#325: Cookies in a Jar

Pull out your favourite cookie recipe, a large sealer jar (you can also use a spaghetti sauce jar), some ribbon and you have a lovely gift.

1. First, make sure your recipe's dry ingredients will fit in the jar you have chosen. To do that, use your math skills. Add (on paper) up all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc.--NOT eggs, butter, etc.). What does it add up to? Swap it for water. So, if you have 3 cups of dry ingredients, pour 3 cups of water into your jar. If it fits, your dry ingredients will fit.

2. Layer the ingredients into the jar like in the picture above.

3. Put on the lid as well as some ribbon--to pretty it up.

4. Add a tag with baking instructions. Do they need to add an egg, vanilla and butter? Write that on the tag. All they will need to do is add the wet ingredients to your jar's mix and they will be ready to bake cookies!

Hint: If you don't have large sealer jars, you might be able to find some at a second hand store. Make sure you wash them before adding your ingredients.

Make this a family activity: Get help from your parents to make up these gift jars.

This activity promotes math skills.


#324: Gingerbread House

Make a gingerbread house. And eat it! (I believe that gingerbread houses should be gobbled up!)

You will need gingerbread OR graham wafer crackers (you can buy these, which is easier), royal icing (you can find a recipe here--you also might be able to buy some from a bakery or find mix in a grocery store), candies, a plate and a knife to spread the icing.

Use the icing as glue to hold pieces of graham wafer crackers (or gingerbread) together to make a house shape. Decorate it with pieces of candy.

Take a picture and then eat it!


Make this a family activity: Build one large gingerbread house together or make small, individual houses.

This activity promotes creativity and a little bit of baking skills.


#323: War (Card Game)

To play the card game 'War,' you will need 2 decks of playing cards and two players.

The rules for War:

Each player gets a deck of cards (make sure you shuffle them well). Players face each other at a table or sitting on the floor. At the same time, each player takes the top card off their deck and places it face up. Whichever player has the highest card wins the other person’s card. (Aces are the highest card. Then kings, queens, and Jacks. So, it goes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace.)

For example: Jo has a 9 and Sally has an ace. Sally wins Jo’s 9.

If both players deal the same card, there is a tie and players go to war. Each player then deals four cards, face down and off to the side. At the same time, players show the top card off their deck. The highest card wins the war. The win all the cards from that round (the first deal which was tied, both stacks of four face down cards, plus the last two cards that were dealt).

If you go to war and happen to have a tie again, then deal four more cards face down plus one face up. Whoever has the highest face up card, wins ALL the cards from the two wars.

When players reach the end of their deck, they flip over their ‘dealt’ stack and use the cards they have won as their new deck. When one player runs out of cards completely, the game is over. It can take a really long time!

Make this a family activity: Have a tournament where the winners play against each other to have a champion.

This activity promotes math skills.


#322: Write With Your Opposite Hand

What hand to you write with? Try writing, drawing, printing, and colouring with your other (opposite) hand. That means, if you use your right hand, use your left. If you use your left hand, use your right hand.

Is it hard? Easy?

Make this a family activity: Get the family to try and write their name with their opposite hand. Is anyone ambidextrous? (That means they can use each hand equally well.)

This activity promotes fine motor skills.


#321: Skiing

Is there snow? Let's go downhill skiing!

Make this a family activity: Take the whole family out on the slopes.

This activity promotes physical activity, coordination and gaining physical strength.


#320: Pretend to be a Mime

Mimes cannot talk or make noises. They act out what they are thinking or want to say by using their hands, body and facial expressions. Can you be a mime?

Make this a family activity: Take turns acting things out as a mime, or work together. Try not to laugh!

This activity promotes physical space awareness and creativity.


#319: Improv Freeze Tag

To play Improv Freeze Tag, you will need 5 or more players.

What is Improv or Improvisation? It is a form of drama/acting. Instead of a script telling actors and actresses what to do, the actors and actresses make it all up as they go. It can be silly and also very challenging!

How to play Improv Freeze Tag:

2 or 3 players (actors) stand on ‘stage’ and improvise (make up as they go) a conversation or activity for the audience.

Once the stage actors get going, an audience member can yell, “freeze!” The actors ‘freeze’ and the audience member who yelled ‘freeze’ takes someone's place on stage and the actors, including the new one, continue on. The replaced player joins the audience.

There can be as many ‘freezes’ as the group wants or until the group wants to go with a new idea.

Ideas to get you started: a wedding, breaking up with a boyfriend, grocery shopping, meeting a new friend, digging a hole.

Make this a family activity: This is a fun game to play after supper instead of watching TV.

This activity promotes quick thinking, creativity, and laughs!