Activities for Young Children Who are Losing Their Cool and the Importance of the Domestic Church

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Activities for Kids

Catholics believe that the family is the most basic unit of the Church. All of the Popes since Vatican II have spoken of it as the “domestic Church.” In a loving family children learn through word and deed about how to live. They learn: fidelity, hospitality, how to work and play, how to share and be part of a community, how to pray, how to forgive, how to regulate emotions and deal with frustration, how to care for and welcome the needy, how to be good stewards of creation, contribute to the common good, and much more.

This is why Pope John Paul II said, “The family, called together by word and sacrament as the Church of the home, is both teacher and mother, the same as the worldwide Church.” And why Pope Benedict XVI said, “The family – the domestic Church – is a primary sphere of the Church’s life, especially because of its decisive role in the Christian education of children.”

By raising their children with love, parents play an essential role in creating a more peaceful world, but it can be difficult in a world that caters to the needs of adults to even know what to do with young children who are bouncing off the walls and losing their cool. Here’s a list of some activities from Anna Keating that are calming and engaging for young children, and grown ups too:

Building with blocks

Sweeping with a broom

Shooting baskets

Climbing a rope or a net

Climbing a tree

Doing a puzzle

Hanging from a bar

Doing wall push-ups

Kneading clay or dough

Burrowing under a heavy comforter

Swinging on a porch swing


Eating a snack

Making mud pies

Drawing with chalk

Walking barefoot

Riding a bike

Gardening or Playing in the garden

Taking a bubble bath with toys




Washing windows


Petting, feeding, and walking animals

Wrestling and rough housing

Finger painting with shaving cream

Rocking in a rocking chair

Swinging in a hammock

Balancing on a beam

Jumping on a trampoline

Going up and down stairs

Going down a slide

Running down a hill

Jumping in a swimming pool

Pouring water from one container to the next

Pushing a wheelbarrow

Watering plants

Ripping paper

Hammering nails

Having a pillow fight

Washing the car

Playing catch

Playing balloon volleyball

Dancing to music

Tossing beanbags

Exchanging backrubs

Blowing bubbles

Making up rhymes

Singing rhyming songs like “Anna anna banana fe fi fo fana . . .”

Singing drop in songs like “Old Macdonald had a __”

Jumping rope






Making bread

Sorting small objects like buttons

Riding a scooter

Playing a board game like Memory

Reading a book

Moving heavy objects around

Building a fort

Building a sand castle

Going for a walk