#318: Give Something Away

Find something you do not use anymore or something that doesn’t fit. You might find one item or you might find a whole box!

Hint: Check with your parents before you give it away.

What do you do with the things you want to give away? Check the phone book to see if there are charities in your area who can take the gently used items to resell. The money they get, they use to help people in need. Sometimes, charities run second hand stores where you can drop off the items, some have bins around town, and others will come and pick the items up if you give them a call.

Or maybe you know someone in need who can use the item you want to give away. Or maybe you simply have a cousin or friend who is smaller than you and would love that sweater you've outgrown.

Make this a family activity: Clear out the closets! Everyone has to fill a bag.

This activity promotes tidying skills and sharing.


#317: Hot Potato

To play Hot Potato, you will need 4 or more players.

The rule for Hot Potato are:

One player is a leader who stands with their back to the group. The other players stand close together and pass a ‘potato’. (The ‘potato’ can be a ball or teddy bear, it doesn't have to be a potato.) When the leader says ‘potato,’ the player holding the potato is out. Keep playing until one player is left. If the potato is in the air when the leader says ‘potato,’ nobody is out.

Make this a family activity: You can play this game to decide who opens a present next, who gets to go first when you start a new game, or just for fun.

This activity promotes eye-hand coordination.


#316: Butterfly

Make a very easy, beautiful butterfly.

You will need: a white paper coffee filter, washable markers, a black pipe cleaner, scissors, spray bottle that can mist water, and two pieces of paper towel.

1. Cut your pipe cleaner in half (you need a piece about 4-5 inches long). Set it aside.

2. Colour the filter with the markers. You don't need to cover the whole filter with colour.

3. Hold the coloured filter over the paper towel (to catch any drips that might happen) and mist the filter with water (using the spray bottle). Make sure you get the whole filter wet (but not soaked). The marker's colour should be a bit runny.

4. Make one twist in the middle of the filter to make two wings. (See above photo.) Wrap your pipe cleaner around the middle of your filter (the twist), leaving the two ends sticking up to make antennas.

5. Lay the butterfly flat on a dry piece of paper towel. In about an hour, it should be dry.

Variations: Glue a magnet to the back of the butterfly to make it a magnet.

Make this a family activity: Get everyone to make a butterfly. Hang them on a piece of fishing line and you have a butterfly family decoration.

This activity promotes colour mixing knowledge.


#315: Snow fort / Igloo

Is there snow outside? Bundle up and go outside and build a snow fort or igloo.

If the snow is hard and crusty on the top layer, carve out blocks using your hands as if they were knives. Stack the blocks up to make walls for your fort.

Make this a family activity: Bring the whole family outside to make forts. If you make two, the two forts can have snowball fights. (Hide in your own fort and throw snowballs at the other fort.)

This activity promotes math and physics skills as well as being physical active.


#314: Make a Fort

Grab sheets, blankets, cushions and make a fort!

Couch cushions make good walls for a fort. Use chairs to hold up a sheet to be your ceiling. You can also prop a broom under a sheet to hold the middle up if it sags.

This is a mini-fort bear den.

Make this a family activity: Get your parents to help make a big family-sized fort. Maybe you can even convince them to eat supper in it!

This activity promotes math and physics skills.


#313: Make a Scrapbook

Make a scrapbook. It can be fancy, or simple.

Take an unlined notebook and glue or tape items into your book. They can be photographs, mementos (like ticket stubs, invitations, or pretty much anything you can stick to the page), magazine or newspaper clippings (maybe articles or pictures of your sports team or someone you admire). If you have scrapbooking supplies (special cutouts, ribbons, lettering, paper, etc--available in most crafting stores), you will can decorate the pages to make them a bit fancier.

For example: My brother made a scrapbook of a runner he admired. A friend makes one with pictures of special events like birthdays and other celebrations. And I used to make one of things I found in magazines that I liked (articles, pictures and more). Mine was a real mishmash of everything!

Make this a family activity: Have everyone in the family start their own scrapbook or work on one together.

This activity promotes creativity, spatial awareness as layouts are created and fine motor skills.


#312: Decorate a Christmas Tree/or For the Holidays

What do you celebrate in December?

Help someone decorate for the upcoming holidays. You can decorate for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or another holiday.

Make this a family activity: Sing songs and get ready for the holidays.

This activity promotes a sense of tradition, family, belonging, and personal history.