I have two daughters very close in age, and then a son a few years younger. My 6 year old son is bored a lot lately-- he would play board games all day, but the rest of us aren't as passionate about them. He needs some stuff he can do on his own that doesn't involve a screen, and I'm not coming up with anything great. He's very bright-- he's reading Alice in Wonderland at the moment-- but his fine motor skills are right in line with his age, and so he can't build the robot kits that fascinate him, for example. I'm drawing a blank on activities that wouldn't require someone sitting with him the entire time but would still hold his interest. We've done a lot of simple science experiments, but I feel like we've gone as far as I want to with baking soda and vinegar. My daughters played with each other all the time at this age. I guess I didn't appreciate how easy that was for me.
Any brilliant suggestions? We've been listening to Story of the World in the car, so he might like stuff that jumps off from that...
Mine is seven and an only child. He still prefers to have someone playing with him all the time if possible ;)
Here's some of the things he liked at six:
-Lego WeDo. It's sort of like Mindstorms but much simpler-- you can build lego stuff with motors and sensors and use drag and drop software to program it. Pretty easy to get started with.
-Snap Circuits if he's interested in electronics
-Green Science Kits
-Playdoh or clay
-Straws and Connectors
Modeling clay and trays of Moon Sand have been lifesavers around here for us.
With the modeling clay (ie. it never dries out), it seemed that whatever my son's passion was at the time, he would make that using clay. When he was into musical instruments, he spent hours making little tiny ones out of clay. Same with sea slugs, caterpillars, sea creatures and planets (cross sections are FUN with clay!)
Also, maybe he'd have fun with Magnetix sets....they don't require a lot of fine motor skill, as the pieces snap together magnetically as soon as they get near each other. There are other magnetic sets that are fun, too, with wheels so the kid can build vehicles.
Also, our son created an imaginary world out of an inherited beanie baby collection (which included lots of other small stuffed and/or plastic animals). It started out with us playing it together, sort of inventing the characters and their personalities, but then he'd spend hours down in the basement playing with these characters: the cats and their allies versus the dogs (the bad guys of course) and their allies. He's been doing that for years. So maybe starting up something like that with him would be fun, and once it got going he could keep it alive on his own.
hope that helps
Legos, hand tools (hammer and nails, wrench, screws, wood, etc), bike riding, scooters, Where's Waldo, Calvin and Hobbes, dirt, sand box, but really mostly legos and comic books....
I'll just mention the things I haven't seen here yet. Quadrilla marble runs, Zoobs (building things--very different from Legos), Puzzlebuzz magazine (by Highlights), Shut the Box (kind of like a board game, but you can play it alone), wooden geography puzzles from http://www.thepuzzleman.com, spatial logic games like Rush Hour or Penguins on Ice (http://www.fatbraintoys.com has several of these). Also, SET can be played as a solo game.
Thanks so much for all the ideas! We did splurge on the Lego WeDo set, and he absolutely loves it.
Awesome! It is a bit of a splurge and I'm so glad he loves it. My son did too, and it let on to other cool things- a Lego Mindstorms team, making games with Scratch and GameMaker, interest in programming etc. Have fun :)