(StatePoint) – Playtime is one of the best opportunities for dads, grandfathers and other father ﬁgures to serve as role models in a child’s life, and research shows that these experiences have a number of positive health beneﬁts for kids.
According to experts at The Genius of Play, a research-based initiative providing parents and caregivers with facts, inspiration, and hands-on resources to help make playtime an important part of every day, regular active physical play between fathers and young children is associated with improved developmental outcomes.
To help make Father’s Day special for kids and dads alike, check out these fun and creative playtime ideas from The Genius of Play.
• Storytime Stretch: Read or tell a story to your child that has a single word repeated often. Have your child jump, stretch, clap or do some other exaggerated physical movement every time they hear the word. Then, mix things up and have your child tell you a story. This is a great way to spend time together building vocabulary, boosting creativity and having fun.
• Science Kit: Whether it’s erupting a volcano, building a system of pulleys and levers or growing crystals, dads and kids can learn about science and engineering, as well as practice following directions by completing a science kit together.
• Charades: Choose a category for the game such as television shows, songs, sports, animals or professions. Then have everyone write down a noun in that category on a slip of paper. Mix the slips of paper together in a hat or bowl. Take turns choosing a slip of paper from the mix. Without speaking, act out a word or phrase that others can guess. Whoever guesses correctly then begins his or her turn.
• Board Game Fun: From puzzles and party games to cards and trivia, games build communication skills, teach good sportsmanship and create opportunities for strategic thinking.
• Two Truths and a Tale: Take turns saying three things about yourself. Two are true, but one is not. The other players have to hold up one, two or three ﬁngers to indicate which of the three statements they think is untrue. The person who guesses correctly then takes a turn. If no one gets it right, the ﬁbber goes again!
• Build a Fort: Collaborate and stretch the imagination with fort-building. First drape sheets over the backs of chairs and stack pillows underneath or decorate cardboard boxes with markers or paint and attach them together. Now you can use your fort as a secret clubhouse to play board games and cards, or pretend you’re defending a castle – the possibilities are endless.
• Craft Puppets: Start with socks or paper bags and craft your own puppets with markers, googly eyes, yarn and other materials around the house. Then act out a play with your new characters.
For more play tips and resources, visit thegeniusofplay.org.
This Father’s Day, be sure dads or other father ﬁgures make the time for playtime. Beneﬁcial for healthy child development, there are many ways to get in on the fun, from word games and hands-on arts and crafts projects to board games and fort building.