You want your children to flourish — to learn and grow into happy and healthy people. But this doesn’t mean it’s always easy to make time to play with your kids.

Luckily, according to the CDC, even just spending five to 10 minutes per day giving your children “special playtime” can help you bond with them, give them more confidence, and teach them how to interact.

Plus, one 2018 study found that not only does playtime benefit children, but it also benefits adults by reminding them of their childhoods, the joys of playing, and the delight found in seeing the world through their child’s eyes.

There’s really very little (if any) downside to playing with your children. So, check out these five fun things to do with your kids.

1. Puzzles

Whether it’s Boggle, crossword puzzles, Words With Friends, or a traditional game of Scrabble, playing word games with your kids is going to help improve their vocabulary while simultaneously helping you bond with them. Not only do word games like Scrabble improve your child’s vocabulary, but according to ScienceDaily, adults who engage in word puzzles display brain performance similar to people who are10 years younger than them.

Consider using a word unscrambler to help you and your children solve particularly difficult anagrams and to find valid words to add to their vocabulary. While some people may consider using a word unscrambler to be “cheating,” those truly dedicated to using games to learn, realize that it is merely a tool used for informational purposes.

Plus, using a word unscrambler can also help your kids improve their Language Arts skills by teaching them what verbs, nouns, adjectives, prefixes, etc., are. Using a word finder could also help your kids build the confidence they may require for enjoying puzzles for a long time.

Bonus tip: you can download certain word games on your phone so you can play with your kids while you’re in line at the store, bank, or doctor’s office.

2. Board Games

Playing board games and card games with your kids is not only good for your social relationship with them, but it’s also good for working your brains. According to an article published in Family Time Magazine, playing board games has a lot of benefits for young children. Including increasing their “brain speed,” encouraging healthy social skills, fostering creativity, and, perhaps even making them less likely to become a murderer (Dr. Stuart Brown found a “stunning common thread in killers’ stories: lack of play in childhood”).

Plus, board games are something that the whole family can enjoy. With the plethora of different types of games from companies like Hasbro or Mattel, you’re likely to find something the whole family will love and bond over.

3. Make Learning Morals Fun

Whether it’s religion or ethics-based, it’s important to teach your kids morals so that they develop a sense of personal responsibility, an understanding of rules, and a distinction between “right” and “wrong.” By creating games to teach them about religion, ethics, and the good of mankind, we can make learning about this sensitive topic more fun.

If you desire to teach your children about religious services, consider getting church supplies such as candles, crosses, and information booklets. Cokesbury has great church supplies to be used as religious gifts for a special occasion or to teach our kids about Psalms and how to prepare for their first communion.

4. Play Outside

It’s important for kids to play outdoors with their friends, but it is also important for them to experience the world with you too. According to an article published in Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Claire McCarthy says that there are many benefits to children playing outside.

She notes that while sun exposure does increase our chance of skin cancer, sun exposure is still important for many of the body’s processes involving sleep, mood, immune function, and even, bone growth in children. Getting outside with your kids will help teach them ways exercise can be fun and ways to appreciate nature.

Important note: Dr. McCarthy says that children also need to play outside alone and with their friends to learn proper socialization, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

5. Encourage Creativity

Through simple art projects ranging from merely giving your kids a pencil and paper and telling them to “write a story” (you can also use the word generator for this activity) to experimenting with paint in its various forms to learning about shading by using charcoal; it’s important to have fun with your kids through artistic expression. Art is a great way to encourage your kids to uniquely express themselves and to let their creativity thrive.

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