My 18 month old nephew LOVES "real things" that are not toys. For older kids in my life, I LOVE buying them things like rock tumblers, microscopes, binoculars, swiss army knives (when they're old enough and with parental permission), digital cameras, or things to support their hobbies (like nice fins for snorkeling). We send them money from foreign countries just for fun (various small bills and lots of coins) and rocks and seashells. I've also had great luck with kids magazines and non-kid magazines (like Science, or National Geographic). I'm also rather good at getting experiences for kids and older teens - museum passes, or concert tickets, or a special fun restaurant where they sing, etc. But I've realized that I'd love to buy the younger set more "real things" because they seem to love them so much more than actual toys! This is roughly for ages 1-5. Would love some additional help of "real things" that toddlers and preschool kids like! [more inside]
Things are returning to normal in the Panda household, and it's time to get out and play! Specifically I'd like a swing that can be installed temporarily on a nearby tree and removed when it's time to go home. Advice from all directions is welcome: swing seats, rope, hardware, knots, or anything else tangentially related. This will primarily be used by a 4 year old, but ideas that would work for an 18 month old are good too. [more inside]
We (parents and 2 boys ages 4 and 16 months), recently relocated from an apartment with no outdoor space to a house with a backyard. A couple of months in, the joys of simply running in circles are finally wearing off. What outdoor toys/equipment can we get for the kids that will maximize everyone's fun? [more inside]
Just came back from a weekend at Big Bear with a bunch of kids and not sure it was fun? [more inside]
We are moving out of our little rental house in about 6 months but until then our kids desperately need a play area. The best options are either the concrete patio or the wooden deck. It shouldn't rain much here in the next 6 months, but there will be plenty of falling leaves. Any ideas for how to convert either of these spaces into usable play areas? The patio would need some sort of kid-fencing, whereas the deck would just need that plastic side netting. But the floors of either would require something - but what? Astroturf? Those interlocking foam mats? Some third thing I don't know about? Ideally the solution is economical enough to make sense for six months (or it's something we can keep when we move), and it doesn't destroy our rental.
I am looking for something like these for our backyard. They need to be designed for outdoor use and rain. You can find similar ones online, but since these are really heavy, the shipping costs are as much as the mats. Are there any local retailers in the bay area that will sell small quantities to an individual? I have Amazon Prime but have not found anything Prime-eligible that looks decent.
My soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter is pretty timid, physically. It's nothing crippling or even worrisome, but still…c'mon kid, geez, just jump! You'll be fine! [more inside]
I lost my voice completely! Any good kid activity suggestions that involve complete quiet from the adult?
What is the parental etiquette for when someone's kid comes to your door trying play with your kid, you tell them no, we're having dinner, and kid essentially won't take no for an answer and tries to continue to get into your house? What is the best way to redirect said kiddo from this behavior again if I can't say anything to her parents? [more inside]
My son (11) has expressed an interest in playing Dungeons and Dragons. I would like to help him but I know nothing about the game and Amazon reviews of the basic starter set confuse things even further. What exactly does he need in order to start playing? [more inside]
For kids under the age of three, what household objects have been the most entertaining for your kids? I'm looking for household objects that your kid discovered and ended up being a cherished play item, not things bought in a toy store (e.g. buckets, bags, boxes, dead remotes, phones, etc.)? No electronics please.
I need ideas for tree-based fun for my small kids. [more inside]
What are some inexpensive ways to entertain grade school-aged kids? [more inside]
Help source photographs and ideas for the design of a maximally creative schoolyard play space for grades K-8. [more inside]
I am generally serious, practical, logical and introverted. How can I learn to be lighthearted, playful, and entertaining with young children? I'm afraid I'm boring and unimaginative. Also I've forgotten a lot of kids songs and games. [more inside]
LaughTrackFilter: Trying to find a specific laugh track featuring this annoying little boy's giggle, which seems to be prominent in all commercials featuring children at play. Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
What kind of activities can a 5-year-old do alone to entertain herself? My daughter goes to my mom's 2 days a week, from 9 am to 3 pm. She’s getting really, really bored. [more inside]
Please help me think of some new, interesting, positive role-playing scenarios for my girls to use with their dolls and stuffed animals. [more inside]
We're going to be introducing our nearly-4-year-old son to the joys of snowshoeing, igloo-building and possibly even snow-camping this season. Help us not screw it up for him! [more inside]
Midnight activities for a 4-year-old that he wouldn't get a chance to do during the day? My son is having an EEG tomorrow during the day. They want him sleep-deprived so he'll sleep without sedation. I'm supposed to get him up for the day at 3:30 am. He's not a morning person at all, so to keep him awake I'm looking for exciting things to do/observe/etc. that wouldn't be possible during his normal waking hours. We're in the east end of Toronto near the Don Valley, so both big-city and nature/wildlife type activities may be possibilities.
Children's backyard play structure filter: recommendations wanted. [more inside]
I will be spending the day in White Plains, New York, and I'm looking for some activities for my 3&4 year old kids. Anyone know of an online resource that could help, or perhaps familiar with the area?