Fun Way to Make Children Do The Must Do Activity

There are times when we need our children to do what we ask them to do straight away. For example, we ask them to take a bath because they have to go to school. But, instead going to the bathroom, they refuse and choose to play their favorite toy. When we face this kind of situation, being angry won’t solve the problem. How it is so? If we’re angry, there’re two actions possibilities children will do. First, they will be defensive which are shown by keep playing or stop playing but still not doing what we ask for or avoiding us. Second, they will show tantrum and refuse us hard. When any of the possibilities happen, it will be more difficult for us to make them doing the activity they have to do.

So, when we are in such situation, we have to find a way to deal with the situation which won’t make the situation getting worse. One way to deal with it is through play or game. Why play or game? It’s a fun activity to do. Children tends to respond quickly to it because the play or game makes  them curious. When their sense of curiosity is stimulated, they will choose to act on the sense. This intrinsic willingness won’t make them refuse the activity we offer. Not as in the case, if we’re being angry.

If it so, what play or game which will attract children’s attention and curiosity. Here are two types of play and game we can offer:

  • Pretend play. Children love doing pretend play. When they pretend to be a character, they usually would love doing anything related with the character.
    • For example, As in the case above, ask what our children do with their toy. If they do pretend play with the toy, go along with the play. While the play is on, give idea by using the toy he play. For example we say that the robot they play need to clean it’s body at the bathroom and our children must help the robot in the bathroom. This will make children finally go to the bathroom.
    • If children are not doing pretend play at the moment, we have to be creative to think of the pretend play our children would love and play along too. We can create duck rescue play (use the rubber duck in the bathroom), pretend to be their favorite character which has to take a bath, etc. All those pretend plays, in the end will make children go to the bathroom.
  • Daily activities challenge. Children like when they are able to do many things. If we challenge them to do something and they’re able to do it, they will feel proud of themselves for being able to do something important. For example, challenge them to take a bath by themselves, race with us in putting the dirty clothes onto the laundry basket, sort the toys to the right boxes, etc.

But those won’t do the magic by themselves. Our involvement is the important key to make both work. Here are the steps to make both work:

  • Be attentive of what our children do at the moment we need them to do something. Do not ask them straight away to do what they have to do, but pay attention of what they do. Therefore, we can think of what is the right pretend play we can do based on what they are doing at that moment which we can stir to make them doing what they have to do.
  • Deliberate the pretend play or the challenge excitedly and in a fun way. Our excitement will make them excited too and want to do the play or the challenge.
  • Keep playing along when they finally do what they have to do till the end of the activity. This will make them do the activity excitedly and won’t think to do anything else but finishing the must do activity.
  • Do the same with the challenge. Support them when they do the challenge. This will make them eager to do and finish the challenge well.
  • Last, praise them for what they have done. This is important as this will make them feel proud of they’ve done. They will also make them know that we appreciate the activity they’ve done and make them want to do it again next time.

Those are the steps we can do to make the play and the game exciting. So, children would love doing what they have to do. And here are the note and tips in making and doing the play or game:

  • The kind of play and game can be applied well for children under 5 years old.
  • Be creative in making kinds of pretend play! Use anything our children like. Children usually will respond if we use thing they like and won’t reject the idea we’ve given.
  • Think about the challenge carefully! Create the challenge we think our children have been able to do or make the challenge of the activity they haven’t been able to do but we know that they have been eager to try. Make sure that our children will be able to finish the challenge (It’s all right if they do not do it excellently. What really matter is that they finish it. This will give them the sense of accomplishment. This is very important. And always remember to praise them of all their effort)

That is all, how play and daily activities challenge can make children do what we ask them to do without tantrums arising from us and our children.

5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (2)

In 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1), there are two toys we can use to make children learn about pattern. Here are another toys  & games/activities children can do.

3. Foam Beads Toy: Jewelry Seller Pretend Play

To do the pretend play, we need :

  1. Foam Beads

Foam Beads2. Play Money

Play Money

Children can use the foam beads to make bracelet or necklace. Ask them to arrange the beads in pattern. To make this activity more fun, ask children to do pretend play as jewelry seller. Add the play money to make the pretend play more exciting.  We act as a customer and choose the bracelet and necklace which are arranged in patterns only. So, when  the beads are not arranged in pattern, children will know.

Note: The activity is great for 4 years old children and above as we’re not giving them example to follow. At this age, children (if they have learned and practiced since previous age) have been able to create their own pattern. The chance to create their own pattern will strengthen their ability.

4. Bricks toy

Many patterns can be created from bricks. To make the pattern creation from bricks fun, we can use the pattern achievement activity as the lacing beads and the building block toys or do something else.

