How to occupy a child at the cottage and 5 best bonus games

For many people, summer is associated with the country house, especially given the current widespread restrictions associated with the pandemic. When the borders of many countries are closed, and long journeys and many contacts with people on the road are undesirable.

Every summer is a “little life” for the child, filled with their own experiences, feelings and anticipation of something new and unusual. If you think carefully and prepare in advance for what to do with children in the countryside it is possible that this time will be one of the brightest moments in their still very short life.

Working Activity

What to occupy a child at the dacha - work activities

Beginning to accustom the child to mastering the labor skills on the dacha site can formThe child has the following necessary qualities of character:

  1. an awareness of the need to make an effort to get results;

  2. Patience while waiting for the fruits of their labor;

  3. confidence in achieving the set goals with a persistent desire to implement them.

All skills and abilities should be presented to a child in the form of a game, an adult should interest and involve the child in the activity. The amount of intended labor in the countryside should be determined by the age and previous experience of the child, taking into account his character, aptitudes and desires.The following will be a list of work activities that may be of interest to most children.

  1. The vegetable garden.A separate area should be set aside for your child, for his or her own garden. The younger the child, the less activity is needed at first. Already from the age of 3 a child is able to dig a few holes with a spade, bring some earth in a bucket, plant and water seeds or sprouts. To get involved in this activity, you will need to provide the child with his or her own personal equipment. You need to start with a watering can (children love to handle water), and as they grow up, you can add other children’s tools for the garden, and there are plenty of them on sale now. In the process of expanding activities it is necessary to tell children about how important it is to water the plants, how they grow and what kind of care they need (weeding, mowing, etc.).p.). All theory in this matter must turn to practice.

  2. The garden.Picking fruit is a very exciting and “tasty” activity for children of all ages. Children of about 10 years of age enjoy climbing trees for this purpose, as well as using the simplest harvesting tools. In addition, from about the same age, the child can trim small branches, dig up trees, and participate in whitewashing the trunk.

  3. Preservation. If your family practices making jams, jams, marshmallows and rolling up your own vegetables for the winter from the harvest you can safely involve a child to help. A lot of activities can be found for him in the chores and preparatory process. You should romanticize the process a little by telling him how nice and cool it is to hide “a piece of summer” in a jar in the form of raspberry jam, pickled tomatoes, and pickles, and then, in the cold winter, feel the aroma of this beautiful summer again. In winter, when you eat the fruits of your summer labors with your family at lunch, don’t forget to remind your child and all those present of their participation in the preparation of what ended up on your table.

  4. Collecting and drying leaves.Pick leaves of mint, raspberries, currants, and cherries. These leaves can be dried, and in winter they can be used to make aromatic tea, a reminder of a sunny summer, while praising children for their efforts.

All gardening and horticultural activities will be of interest to children if the “together-yourself” principle is followed. The principle is included in the concept of early childhood development of the outstanding psychologist of the early twentieth century L.s. The Vygotsky method of mastering the “zone of nearest development. The essence of the method consists in involving the child in the activity, giving him a volume of work which slightly (just a little) exceeds his capabilities. The participation of an adult, especially at the initial stage, is obligatory. But having got involved, a child can spend a lot of time in the countryside on his or her own, finding things to do and helping the grown-ups.

A lot about the experience of work training can be learned from the writings, undeservedly forgotten now, the famous in the 20-30s of last century, educator Makarenko A.m.

Cognitive and educational activities

Cognitive activity in the natural environmentin a dacha landscape gives children an opportunity:

  1. to get to know the world around us better;

  2. learn the basics of fishing, picking mushrooms and berries, and orienteering in the woods or fields (depending on the location of the dacha);

  3. Get the basics of exact and natural sciences by practical examples and in an unobtrusive way.

It is better to start acquaintance of children with the dacha with a sightseeing tour of the surroundings. Later incorporate such “expeditions” into the plan for spending time at the summer house. Walks must be meaningful and engaging for the child. What can be done by exploring the world around?

  1. Exploring Nature.Walking around the neighborhood and getting acquainted with the surrounding landscape can greatly expand the child’s horizons by telling about the herbs, flowers and trees that will be encountered, naming them and giving a brief description. There are many kinds of birds, some animals, and insects to encounter. Everything a child sees in person, not on a screen or in a book, will be more clearly fixed in his memory when he tells the child about what he has seen.

  2. Life skills in a natural environment. The young Robinson, if you tell him in advance who he is, will take great interest in learning the basics of orienteering. And also, undoubtedly, to collecting and studying, with subsequent eating (depending on the season) of wild berries and fruits, edible herbs, roots, and mushrooms. If there is a body of water nearby, and if the adult has fishing gear and experience, it is very likely that the child will be fascinated by this process, too.

