Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Show Time!

Put on a play! Or a talent show! Perform a favorite fairy tale or children's book.

Hang up a blanket or sheet for a background or curtain. Invite friends and family.

Serve punch and popcorn.

Have fun!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hold Your Own Backyard Olympics

In honor of the summer Olympics, hold your own! Invite friends, family, and the neighborhood children to participate. Games can be as simple as tossing pompoms in cups, to throwing beanbags in the air, and having bicycle races. Get creative with the types of competitions! Award top three winners with homemade necklaces, or you might find some at the dollar store. Finish off with cupcakes and punch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Create a Sundial

Create a sundial in the backyard, or wherever there is a flat area, out of the way of foot traffic. Use smaller rocks to mark the hour. It may take a couple of days to get the "timing" correct. Mark the hours with chalk. Now, watch as the kids run outside to "check the time".

(Extra: Try to theorize what the sundial will show when the time changes back from Daylight Savings Time.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Pen on a Rope"

I can't rave about these enough. I adore pen necklaces, and I tell family members to give them to me on my birthday, and to put them in my stocking at Christmas. But I also tell them the pen part has to detach from the necklace, or else I'll be dragging my head down with it when I need to sign something.

But as a teacher tool, I never have to worry about looking for one when I need it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Be a Scientific Explorer...with Fruit!

Next time you're at the market, go into the fruit aisle and have your kids pick out one fruit (one for each child, no duplicates) that they've never tasted. Take it home, look it up to see where it's from, and if there's any "trick" to eating it. Then taste it. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Let them get a piece of their sibling's choice. Now, let them decide whether to eat or throw away the remainder, without repercussion.

If you let your child explore without "pushing" them to eat something they're not familiar with, chances are the next time you put a new-to-them food on the table at mealtime, they'll be willing to test it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Go to the Bookstore

Take your kids to the bookstore, or to a place that sells books to where you can browse by aisle and shelf (I frequent a half-priced bookstore myself.) Let them pick out a couple of books they can OWN (as opposed to library rental). If it's a story you know they've already read in school, that's okay! You want to encourage their love of reading, even if it's the same book over and over a thousand times.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Have a Backyard "Drive-In Theater"

Hang a white sheet on the side of the house or toolshed. Invite friends and family. Serve popcorn and drinks. Show your favorite kids' movie (even if they've already seen it, they'll remain glued to the screen!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July! And a Website That Will Help You Celebrate!

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

And to help you celebrate, go here to the 4th of July Game and Activies for Kids page at "LoveToKnow"!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Do-It-Yourself Geoboard

Make a Do-It-Yourself Geoboard with push pins and a piece of soft wood or corkboard. I've also used a thick sheet of reinforced cardboard from a packing box. Add some colorful rubberbands (or in this case, hair bands), and you have a toy that can help them with spelling their names, words, shapes, numbers...the possibilities are endless!