Here’s what we can do. Ask children to follow or create their  own pattern. After they finish, ask them to take picture of the patterns they’ve made. Then, ask them to write the patterns (This can be done for 4 or 5 years old children who are already able to write. This can be a way to practice their writing as well).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After that, put it on the scrapbook or hang the pictures of the patterns they’ve made on the wall. So, all family members and friends who visit our home can see. Hanging children’s creation is a way which shows our appreciation to children’s ability. And this  will make them want to create more patterns.

Kids Art Wall Hanging  Kids Art Wall Displaying

Ways to show children’s creation

5. Design & Drill Activity Center


Children, especially boys, are going to love the game as they can make patterns by using power drill, wrench and brightly-colored bolts. There are patterns cards included in the game. So, we don’t have to make the patterns example for children. They can follow the cards and later create their own patterns. To make the activity more exciting, we can take the video when they do the activity. Share it to family members. Then, don’t forget to praise for their great works in following and creating patterns. This will make them want to do the activity again and again. The more they play, the more they can practice making patterns.

That is all. The toys and games/activities which will stimulate children to learn recognizing and creating patterns. Hence, there’s one thing we should keep in mind. Our involvement and appreciation are the key elements which will make children stimulated and encouraged. So, let’s patterning with them  🙂

Related posting: 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1)

5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1)

Recognizing and creating pattern abilities can be practiced through play. To do that we need the toys which can be used to stimulate both abilities. Hence, giving the toys only to children and let them play those by themselves, sometimes is not enough. We have to create games/activities which will make children stimulated and encouraged to recognize and create patterns.

Here are the toys and the games/activities :

  1. Lacing Beads Toy: Beads Pattern Achievement Activity 

Abacus Lacing Beads

The basic way to play it is by putting the beads one by one onto the lace. The beads can be arranged in certain pattern or not. The arrangement of beads is basically depended on children’s likeness. But, if we want to use the toy to make children learn to recognize and create pattern, there’s an activity we can do. I call it Pattern Achievement Activity.  To do it, we have to prepare:

  1. Lacing beads toy
  2. Pattern Achievement Board. We can print it or just draw it on the paper. Below is an example of the board. It’s made based on the lacing beads toy above which may not be the same with your lacing beads. So, create patterns based on the toys you have.

Pattern Achievement Board3. Reward (You can decide the kind of reward which is given to children)

How to play it:  We just have to ask children to follow the patterns shown on the board. After they finish, mark stamp or put sticker on the reward column. Then, hang the board where all family member can see. So, children can tell the achievement they have done to the whole family and be appreciated of what they have done. The appreciation will make them stimulated and encouraged to practice more patterns.

Note: This activity can be given start from 3 years old. It’s because at this age children have recognized the attributes they need to know before making pattern such as: colors and shapes. As for children above 3 years old, we can create more complex patterns. Therefore, their ability will be improved.

2. Building Block Toy: Building Block Pattern Achievement Activity

The activity children can do to recognize and create pattern with the building toy is basically the same as above. The things we need are:

  1. Building toy

100 Wooden Block Set

2. Pattern Achievement Board (The patterns on the board are made based on the 100 piece wooden block set with carrying bag)

Building Toy Pattern Achievement Board

3. Reward

4. Timer/ alarm clock

How to play it: It’s basically the same as playing the beads above. But to add the fun and difficulty, we can spread the blocks on the floor. So, children have to find the blocks they need before they follow the pattern on the board. As for 4 years old children, there’s another thing we can do to add the difficulty, other than giving more complex patterns. We can limit the time. So, they have to follow all patterns on the board in limited time. We can use the timer/ alarm clock. If we do not use timer or alarm clock, we can count until certain numbers. For example: we count from 1 up to 50 or 100.

The limitation of time will make children a bit pressured in doing the task. The pressure can make them give more effort to find the blocks and arrange the blocks match with the pattern on the board. And this will boost their ability. Other than that, the limitation of time will make children learn to handle the pressure (time limit) in doing the task. This is a good ability to be achieved too. However, do not give a very limited time as children will be pressured a lot which they may not be able to handle (the pressured feeling) yet. The time limit is only the second factor in the recognizing pattern activity. Keep remember that the main goal of the activity is to make children able to recognize the pattern, not to handle the pressure.

Continue to 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (2)

100 Piece Wooden Block Set (Part 1): Ways to Play it and What Can be Achieved

Building block is the toy most children have. There are many products of building blocks we can choose at the market. Here is one of them. It’s 100 piece wooden block set with carrying bag.

