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Fun Activities to Do With Your Foster Child

Foster dad and foster son playing together on the monkey bars

When you welcome a foster child into your home, you hope that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for them and your own family, as well. Considering the nature of foster care and the difficult circumstances that typically come with removing a child from their biological home, the transition into another space can be challenging. But there are ways to help your new household member feel welcome, included, and like they are part of the family.

If you’re looking for activity ideas to do with your foster child that will help them feel more integrated into your family, or you simply want something new and fun to try with them, check out these entertaining, family-oriented ideas:

1. Visit Your Local Park

A classic option for almost any foster family is to visit a local park. It’s a way to get out in the sun, breathe in some fresh air, and move around, all of which is good for the mind, body, and soul.

Many parks offer a variety of play options where your child can run around, get some energy out, and take their mind off anything stressful for a while.

To get the most out of your park time, look for one that has any one of the following:

  • Age-appropriate playgrounds
  • Field space for games like kickball, wiffle ball, or tag
  • Walking, running, or biking trails
  • Outdoor exercise equipment
  • Anything that gives your foster child the space to play outside safely and enjoy time with you

2. Visit a Museum

A visit to a museum can be a fun activity for yourself and your foster child, so long as the theme of the museum is age-appropriate, kid-centered, or has children-friendly sections where your child can explore and learn. Georgia is chock-full of museums that are perfect for a family visit, including:

  • Children’s Museum of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Atlanta, GA)
  • Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (Gainesville, GA)
  • Museum of Arts and Sciences (Macon, GA) 
  • Savannah Children’s Museum (Savannah, GA)
  • Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA)
  • World of Coca-Cola (Atlanta, GA)

3. Visit Your Local Library

Libraries are excellent sources of entertainment for your foster child. There are books for all ages and for all reading levels for your child to explore. Many libraries have children’s sections with bean bag chairs and fun reading nooks where your child can get lost in a story.

Even if your child is not a big fan of reading, has difficulty reading, or is too young to read, there are usually other things to play with, such as computer games or board games. Libraries often also offer DVD rentals, with vast collections that your foster child can browse.

If your foster child is not a reader, still ask them to pick out some age-appropriate books that you can read aloud to them at the library or at home.

4. Visit a Zoo or Aquarium

What kid doesn’t want to see a lion, tiger, or bear up close at the zoo? And what about all the fish and other creatures they can observe at an aquarium? Taking your foster child to either is a great way to spend time together and have fun among some of nature’s coolest critters.

While at the zoo or aquarium, ask your foster child about their favorite animals or types of fish. Make it a priority to visit any exhibits that feature the creature(s) they love and would like to see.

5. Do a Puzzle

A puzzle, especially one with a higher piece count like 500 or 1000, offers you and your foster child quality time spent together. It’s also a perfect way to work as a team and bond over your shared goal of completing the puzzle.

Even in small ways, a puzzle can help you and your foster child build trust and confidence with each other, which helps strengthen your relationship and their sense of inclusion in the home. 

6. Get Creative!

Allowing for some artistic creativity is a way to help your foster child get out of any shells or express themselves on the canvas. From playing with sidewalk chalk or finger painting to coloring or drawing with colored pencils, markers, or crayons, there are plenty of ways to let your foster child get creative.

Art therapy has been shown to help with stress relief, boost self-esteem, and unlock self-expression for many children and adults. At this time in your foster child’s life, they can likely use all these benefits and more.

7. Family Game Night or Movie Night

One of the most classic ways you can make your foster child feel right at home is with a family game night or movie night. (Or how about both?!) Dedicating a fun night to the family, where everyone comes together to enjoy each other’s company and have fun playing board games or watching something entertaining, allows your foster child to feel more comfortable in their new setting and see just how included they really are with you and anyone else in your home.

Ask your foster child about their favorite movies and board games, and let them choose what you’re going to watch and play. If they don’t want to make a decision, no problem! Throw out a few ideas and see what might make them light up. Or, let them know the plan so they can feel included.

Any Activity Is a Good Activity (As Long as It’s Safe)

No matter how you spend time with your foster child, just be sure to prioritize them and their safety. And keep in mind that your child may be standoffish during the first few outings or activities. That’s normal, and it’s okay. The more you interact with your child and establish those bonding moments, the more likely they will be to open up and become more comfortable or feel more included with you and your family. 

Are you interested in welcoming a foster child into your home? If so, talk to Generational Child Care about the process of becoming a foster parent.

Our team is thrilled to help interested adults learn all they need to know to begin their journey. We become your partner in foster parenting, providing you with all the tools and resources you need to successfully register and begin serving children who need your help. Discover more by calling 478-477-1289.

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