  3. Learning the exact sciences.Depending on the age of the child, the walk may be accompanied by arithmetic and counting practice. By counting all the things he meets on his way (birds, trees, flowers, etc.).p.) and examples with their addition and subtraction. You can also make an image of numbers from rocks, leaves, or just a rod in the sand.

For older children you can teach the sides of the world and other geographic concepts, basic astronomy, some knowledge of biology, botany and zoology and some physics. Such information, superimposed on positive emotions, will become the basis for school knowledge in the future.

Creative activity

Modelling with plasticine for children

A wide range for the development of children’s creativity opens up the possibility of their stay in the countryside. The possibility of making “works of art” from the very collection of material for them to the final result. The process can also spread into the home environment, when the cottage season ends, and the needlework based on the collected material can continue.

  1. Herbaria.When in the country you can collect a big herbarium of flowers and leaves and carefully dry them. In modern art departments you can buy stands and albums for herbaria and even special kits with explanations and tools for the proper dissection of plants and special paper. Albums also contain special sections for photographs, where next to the work you can place a photo of the place where the herbarium was collected.

  2. Pictures of dried flowers and herbs. They can be considered a continuation of the theme of the herbarium, only in this case it is decorated on special paper and placed in a frame. Such paintings can decorate the cottage, and the best work can be placed at home in the nursery as a memory of a sunny summer.

  3. Making wreaths. An absolutely budget-friendly, fun and beautiful way to occupy your child with crafts. After making wreaths, we should not forget to hold a photo shoot, to “immortalize” this natural beauty on the heads of young talents and their parents.

  4. Making crafts.Use cones, interesting snags, acorns, birds’ feathers and other natural materials collected on “expeditions” in the countryside. With the help of appropriate information from the Internet, imagination and creative desires you can devote a lot of time to the production of “masterpieces of folk art”, with the transfer of this activity to a permanent residence after the dacha.

  5. Building.Great can enthusiasm children create their own “home” or “secret shelter” on the dacha. It can be a shawl, an Indian tepee, a “cave” made of boxes, or a tree house. It all depends on the age of children, “technical capabilities” for the task, the support of an adult and the flight of fancy of a child.

  6. Drawing.It is very correct and good to draw in the countryside with crayons, and if there is not enough asphalt for this, a fence or garage door will do, and then it will be very fun and entertaining for children to wash their creativity with water from a hose.

  7. Sandbox.Games in the sand and sand, in an improvised sandbox at the cottage will really like kids. They can devote many minutes and even hours of their carefree time to this activity.

More about games that can organize children in the country

  1. Treasure hunt. Depending on the age of the child the task is to find the “treasure” if the child is small, it is enough to hide some small items (candies, small toys, etc.) on a small area of the countryside.) and offer him to find them. If the child is older, you can make a “Treasure Island map” or several maps for finding “treasure” from one point to another, with complications, in the form of performing certain tasks at intermediate “points” of search.

  2. “Wet Piñata”. Place hermetically sealed chocolate bars (Snickers, Bounty, etc.) into one or more non-transparent balloons.p.), balls are filled with water and suspended from a tree. The blindfolded participant must break the ball, and if they’re lucky, they get a prize – a chocolate bar. If they’re not lucky, well, it’s still nice to be refreshed on a hot afternoon.

  3. Water “bombing”. Small balloons are filled with water, so that the balloon fits into the child’s palm. The child, with your help, prepares “ammunition,” which he puts in a basin or a large cup. After that, you can assign, or you can make a target in the form of a scarecrow or a picture of “baka – beeches” on the fence or garage door, set the distance and start throwing. Should be fun.

  4. A stepladder – a target. This game is also arithmetic-loaded. You need a stepladder, between the steps of which are placed sheets of paper with numbers from 1 to 5 or tens from 10 to 50. The top edge of the sheet is fastened with tape, the bottom one is in a loose position. From a set distance, the child throws a tennis ball at them. If only one child participates in the game, the required amount of points is established, upon reaching which he will receive a prize; exceeding the established amount leads to “burning off” of points and the score is resumed. If there are two or more children, the game is played on the number of throws, the one who gets the maximum number of points for the established number of throws becomes the winner. In the competition version, in the absence of other children, an adult can also participate.

  5. Darts.A universal game with elements of arithmetic, suitable for joint play of children and adults both on the site and in the house (in case of) bad weather. You can take the traditional rules of the game (you can read them on the Internet), or you can play for the number of points obtained with a limited number of shots at the target. The one who scores the least will do the dishes.

The article is based on the books of L.s. Vygotsky, “Thinking and Speech,” A.s. Makarenko’s “A Book for Parents” ; materials from websites and parents’ forums and the educational practice of the staff of the Solnyshko Children’s Home RK

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