellent advice there on how to organize yourself to avoid chaos 😉
Phew….that was a long read, but I hope you did find some inspiration along the way.
PS: If you have fun group activities for kids of different ages, let me know in the comments below. And do subscribe to the CreatifulKids mailing list if you want to read more of this.