ideas pets and kids
Woman reading a book to a cat. Photo credit: Best Friends Animal Society

Fun ways to keep the kids and pets busy

By: Michele Rowe

Are you exhausting all of your ideas on how to entertain yourself, your kids, and your pets? Best Friends Animal Society has some great ideas to keep the whole house happy!

Want to know what makes this even better? The majority of the items needed you probably have lying around the house.

For feline friends

One idea for our feline friends is creating a cat playground out of boxes or paper bags. Cats love exploring small spaces they can crawl through or explore.

Feeling a little more ambitious? Make your cat some furniture!

Here are some ideas to keep your cat entertained:

Catnip

Cats love toys filled with catnip! If you have a green thumb, you can grow your own.

Wheatgrass

Learn a little about gardening as you entertain your cat with wheatgrass. You can grow wheatgrass for your cat to chew on to keep them from attacking your feet. Wheatgrass kits are also sold online and at pet supply stores.

Bird Feeders

Another fun idea is installing a bird feeder outside a window for your cat to watch the birds as they come and go. Think of it as a TV for your cat!

Feline window perch

Cat perches are great for your cat to have a better view out of a window or for sunbathing. You can either build or buy one.

For canine companions

Make ice-block toys

As the weather starts to warm up ice block toys can be a fun distraction for your canine.

They are also easy to make. You will need a bucket, a few toys and some food that you can freeze in the bucket.

For a toy-filled bucket: Place a few toys in a bowl or bucket, fill the bucket with water, and freeze it.

For a food bucket for your four-legged best friend: Freeze chicken or beef broth in popsicle molds or drinking cups.

Pupcicles

For something a little sweeter, consider “pupcicles.”  All you have to do is freeze combinations of peanut butter, bananas, kibble and or yogurt in ice cube trays. Make sure to add carrot stick handles.

“Pupciles” created by Best Friends Animal Society

It’s recommended that you supervise the dog enjoying the treat.

Play hide-and-seek

Kids and dogs alike like the physical and mental stimulation of hide-and-seek. Here are some ideas that can keep you busy for hours.

  • Bury toys or treats in a sand box.
  • Hide toys and treats around the house. (The kids can give clues like, “You’re getting warmer!)
  • Place toys or treats in ladles and hang from trees.
  • Place toys or treats in logs or other hiding places if you have a yard.

How to make toys for your pet using household items

If you want to get a little crafty, consider making your animal a toy! Keep the kids and pets busy with a new toy. The good news is you probably have these items handy.

In case you need more ideas…

  • Read or sing aloud to your pet &  have your kids participate.
  • You may be surprised to learn that both cats and dogs can learn tricks, like “sit” and to come when called, using treats as a reward. The best method for doing this is clicker training.

Have you ever tried teaching a cat how to give you a high five?

Everything listed can be completed as a family. The kids will learn about cooking, gardening, and discipline!

Hopefully, these tips make your time at home a little more enjoyable for your kiddos and your pets.

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