TCDG-002 TCDG-002_14663209

Click! To find out more about 100 piece wooden block set with carrying bag

The set consists of 16 rectangular prisms, 32 cubes, 4 cylinders, 4 large triangles, 2 small triangles, 6 crescents, 6 bridges and 30 ledges. Building blocks can be played in most ways. For the set of particular blocks above, here are some ways to play it based on children’s age :

  • Sorting colors: to play it, we need to provide 5 containers with different colors which are red, blue, green, orange and beige.
Children’s Age How to Play and What Can be Achieved from The Play
1-2 years old When we ask children to sort based on colors, we actually have to show them. So, we sort the blocks and say the colors of the blocks. Let them follow us. We have to do it because they haven’t able to differentiate colors yet. Therefore, when they do this activity, they will grasp more about the colors ‘words’ instead of the color concept. It is so because at this age, they are in the sensitive period of language. While to differentiate colors, it requires a higher cognitive ability which is controlled in the higher part of the brain which hasn’t developed completely at this age.
3 years old At the age of 3, we can ask children to sort blocks based on colors by themselves. Because based on 3 years old developmental milestones, a 3 years old has been able to differentiate colors. It’s due to the brain which has completely built. Yet, every children has their own development pace (some children may be faster in development than the common development of a 3 years old, some may be slower). If our children haven’t able to do it, do not force them. Just do the play as 2 years old do. Do it routinely. In time, they will be able to recognize each colors and sort by themselves.
  • Sorting shapes :
    • To play it, we need place mats with the shapes of square, rectangle and triangle. We can make them from paper, felt or old cardboard. Use the same color place mats for children 1 up to 3 years old which will make them concentrate more on the shapes differences than the colors.
    • As for 4 years old and above, we need to provide blue, red, orange, green and beige square mats, rectangle mats and triangle mats. We can also provide cubical box, rectangular box and cylinder with same color which will be used for different kind of game. For another kind of game, we can provide blue, red, orange, green and beige cubical boxes, rectangular boxes and cylinders.
Children’s Age How to Play and What can be Achieved from The Play
1-2 years old How to do it, it’s basically like sorting blocks based on colors. We sort the blocks and say the shapes. Let children follow what we do. In this way, they will grasp the shapes vocabularies.
3 years old Based on the developmental milestones of 3 years old, they usually have been able to differentiate at least two or three shapes. So, ask them to sort the blocks based on shapes by themselves. Yet, again every children has their own development pace. If they haven’t able to do it, just do the play as for 2 years old.
4 years old and above At the age of 4 years old and above, we can give more difficult sorting game such as:

  • Sort based on two attributes -color and 2D shape- at one time. For example, they have to put blue square to blue square mat , red rectangle to red rectangle mat, etc.
  • Sort based on 3D shapes. When they’ve just learned about 3D shapes, it’s going to be a fun game to play which can develop their ability in 3D shapes recognition.
  • Sort based on two attributes -color and 3D shape- at once such as red cubes to red cubical box, blue cylinder to blue cylinder, etc. Yet, do this when they have been fluent in recognizing 3D shapes
  • Games with the Bag : As the 100 piece wooden block set comes with a carrying bag, we can use the bag not only to keep the blocks but use it to play game as well.



Children’s age How to Play and What Can be Achieved
1-2 Years Old

Here are the steps to play the blocks with the carrying bag:

  • Ask children to close their eyes. Then, hide a block or some in the carrying bag.
  • Ask them to find where the blocks are. Hence, create a situation where our children will figure that the blocks in the bag.
  • Let them peek!
  • After they find the blocks, we can say that the blocks are in the bag.
  • Ask them to bring the blocks out of the bag. Then we say that the blocks are out of the bag.
  • By stressing the words in and out, they basically learn about preposition.
  • There are many variations of word vocabularies we can tell to children. When they bring out the blocks, we can count the blocks, say the colors and the shapes as well.
3 years old Here are the games we can give to 3 years old:

  • What’s in the bag game. To play it, we put some blocks in the bag. Ask children to touch the blocks in the bag, but they can not peek into it. They have to guess the shapes by touching the blocks only.
  • Memory game. To play it, we have to provide at least 2 shapes on the mat or on the table. Show to children. Then ask them to close their eyes. we hide one of the shapes in the bag. Let children open their eyes and they have to guess what shape is missing/ hidden in the bag (Note: It’s done only when children have been able to differentiate shapes. It also can be used for other attribute such as colors).
  • Counting game. Here are two ways to play it:
    • Put some blocks in the bag. Ask children to bring out the blocks and count them by themselves. To make them excited and eager to play, make it like a pretend play. For example, pretend we’ve lost some blocks and we need our children help to find where the blocks are and check how many blocks are hidden. Be creative with the pretend play and suit it with your children likeness. This will make them want to play even more.
    • Spread the blocks on the floor and ask children to put some blocks, for example 3 blocks, in the bag. To make them excited, take turn in giving instructions.  Ask them to tell how many blocks we have to put in the bag.
4 Years Old and Above Basically the games are the same as 3 years old, yet with a bit of differences such as:

