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How Do I Choose the Best Activities for Children?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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The best activities for children will vary significantly according to the age group of the children as well as the individual personalities of those kids. Some children are energetic and athletic, so sports activities may be appropriate. Other children are less athletic and prefer calmer games. If you want to create educational activities for children, you can combine activities that combine movement with educationally stimulating activities as well. Start choosing the best activities by learning as much as reasonably possible about the children you will need to structure events for, and remember that with larger groups, it may be difficult or impossible to keep the attention of all the children at once.

Think about the constraints with which you must work when planning activities for children. If, for example, it is the dead of winter and going outside is not an option, plan indoor activities for children that will utilize a particular space effectively. Outdoor activities often allow for more freedom when planning activities, but outdoor activities will require more monitoring and run more of a risk of accidents or injury. Consider the types of children you will be planning for when thinking of outdoor activities.

Some activities for children are purely for entertainment, while others are meant to be educational. If you plan on doing educational activities with the children, it helps to narrow down your educational goals to a few key concepts. Identify these concepts and then research or brainstorm ideas that will grab the children's attention. Educational activities for children need to be well-structured, as children can get confused or lose interest with an unfocused activity. The activity itself does not always necessarily need to be entertaining, but it does need to be engaging. Be sure to plan for plenty of interaction and hands-on experiences, and remember that each child in the group can have a different learning style. This means you may not be able to keep every child engaged. This is not necessarily a failure; it is a simple reality.

Consider the age group and different interests of the children when planning an activity, especially if you already know the children well. Have a back-up plan for children who may not end up being interested in the activity you have planned. Above all, make sure the activity is safe and easily monitored. If necessary, get some help from other adults to monitor the activities, especially if the activities include sports.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By browncoat — On Oct 05, 2014

@Mor - That's one of the reasons kids should be exposed to range of activities so they can develop different skills. Even if they are never going to be a professional artist, it will do them good to know how to sketch a rough composition. Even if they don't like sports, they should still at least learn how to throw a ball.

And activities with other children will help them develop social skills, which is one of the most important things they can learn.

By Mor — On Oct 04, 2014

@KoiwiGal - Spending time developing your child's skills is so important too. I can remember being a big disappointment to my father when I was a kid and tried to get onto a basketball team, but we had hardly ever played it at home. I just simply didn't know how to play.

I know people like to win and they want their children to be successful, but learning a new skill is a success, even if you don't win a trophy for it.

By KoiwiGal — On Oct 03, 2014

Don't forget that children will often do things to please their parents that they aren't necessarily enjoying for their own sake. You can encourage your kids into doing something physical, but let them decide for themselves what kind of activity it will be. It might not be baseball like you hope, but dancing is just as healthy for them and if they enjoy it, then they are more likely to stick to it.

Activities with children that you can enjoy together are also good for their own sake but you have to learn to distinguish between their enjoyment of hanging out with you and an actual love of the activity.

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