Children of ages 2 ½ to 6 are curious and full of energy. They yearn for new things to learn in life and are naturally on the lookout for fun and excitement. These active little busy bees also yearn for parental love and attention the most during these tender years. A few simple activities that fathers can do with their kids are mentioned here with the intention of helping you out especially during the school holidays. These activities will not only create stronger father –child bonds but also invaluable lifelong memories and great learning experiences for the little ones.
• Make a Tree House or a Doll House
This is an activity that can keep the kids occupied for days. Depending on the resources available at home, Daddy can either make a wooden tree house in the garden, an indoor tree house with bed sheets for the roof and cardboard walls with windows cut out or settle for a lovely little doll house converted out of a cardboard box to delight the little girls . You can keep adding complimentary activities to the tree house throughout the holidays with a day to cook breakfast (make your own sandwiches and milk) or a day to wash the car (wash the little ones toy car and pretend to be adults).The doll house too can have many associated activities such as making furniture out of scrap material or making little clothes for dolls with mums old fabric.
• Make your own scarecrow!
A very simple yet effective activity that can be done with an old shirt and a hat, two sticks tied across each other and a pot or bucket for the face with facial features drawn on it. The little ones can even name the scarecrow!
• Go on a picnic to the beach
This is one of the easiest with so much of sea around us…Ask mum to pack a nice picnic basket and leave early in the morning before the sun is too strong, to have fun at the beach with a mat for the picnic, some tools to make sand castles and clothes for a swim. You can have a lovely time collecting sea shells, a boat ride if possible, count the trains that pass by and end the morning with mums’ yummy food.
• Go into a world of make-believe
Kids live in their own fantasy land. There is nothing more exciting than getting to be part of those fantasies. Make a Bat man mask out of cardboard and colour it in black and tie a black fabric (cape) around your little son to make him Batman. Then pretend to be superheroes. Make a crown for your little princess and give her a cape too and pretend to be the royal family. Paste an old helmet with silver paper and pretend to be Astronauts. You can pretend the bed in the room is a space craft and the bed room is space! The amount of fun they will have is unbelievable and the memories created will stay forever in their little minds. You can even teach them very simply about the planets around us and the people who went to the moon while playing.
• Make lanterns for Vesak or kites for the kite season
Involve the little ones and make seasonal crafts for it to be a learning experience as well as have a good time.
• Make your own village with pretend shops, houses (sellam gedara) ,cardboard cars, traffic lights and any other entity the kids want.
• Have a “Peduru Party” with instruments like old pots and pans where you can sing and dance together
• Pretend to be Biologists and look for different insects and plants in the garden. Try your best to name them. Presenting the little one with a magnifying glass prior to this activity will increase excitement levels even more!
• Read to the kids with different voices and tones to imitate the different characters. Organize a show and tell session where a few toys and accessories are brought together to bring out the story in the book in a lively manner.(ex – have a doll wrapped in a red cloth as red riding hood, a wolf soft toy or a cardboard wolf as the wolf etc.)
• Grow a garden
Get some seeds of plants that will sprout up easily as the first step to motivate the kids to start planting a garden. Gradually increase the variety of plants and have the discipline to care for the plants regularly.