It’s snowy and dreary here this morning. I desperately need to find the cleaning fairy and chain her to my kitchen, but I also have 4 mostly-darling children in dire need of some plain old fun.
Here’s 10 things that are on our list of possibles today.
1. Play hide the phone. This is one of my favorite games to play with toddlers and the big kids love doing it with Alex. Hide the phone, press the page button and watch the little guy happily tear through the house looking for it. 🙂 (Can also be played with ticking timers.)
2. Make miniscule art. Hand out index cards or other small pieces of paper and trace a circle in the middle. Have the kids use magnifying glasses, microscopes or just look very closely at whatever object they like (each in a different room). Have them use colored pencils, crayons or markers to draw what the object looks like up close, filling the circle like looking through a microscope. Afterwards, gather and see who can guess each object.
3. Make science, history or literature mad libs. Just find a short passage to print out and go through and underline some nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. If there are animals, sound effects or other quirky words, be sure to underline those too. Then go through asking the kids to give you those parts of speech, write with a dark pen over the underlined word and then read their altered passage back to them. Afterwards, read the original.
4. Draw digestive systems on their tummies. How many educational activities tickle? 🙂 If they’re old enough, let them do each other or themselves.
5. Start a tradition of having the kids leave a different short educational fact on the answering machine greeting every day. Encourage the kids to search books for good facts.
6. Have a vocabulary photo shoot. Find a list of words that are new to the kids and ask them to be actors and pose as the definitions. Be silly! Some possible words: ambiguous, cacophony, quirky, superficial, haughty, morose, lumbering, rabble rouser, cherub, mystique, porcine, villain, magnanimous, impish.
7. Do a puzzle together. The more pieces, the better!
8. Make a sound muncher. Got a child learning his letter sounds? Use a paper bag to make a fun monster face and cut a big hole for a mouth. Turn it upside down over an empty bucket or garbage can and pick a letter for the sound muncher to eat. If today’s letter is B, your little one needs to go through the house finding things that start with B to feed the sound muncher. As the object goes in, have your child say the sound and the word and make funny munching sounds. You can also use this as a sneaky way to clean up, having all the items come from messy bedroom floors and afterwards being put in their proper places!
9. Play historical who am I. Take turns being a famous person from history. Everybody can ask questions to try to figure out who you are. It might help to hand out historical picture books first to refresh their memories and give inspiration.
10. Do video reports. Let your kids pick any subject to read up on and then videotape them doing short reports on their subjects. Encourage them to be creative, funny, use props, make up songs or poems, or teach their subject in whatever way seems most fun. If you want, put them up on your blog and let other kids come learn from yours!