Colorado Department of Human Services
The Bawmann Group
February 26, 2008
Dads Conquer the Great Indoors with their Children
Coloradans love their scenic backdrop and crave days in the sun, but families have grown all too accustomed to blustery days this year, when taking the kids outside just won’t work. But when the storm clouds roll in and the snow falls, Colorado fathers shouldn’t worry because there are just as many fun and entertaining things to do with their children inside as there are outside.
How can dads build relationships and calm their stir-crazy children at the same time?
- Play a game. Great game ideas include playing an old-fashioned board or card game or building a puzzle.
- Get creative. There is no need to stress if fathers do not have pre-planned crafts, children love to grab paper and simply color or paint. Use stencils and stickers to add a creative and fun edge to the project.
- Build a fort. Forts can easily be built with the help of couch cushions, pillows and blankets.
- Have a scavenger hunt. Children love exploring the house while looking for simple objects. For instance, begin by asking children to look for something green, something round and something edible. Next, have them look for something they can fit in their pocket or something that makes noise. All household objects can easily become treasures.
- Create an indoor obstacle course. Have children crawl over chairs and under tables, scoot backwards up the stairs, etc. Remember to keep an eye on them while they do the course.
- Read together. Any day is a great day for fathers and their children to read together.
- Play on the computer together. Check out children friendly Web sites for free online games and crafts. A complete list can be found at www.coloradodads.org.
- Get out of the house. Go to the local children’s museum, science museum, aquarium, library or children’s theatre for a fun and educational outing. Other fun, low-cost options include bowling, roller-skating and indoor playgrounds.
“The great thing about being a dad is that it’s not necessarily about what activity or game you do with your children, it’s about the time you spend with them,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Research continues to show that paternal involvement has a profound affect on a child’s success in life, from enhancing their social skills to increasing educational achievement.”
If all else fails, fathers can bundle up their children in their warmest wintry clothing or rain gear and head outside for quality snowman making or puddle jumping. No matter the weather, it is critical for fathers and their children spend quality time together.
In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal community access grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.1 million in community awards to state, community and faith based organizations to assist in providing direct services to fathers and families. Awards of up to $50,000 are distributed per program per fiscal year. For more on fatherhood programs throughout Colorado, please visit www.coloradodads.org.