Just about anything you do with your biological children can be done with your foster kids. The only difference is sometimes there are special permissions needed in order to take them out of county or out of state. If you’re wanting to take a foster child out of state, you must get permission from the case worker and the judge, usually at least two weeks prior to the departure date. The state will also require the names, addresses, and numbers of everyone and everywhere you plan to stay with the child.
I have taken my foster kids on a ton of different outings. Some of the simplest and funniest activities they enjoy are:
1. Going to a school playground or a park just to run, play, climb, swing, slide, and giggle.
The fresh air always seems to be good for the kids, and it helps them to take their minds off the traumas they have suffered in their past, even if only for a few hours. The benefit to the foster parent is that it WEARS THEM OUT, and they sleep better. What parent doesn’t want a child that just crashes into bed and sleeps through the night?
My children have always loved going swimming. Some are a little fearful of the water, especially when they are toddlers and infants, but with time, patience, and understanding the majority come to love it. If it’s the wrong time of year to take them outdoors to swim, there are numerous hotels and indoor water parks that the kids love to go to as well. Again, this is another activity that helps the kids crash into bed and sleep.
3. A Drive-In
One fun activity I did for my children was to create a drive-in movie atmosphere for them. I took cardboard boxes, decorated them as little cars, gave them a little box of popcorn, a candy, and a drink. Then I put each in their own little car in front of the TV for the evening of watching Jungle Book.
4. Animal Fun
The majority of all children love animals. If you have a local zoo or aquarium, I haven’t met a kid that doesn’t like to visit those.
The children I have had in my care have also loved visiting museums. The little boys especially loved tractors, horses, and cars. The little girls like the dolls and pictures.
6. Reading Time
Most of my children have asked for a bedtime story. I haven’t always had a book to read to them, so I have made up stories tell them, sometimes including the child in the story as a character. I have told the girls stories of how they were princesses living in a castle, and the boys of stories of how they have slayed dragons and rode dinosaurs. They have all loved that as well.
Local libraries sometimes have story time or puppet plays that they put on for children that are little to no cost that children love as well.
Puzzles are another big hit with children. My adopted son has always loved puzzles, and he has gotten good at putting them together all on his own.
Coloring is another big hit, and it seems to be therapeutic for the children as well. Drawing some of their thoughts out has also been helpful and fun for them.
10. YOUR ATTENTION!!
The biggest thing a foster parent can give to any of their children is your TIME. I’ve noticed it doesn’t really seem to matter what I do with them, whether it’s taking them somewhere, playing games at home, playing dinosaurs on the floor, or just curling up to watch a movie. They enjoy it all because what they want most is the time and attention of a parent figure.