Thursday, January 12, 2012

5 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids Using A Wagon

Wagons are simple toys to use and it might be difficult to figure out other ways to put them to work.  However, you could definitely stretch your imagination and discover interesting ways to use them!  My child loves his wagon.  So, I decided to reinvest some of my ideas into it so that he could get the most out of his beloved wagon.  Here are some that have worked well for me:

1) Turn It Into A Chariot
Now, I'm not implying that you should strap your dog or a small horse to your wagon.  Please don't do that.  Rather, just simulate a chariot the best you can.  I took a big enough card board box and cut off one of the sides.  I then sat down with my child and we designed it based on how we wanted it to look, which ended up being a contest to see how many scribbles and different colors we can get on it.  Then, prop up the box on your wagon and strap it down with some tape.  Next, add some thick strings to simulate reigns.  Then as you pull your child around like you normally do, he/she can pretend they are in a chariot!

2) Ride Them Down A Safe Hill During The Summer
You probably want your child to be a little bit older for this.  I'd also recommend having someone at the bottom of the hill to stop them. Also, it's a good idea to have them wear a helmet (or any other gear you think might be necessary).  Some of you up north may be used to sleighing in the winter, so you may be fairly familiar with this activity and which hills you can use.  Now you can do it in the summer!  Just be careful with this one.

3) Let Them Help You With Gardening or Yard Work
In order to get him outside and moving around a bit, we'll let him help us with some light duty garden work.  He likes contributing with putting small plants and dirt inside the wagon for him to haul around the yard and places we need it.  We'll then take a hose to it and clean it out after we're done.  I like this because it's reinforcement that he should keep things clean.  Does this always work out well? Not always, but I'll take what I can get.

4) Let Them Pull You
We have a tough wagon and I'm a little on the lighter side.  Since he's a little bit older now, I'll make it a competition to see how fast he can pull me across a certain distance.  I sometimes help him by leaving my feet on the ground a little bit to releave some of the weight.  He's a competitive kid, all I'm doing is enabling him.

5) Turn It Into A Race Car!
I haven't tried this yet, but I will.  I'm going to take some card board (again) and draw an outline of the car.  I'll let him do all the coloring.  Then I'll strap it to the wagon. I'll also put together a makeshift steering wheel for him to hold on to.  I'll make him face the back side of the wagon and then I'll push him from the front with the handle.  I'll just let his imagination do the rest from here.

Remember to always rethink what extra activities you do with the wagon.  They could be dangerous depending on what you do, safety first!  What are some of your ideas?  We'd love to hear them!

Cristina Butler is a loving parent and loves to share what works for her when it comes to parenting.  She also writes about wagons for kids and what you should know.  Follow her on Twitter (@WatchKidsGrow) to follow her parenting views!