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Get your kids to try new activities

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Children thrive on familiarity.  Fact.  Yet always favouring activities that are a safe bet can stymie exploration and creativity in your kids, and can lead to them being timid about experiencing new things.  Stepping outside the comfort zone (for you and them!) from time to time will help your children to see that braving the unknown can deliver fantastic results.  They may discover a new hobby or passion for a fresh subject that would otherwise have remained a mystery to them.  Here are a few suggestions of things you can encourage them to try:

Volunteering

Helping others is a great life skill, and has been shown to bring positive health benefits too.  The feel-good factor from making a positive, no strings, contribution boosts self-esteem, and can help your children learn a new skill too.  There are many local programmes over the UK that are crying out for volunteers to help with anything from gardening and environmental projects, to supporting the elderly, and working at animal rescue centres or assisting as a local charity fundraiser.

Eating out

It can be hard to get kids to try new foods, and as an incentive you could try a family visit to a restaurant that serves a type of cuisine that your children have never tried, such as Thai, or Vietnamese.  Engage your kids by allowing them to select a global destination for which you know a local eatery is available, and then research a little online, or in the library about the country and its food before you go.

activities for children

Bring the outside in

Collect and dry leaves with your kids.  For older children it can be fun to try and work out what type of tree they are from.  Then use the leave to make a craft project.  A simple activity for even the youngest of children is to hold a leaf flat on a piece of paper, and colour around it with a crayon or chalk, about 1-2cm in every direction.  When you lift the leaf off you have a blank shape with a halo of colour around it.  The blank shape is the perfect space in which to create a face, by drawing in eyes, a nose and a mouth.  Voila, you have made an angel face!

Make and bake

Cooking isn’t for everyone, but even the most culinary-challenged parent can follow a simple recipe for making biscuits or scones.  A few simple, inexpensive ingredients and a flat baking tray are all you need.  Children love the tactile sensations of squeezing and rubbing dough, and the idea of making a mess and then getting to eat a tasty snack is sure to capture their imagination.

Take up a new hobby … together

Kids are sometimes afraid of trying something new in case they fail.  Select an activity that you and your child can learn together, and show them by example that it is okay to feel uncertain.  They can look to you to see how you make mistakes and pick yourself up and carry on regardless.  An activity such as horse-riding, or pottery could be ideal.

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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