Things to do with Children, 4

Neverending games

Does anyone ever recall coming to the end of a game of Monopoly?

Is it possible to finish a game of Monopoly? (I suppose, if everyone but the winner goes bankrupt and drops out…)

We once had a game called Hotel which was similar; players bought hotels and charged other players to stay in them. My children would play it for hours on the living room floor. (The dogs loved it too when they had company on the floor.)

I’m sure new games have appeared since then that can drag on occupy children for days.

But what of the only child who (in the current situation) has to wait until a parent is free to play board games?

Weather Experiments

I’ve just discovered Accuweather are posting weather experiments for children on its blog.

I hear your objection – fair comment. These also require a parent to set them up, but they look more interesting than snakes and ladders.

Click these links for Weather Experiments, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

More are promised.


Thinking back, I had it easy in school holidays with four children to keep each other occupied. It’s rather like having all the aunties at Christmas: they natter on to each other and the hostess can go for a nap without anyone noticing (until the teapot needs refilling).

But puzzles don’t require an opponent to make you feel like a winner.

In retirement I have tackled more kinds of puzzle than I once thought I could do and have abandoned some that I use to enjoy because the challenging ones are more fun. If I had only attempted some of these earlier, when I had time in the years BC (i.e. Before Children) it would have boosted my confidence exponentially for the years ahead.

(For the childless, it is difficult to underestimate how much one’s confidence is affected by arguing daily with a four-year-old and losing. Returning to work after a career break can be a nail-nibbling experience.)

But I digress.

Puzzles are something that can be done solo (after a few guided practice runs). Depending on your child’s preferred field, they can be visual in two dimensions (jigsaws, shapes, and picture puzzles) or three dimensional (wood and metal puzzles), word puzzles, or logic puzzles. (Number puzzles rarely involve maths. Sudoku is logic, don’t let numbers put you off – or your children.)

Have a search online to start you off; and cater for younger children. For the common puzzles found in newspaper “coffee break” pages, just Google the puzzle of your choice to find free crosswords, codewords, wordsearches, sudoku, kakuro… from beginner to expert levels.

Don’t be too ambitious. Success breeds interest. Make sure you start (together) with an easy challenge your child can move on from. You’ll be surprised what you can both achieve with time and patience and determination.

You can do this.

number puzzle

Junior will soon be raring to carry on without you.

Do you have a favourite puzzle?

Could you teach a child how to tackle it?

10 thoughts on “Things to do with Children, 4

  1. Thanks, Cathy.
    I remember the endless games of Monopoly too, later I enjoyed Scrabble.
    My favourite toy was Meccano, I loved building things powered with clockwork motors. The weekly visit to the toy shop to perhaps buy a few gears or other bits and pieces with my pocket money or earning from a paper round were another treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I became hooked on puzzles when I first retired and didn’t need to abandon them to go back to work. In the end though, it’s like reading – after a while, you feel you ought to get up and do something. It’s probably the result of a lifetime’s conditioning.

      Liked by 1 person

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