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Friday, July 15, 2016

Encouraging Creativity Inside and Outside the Home

By M. Lynn Willing   

Mom Bethany Vornholt encourages creative play with her children Caleb (not pictured), Olivia, and Henry.
Photos by Patti Hartog

The Vornholt family seeks out fun entertainment options that foster creativity and exercise the mind and body. Bethany and Trip live off Old Henry in Jefferson County and have three kids: Caleb (11), Olivia (10) and Henry (6).

The family plays grocery, which sparks creativity and helps the children learn how to react to social situations.

Bethany encourages creativity in her younger children by playing grocery. She sets up chairs to resemble a car and lines up canned goods for the little shoppers. “Customers” push play grocery carts, buy food with paper money, and bag the food at check-out. When an unhappy customer returns a purchase, the grocer gets to practice responding to difficult people.

 Bethany spends time outside with her kids drawing with chalk (above) and playing kickball (below).

Outside activities include taking nature walks, playing kickball, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and jumping on the trampoline. But for inside fun, they recommend–

Waiting Rooms:
  • Spot It! — a fast-moving game that increases focus by challenging players to quickly find a matching picture on round cards.
  • Kid interview — the “What does (Henry) like?” game.
Public Restrooms:

To keep little ones from touching everything while Mom or a sibling uses the restroom, play Turn a Circle by giving sequential instructions such as, “Put hands on hips and turn a circle” and “Put hands on head and turn a circle.”

  • Alphabet Memory Game — go around the table and have each person say a word that begins with the next letter of the alphabet, after first repeating the previous words.
  • Would You Rather…? game
  • Hangman and tic-tac-toe

Ages 2-6: ABC Mouse — a website with a monthly fee for early learning games.

Ages 4+: Drawing Pad — users express themselves artistically using a set of drawing and painting tools.

Ages 6+: 
Disney Tsum Tsum — a match-three game with cute and fluffy Disney characters.
Crossy Road — a simple game in which you help a chicken or other characters cross the road, much like Frogger.

Olivia and Caleb play Minecraft.
Ages 8+:
Minecraft — an open-ended, exploration and creation/building app that fosters creativity.
Geometry Dash — a platform action game where players attempt to navigate a square through an increasingly hostile environment.
Color Switch — a fast-paced and colorful shape-matching obstacle course game with plenty of levels to keep players captivated.

Ages 9+:
Sports games for XBox are a favorite for sports-lovers like Caleb. Favorites include:
NBA 2K — professional basketball simulation. Players can play as or against their favorite players and teams.
Madden NFL — professional football simulation. Gamers can play as or against their favorite NFL teams or even create a player from scratch — even based on their own likenesses — in some modes.
FIFA — great pro soccer simulation; some female players.

Parent Writer Recommendation: If you want to make responsible media choices and teach your kids to do the same, you may find it helpful to read unbiased reviews of video games and apps. is a great resource.

1 comment:

  1. Cool Math Games Bloxorz is a relevint game to cool math games but may be this is a simple game like Pbs Kids Games for Kids because these games are designed for little kids. Try plyaing run 2 and 2048 games game for fun. If you are looking for more fun games you can also try Bad Ice Cream 3 and Peppa Pig Peppa Pig is also not bad.


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