  • In what’s in the bag game, instead the 2D shapes, ask them to tell the name of 3D shapes.
  • In the memory games, we can ask children to memorize two attributes for each blocks. For example blue cube, red cylinder, etc.
  • Use the blocks and the bag to do addition or subtraction game.
    • Example of addition game: We put 1 block on the mat. Ask children to bring out 1 block from the bag onto the mat.  Then, we  say one bag on the mat plus one block from the bag makes two blocks on the mat. Ask children to do many addition using the blocks and the bag as example.
    • Example of subtraction game: We put 3 blocks on the mat. Ask children to take one block and put it in the bag. Then we say 3 blocks were on the mat, then you took 1 block and put it in the bag. Now there’re 2 blocks on the mat left. Ask children to do many subtraction using the blocks and the bag as example.

Those are some ways to play 100 Piece Wooden Block Set. There will be more ways to play the set in 100 Piece Wooden Block Set (Part 2): Ways to Play It and What Can be Achieved.

Related Posting:

100 Piece wooden Block Set (Part 2): ways to Play It and What Can be Achieved

The Opportunity to Arrange Schedule: A Basic to Achieve Schedule Making Ability

         After children grasp the concept of schedule in terms that schedule is basically the sequence of daily activities, it’s time to take the next step. It’s giving children the opportunity to arrange their own schedule. This can be started as early as 4 years old. Of course at this age, they are not making the whole schedule, only arranging certain activities. For example, a 4 years old is given the opportunity to arrange the sequence of their entertaining activities after school like whether firstly they’re going to play their toys or watch their favorite video.

          The kind of activities they can arrange will be varied. Those will depend on:

  1. The values of the family.

Arranging schedule is one kind of responsibilities. It’s because schedule can’t be made/filled with fun activities only. It includes activities which may not be too liked to do. Yet, it must be done as it is important for our life. When it comes to responsibility, every families has its own rules/values related to it. These will determine what activities can be arranged by children.

     2. The age of children and the abilities they’ve developed.

Children’s age usually determines what ability they have developed. The abilities determine what are the activities they will be able to arrange by themselves. For example:

Age Activities Children Can Manage
4 Play time in the afternoon. They can arrange whether firstly they want to watch movie or play their toys.
5 Activities after school. They can arrange whether firstly they want to play or take a nap.
6 They can arrange activities related with academic activities. For instance, they want to do homework after school or in the evening.

As children grow and they have learned more about responsibility, more activities can be arranged by themselves. They also can be given the opportunity to set the time. So, basically the opportunity to arrange their own schedule is given step by step.

          Understanding both factors will make us easy in determining the activities they can arrange. It’s important to do because we have to give limitations. If we don’t do that, they will make schedule as they pleased without considering the responsibility that attach to the schedule. For instance, they may want to play or watch video all the time and not doing other important activities.

          After determining the activities children can arrange, it’s time to tell them the good news. Why it is good news? It’s because the opportunity to arrange the schedule will fulfill the need of self independent. A fulfillment of a need will give satisfaction which in turn will make children proud and happy. Something that makes happy is a good news.

          In telling this and how the opportunity can be applied, there are ways we can do:

  • Inform children that they can arrange some activities. Explain the reason why they can only arrange some activities, the responsibility behind the schedule arrangement and the consequences  (if there is any). This way will make them learning about the responsibility that attach with the schedule.
  • Ask them to write and draw on a schedule table (which is basically the same as the table in the schedule board). For example:

Schedule Table Writing by 4 Years Old

Note: The activity drawing means playing time.

The schedule table can be written on the paper or on a dry erase board, like

Autumn Theme Magnetic Dry Erase Board with Marker


Starting at the age of 4, we can ask children to copy the words of daily routine, time, activities and ask them to draw/doodles the activities. While starting at the age of 5, instead of drawing, we can ask them to write the activities. It is good to start making the table by drawing or writing because at the age of 4 and 5, they are eager to do both activities. So, we basically encourage them to do the activity they like and fulfill the need of self independent (in this case, fulfilled by the opportunity to arrange their own schedule)

          The combination of the fulfillment of child’s need and the encouragement to do child’s loving activities will make children doing the activities excitedly. When they do something excitedly, they tend to do it over and over. Something that is done repeatedly can become habit. And this will be a good basic for children to have the ability of making schedule in a responsible way.

Related Posting:

Daily Schedule Routine (Part 1): It’s Benefit in Dealing with Young Children

Daily Schedule Routine (Part 2): The Example

Daily Schedule Routine (Part 3): It’s Application in Life

Introducing to 2 & 3 Years Old Children by Sequencing Daily Routine Activities