Foster parenting is a huge responsibility as it requires you not only to take good care of the children you bring in but also establish a deep connection with them. The latter is easier said than done because a majority of these children come from a troubled background and getting close can be a big challenge. But it is a matter of right perspective and approach to breaking the ice successfully. As a parent, you can try to get more involved in fun activities that they would enjoy according to their age.

When it comes to choosing such activities, you may be confused about what is off-limits with foster children. The fact is that you involve them in any activities that you can plan with your biological offspring. However, you may require special permission from the agency and the judge if you plan to travel with them out of state or out of the country. You would also need to inform them about the travel plans well in advance. Whether you plan to take them out or do something indoors, here are a few fun activities that you can try with a foster child.

1. Taking them to a local park

Young children enjoy outings in parks and playgrounds, where they can channelize their energy and simply have a nice time running, playing, swinging and sliding. The physical activity diverts their minds from the negatives and brings them closer to you. Additionally, you can take the opportunity to let loose and make a connection with them at all levels.

2. Going out for a game or a movie

For older children, it is a great idea to find out about a game they like and take them to watch a match. You can take them for movies as well. The child will be happy to know that you are genuinely interested in their likes and dislikes as a foster parent. Plus, you can spend some quality time together and try to build a bond, which is usually quite challenging when it comes to older children in foster care.

3. Reading to them

Foster care can be stressful and financially taxing as well. You do get paid for the child’s maintenance but resources may still be limited and you may not always have enough to spend on expensive outings. Perpetual Fostering shares how much foster carers get paid. Still, you would want to do the best for the child, reading can be a great fun activity that you can try doing. Younger children love bedtime stories and you can make it a routine. You can buy some illustrative books to make the sessions even more interesting for them.

4. Swimming sessions

Swimming is an activity that children usually enjoy and parents love as well. Even if the child fears water, you can gradually make them more comfortable. Just being there for them gets you the much-needed trust they need to build in you for nurturing a healthy relationship. Make sure that the pool has proper safety arrangements, particularly if the child is young or does not know how to swim. Do not leave them unattended because their physical safety is your responsibility.

5. Arranging a picnic or outing on weekends

Another fun activity that you can indulge in with your foster child is by arranging a picnic or outing on weekends. Select a venue depending on your budget, the age group of your biological and foster children and their interests. Get each member of the family involved in planning and preparation. Arrange a nice meal and a few fun games to encourage family bonding.

6. Visiting a zoo, museum or library

Young children can be taken to a local zoo or aquarium because a majority of them love animals. For older children, a visit to a museum or library can be an interesting experience. Not only are these activities enjoyable and inexpensive, but they also increase the knowledge of children. You can make the visits a frequent routine if the child seems to enjoy them. 

Fun activities with a foster child can be simpler and easier than you think; neither do they always cost a fortune. They help you come closer to them and show that you really care. Just giving them ample time and attention can make the relationship more comfortable and warm. So you should go the extra mile to come up with innovative ideas about spending quality time with them. Whichever activity you plan with the child, ensure their safety at all times.