Keep Young Kids Busy and Stimulated

Keeping young kids entertained is top priority when in your care. Plan activities that stimulate children’s creativity with a variety of arts and crafts. Develop games that will teach them language and mathematics as well as facts about history and life. Physical activity will help them use up some of the energy they have. Keep your arsenal of games, activities and craft projects full and diversified.

Painting and Drawing Projects

Painting is a creative and stimulating activity for children. Younger kids enjoy using finger paints. Bring out the watercolors and paper for older kids who are at least five years of age. Either set up some objects to paint or pictures they can copy. Have crayons for the kids who enjoy coloring books or encourage them to make up their own designs. Cover your table and surrounding floor with old sheets and make sure the kids are covered with protective aprons so they are clean when returning home.

Books and Games

Have a good selection of books for kids of all ages. Set aside an hour each day when you read to them. Encourage each child to ask questions and make comments about the story. Young kids generally love to play different board games such as “Monopoly,” “Sorry” and “Clue.” Play word and alphabet games for kids to learn and reinforce the letters. Set up tic-tac-toe on paper for kids to play.


Music is soothing for kids and has a continuing calming effect. Make agame of selecting music each day and use favorite selections as a reward for good behavior. Encourage the children do some easy calisthenics, exercises and stretches to music to help them release their pent-up energy. Make a game out of inventing new dance steps.

Outdoor Activities and Games

Young kids need lots of physical activity. Running around the park, swinging on swings and playing jump rope will use up a fair amount of energy. Take along several balls to play catch and soccer. Group games with definite rules help children learn how to follow instructions. Set up two teams for the game “Follow the Leader,” which will foster team work.


Head for your craft stash and let the kids vote on what craft they want to do for the day. Paper crafts are often quick and easy to do and only require scissors, glue and paint. Simple recycled items like toilet paper tubes, paper bags, Popsicle sticks and paper plates encourage creativity and offer a lesson in recycling. Use other recycled materials for craft projects, such as cleaned cans, plastic bottles and fabric.

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