To ask what activities you actually enjoy doing with your small children?

(72 Posts)
Tryagainplease Thu 25-Nov-21 18:17:39

I have a just turned 4 yo DS and I have to admit that I am absolutely rubbish at playing with him.

Are there any games you like to enjoy playing with your small children or do you just grin and bear another ‘let’s build a ramp for the cars’ game grin

In all seriousness though, he is great at solo play and I love taking him out and about and talking to him about stuff etc but I do struggle to think of things to do when we are at home. Any suggestions please?

OP’s posts: |
Bingbong21 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:19:38


WakeUpLockie Thu 25-Nov-21 18:19:44

Puzzles, activities eg kits, kiwi boxes (although they’re always over too soon), movie session. I sometimes do theme days for my own sanity - eg dinosaurs, farm etc. Related craft, toys, tv, books etc

SheldonandAmy Thu 25-Nov-21 18:23:51

Reading, drawing/colouring, puzzles, simple board games, play dough, baking or going on outings.

moita Thu 25-Nov-21 18:25:07

My 4 year has got into boardgames: checkers, junior monopoly, guess who.

I find this much more bearable than playing make believe which I always seem to get wrong!

Feetupteashot Thu 25-Nov-21 18:26:41

Cooking. They love it and I choose selectively stuff where I can cope with the mess

Flapjacks. Cracking eggs (you need a spare), weighing stuff. Make a bit more dough or pastry than you really need and give then some

Chasing 3yo around the furniture with lots of giggling. Puzzles are ok but get a bit tedious thhe 20th time. Doctor patient quite good if you fancy a lie down....

Feetupteashot Thu 25-Nov-21 18:27:00

Fiveminutemum is a godsend


whatnumber Thu 25-Nov-21 18:27:31

I didn't enjoy make believe!
Things I loved:
Hide and seek
Making up 'Cube' games
Nerf (and nerf in the dark!)
Building long train tracks
Play dough
Bike rides

Justheretoaskaquestion91 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:27:34

Tummy ache
Shopping list (both games, both fun)

Land and river - that can be done from the comfort of the sofa.

I find it harder also having a 1 year old to amuse as I can’t really do civilised writing or colouring/crafting unless I let the 1 year old destroy the kitchen at the same time

OnceuponaRainbow18 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:28:51

Connect 4, snakes and ladders, colouring, trains- well don’t enjoy enjoy but can sit there and chat whilst doing it

Marianne1234 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:31:05

Marble run!

StrictlyAFemaleFemale Thu 25-Nov-21 18:31:38

Orchard games.
Craft boxes like toucan.

TotallySuper Thu 25-Nov-21 18:32:01

Orchard games!

hotmeatymilk Thu 25-Nov-21 18:33:52

Dr and patient (I lie down and be the patient).

Bear hunt (I lie down and be the bear, waiting).

“The crawling game” (I lie down and wait for her to pounce)

Etc. Anything where I get to sit still and she does the playing is a winner in my book.

Jabvribt Thu 25-Nov-21 18:34:13

Play doh I love as find it oddly therapeutic, baking (something nice I’ll actually eat, colouring, duplo

takealettermsjones Thu 25-Nov-21 18:41:31

Making pop up cards (loads of really easy tutorials on YouTube).

Give him a xylophone and you use a keyboard (or whatever instruments you have. You play a simple tune and he has to copy it.

Catching bubbles!

Building a fort.

This time of year, build a nativity or panto scene with his toys/teddies. Or put Christmas hats on them all and give them hymn books. Take silly photos.


Races in the park. Get him to do a set distance using different methods e.g. running, hopping, scooter etc. Have him guess which will be fastest, and time each one.

Gumboots29 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:42:50

Colouring/drawing/arts and crafts, board games (orchard ones are good), cooking, gardening.

Have to admit I can’t do pretend play but I think that’s pretty standard for adults! So I tend not to join in with those.

Pysgodywibliwobli Thu 25-Nov-21 18:51:25

My kids are/ were very physical. I would base my day on getting out and tiring them out to minimise play at home.

At home:

Playdoh some really good ideas on making tracks in it with cars etc.
Hama beads
Colouring/ dot to dot
Craft sets - baker ross/ pound shop etc
Reading books
Cutting with scissors

Numberblocks cubes

Games - I personally hate games!

I think at 4 the company of other children is really important and you can't replicate this as an adult.

CoodleMoodle Thu 25-Nov-21 18:52:22

Mine are 7 & 3. I like anything that has a clear ending! So a board game, craft activity, suitable video game, puzzle, story, that sort of thing. If it's open ended imaginary stuff my brain just shuts down immediately!

DD was very into imaginary play (still is), DS is more into cars and trucks (ramps feature a lot in our house, too!) but that's just as bad for me. I'll always suggest a puzzle or game instead, and pray they say yes. Anything that has a start and finish to the activity.

But not baking. I wish I had the patience to bake with my kids, but I just don't. Not even my eldest who is exceptionally sensible.

PlinkPlankPlunk Thu 25-Nov-21 18:56:33

A judiciously timed game of Sleeping Lions always went down well…

Classicblunder Thu 25-Nov-21 18:58:10

I really love pretend play. My favourites are things like:

Being a demanding customer in pretend cafe, usually mine will get my order totally wrong

Setting up shops - e.g pet shop with toy animals

Pretend school or nursery

I pretend to be a baby or patient etc

I realise that apparently no other parent enjoy this but I do!

Moonlaserbearwolf Thu 25-Nov-21 18:58:48

People actually enjoy playing orchard games?! I used to suffer then because my children loved 'pop to the shops' and 'shopping list.' So glad that phase is over!

I enjoy Lego, chess, baking, painting/craft, but mostly enjoy the outdoor activities like woodland walks, assault courses, trips to the zoo etc.

Calmdown14 Thu 25-Nov-21 19:08:46

Building a wooden train set, especially when you have plenty of junctions! I love making all the loops and getting them to fit.

Quite partial to setting up a bit of Sylvanian families once I get into it as well!

Justheretoaskaquestion91 Thu 25-Nov-21 19:28:21


How can you hate shopping list?? It’s the game of the gods

Cappuccinoandmybook Thu 25-Nov-21 19:36:24

My 7 year old can now play 'jack change it' its honestly the first game I've throughly enjoyed playing with him, we also play tick tac toe too.

But I remember the role play/toy figure days as well and can't say I actually enjoyed those blush but still played along anyway

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