The imagination of a child is endless. Kids often take the most random objects, from a tree branch to a rock, and play with them to their heartโ€™s desire. Adults sometimes lose this sense of wonder.

Kids have very short attention spans. They can have fun with anything, but it might only last a few minutes. This leads to stress for parents when they need to figure out how to entertain and teach children. Car activities for kids can range from singing songs with the family to playing video games.

Weโ€™ll talk about all the options for entertaining your children, ranging from when they are toddlers to pre-adolescence.

Encourage Kids to Get Exercise

There is a childhood obesity problem in the U.S., with the CDC claiming that almost 20% of people under 18 years old are obese. The problem has only worsened because there are so many options for entertainment that donโ€™t include being active.

Many kids today would rather play video games like RuneScape or Call of Duty than go outside and play. This is a problem on many levels. Entertainment for kids should be age-appropriate. And while they do make age-appropriate games for children, many popular games are often made for individuals 18 and older.

By encouraging your child to get outside, explore, or exercise, you are allowing their creative brains to work. You could also be protecting your kids from inappropriate content. There are not many times in life when a human has more energy than during their childhood. Kids have unlimited stamina, it seems. They can run around and enjoy nature for hours if encouraged.

Help Kids Make Friends

Being active and having fun also helps kids build social skills and friendships. Imagination and creativity are even more important when it comes to communicating with others. Kids need to learn how to share ideas with their peers.

Two children might want to be heroes when acting out a movie scene. Conflicts in these situations can create tension and arguments if the kids donโ€™t understand how to share their ideas. Taking turns playing the role they want to will be great for their ability to work with others as they get older.

It can even influence behavior in adulthood. Kids who always play by themselves when they are younger might have a hard time making friends as an adult.

Playing With Smartphones and Video Games

Millennial parenting is often going to include technology, no matter how hard parents try to pry kids away from the screens. There are undoubtedly adverse effects that come from television and video games vs. getting outside and being active. However, there are also some positives that electronics can bring to your children as well.

If kids want to play video games on a cloudy day, try to limit them to games rated โ€œEveryoneโ€ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Nintendo is a company that has always marketed to families and young children. Characters like Mario, Kirby, and Yoshi are colorful and inviting for little tykes.

You should also have your kids play games that make them think. Smartphones are especially great for giving suggestions within the education genre. Games with small riddles, unique characters, and encouragement of vocabulary expansion are all fun yet instructional.

Because kids today are so used to being around technology, encouraging them to play games on smartphones lets parents breathe a little. In moderation, entertainment on a screen can be both productive and recreational.

Read a Book

Some kids donโ€™t naturally like to read. If you get them to love books from a very young age, you may be able to turn this unpopular activity into a lifelong hobby. Reading nursery rhymes, flip books, and books based on movies or fairy tales children are already familiar with will get toddlers excited about the vast universe inside of books.

As kids age, their reading skills might be higher than average if they were around literature from the start. They will want to read on their own when they are bored. The stories may inspire them to act out their favorite characters when they are outside with their friends.

This is an excellent example of how indoor and outdoor activities can feed off each other, building a variety of fun things for kids to do no matter their circumstances.

Local libraries often offer activities for young children to attend during the week. These activities vary from music classes, parent and me classes, read-alongs, and many more. Attending such events not only encourages your child to form a love for reading but also gives them a chance to meet and interact with new people.

Fun in the Car

The car is often one of the dullest places for young kids. They might not enjoy looking at the scenery on a long drive like adults do. Kids sometimes just want to get to their destination. This is where parents need to get creative to entertain their kids.

The enclosed car space doesnโ€™t allow kids to entertain themselves like in the backyard, the living room, or the family game room.

One of the ways you can entertain your kids in the car is by singing songs. Short, choppy lyrics that can easily be repeated over and over are good for childrenโ€™s memory skills. Maybe sing a song from their favorite Disney movie or something with other fun phrases or figures of speech.

Tell stories about your favorite trips from your upbringing. Talk about things you think they can add their opinion or relate to. See how your interests as a child interact with theirs.

If you have a teen with a learnerโ€™s permit, you can encourage them to pay attention to how you drive and how others on the road behave. Let them sit in the passenger seat and help you check blind spots.

Providing assistance, in this case, will actually increase their sense of independence. They will feel closer to actually getting to drive themselves.

Regardless of your strategy to encourage your child to entertain themselves, remember that a healthy variety of fun when kids are younger will affect them down the road. Intelligent, creative kids often turn into well-rounded adults.


Shawn Laib writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. He wants to help families understand all of the options available for fun at any age.