Creative parenting: the square under the shelter

Creativity can make even the most mundane looking play area fun.

Yesterday on Twitter, Dadapp asked its followers how they make everyday, seemingly boring tasks with their kids fun. My answer was: “It’s all down to imagination – sing, use a funny voice, pretend you have no idea, pretend to walk into stuff, ask funny questions.” Or, to put it another way, creative parenting.

Just after I wrote this reply, I was in a playground with the Bubster. It started raining, so we headed to the nearest shelter, where we found this chess board painted on the ground. Old, tired and boring, right? At first glance, yes. At second glance, it was an opportunity to display some creative parenting.

Let the games begin

First, we tried to jump over it. Then we travelled across it touching only the white squares. Next, we counted how many squares there were in each row. Then, we added up how many squares there were in total. Then, we hopped across it only on the white. Next, we tried to get from one side to the other by hopping in every square without our other foot touching the ground.

Then, brilliantly, the Bubster started chipping in with his own game suggestions. He got us to hop backwards along one row and then forward along the next. He suggested we went sideways along one row and backwards along the next. Then, he challenged us to try and get over it with one skip. And then we’d wasted 20 minutes and a load of energy and it was time to go home.

Using your imagination, isn’t it great?

Until next time…

P.S. If you want some more ideas for cool, cheap, fun and occasionally educational games to play with your kids, click here, here or here.


  1. Oh something like this would keep my kids happy for hours. It’s a bit like the expensive Christmas present. The kids’ll play with the box, not the present!

    • I know what you mean. I’d never think to paint a square on the patio or driveway, but maybe I should!

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