Sunday

#398: Easter Tree


Make your own Easter Tree to decorate your home or to use as a centerpiece at your table.



To make a basic tree you will need: A branch with many little twigs on it, clay or playdough, small plant pot, and decorations.

Place the clay or playdough in the bottom of the pot. Push the branch into the playdough or clay. Once it dries, it will hold it in place quite nicely. Then, add decorations to the tree.

For the decorations, you can either make your own at home or buy some from a craft or dollar store.

You can also decorate your pot using markers, glitter glue, stickers, or foam pieces.

As well, you can place the streamers from Easter baskets on top of the clay to decorate your pot.


Make this a family activity: Get together to make your own decorations for your Easter tree--more people means more ideas!

This activity promotes creativity and fine motor skills.

Saturday

#397: Colour Easter Eggs


This is a safe and easy way to colour eggs for Easter.



To colour Easter eggs you will need: Hardboiled eggs (cooked in their shells), crepe paper (you can rip up party streams), water, and papertowel.

Take small pieces of crepe paper and wet them. Lay them over the egg until the egg is coloured. Set the egg on the papertowel to dry. Once the crepe paper is dried, peel it off. Some of the colour should have stayed behind to decorate the egg.

P.S. If you keep the eggs cool, you can eat them afterwards!


Make this a family activity: Get everyone together to make eggs.

This activity promotes creativity and colour awareness.

Friday

#396: Eggcarton Easter Bunny


To make a little Easter bunny you will need: an egg carton, cotton ball or craft pompom ball, pipe cleaner, marker, googly eyes, and glue.


Cut one egg piece off an egg carton. Cut the pipe cleaner in half. Fold each piece in half. Poke the ends into the carton for ears. Glue the googly eyes and puffy tail on. Draw on a face using the marker and you have a cute little Easter bunny.


Make this a family activity: Have each family member make their own and use them as a place setting decoration at Easter.

This activity promotes fine motor skills.

Thursday

Short Break

Hi everyone!

As you may have noticed, the blog has been a bit quiet lately as I have been working as a childrens' programmer (story time gal) in a public library as well as helping two fine writers edit their manuscripts.

I will return to my regular posts soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to check out the full list of activities posted on itsallkidsplay.ca as well as past blog posts using the subject groups to your left.

Have fun and enjoy!

Jean

Sunday

#395: Count Clocks

How many clocks do you have in your house? You might be surprised where clocks are hiding. Does your microwave have a clock? How about your stereo? Coffeemaker? DVD player? Phone? Thermostat?

Do all the clocks agree with each other?



P.S. Daylight Savings Time begins today. Because it is almost spring and the days are getting longer, your clocks spring ahead by one hour. (In most places.) While you count the clocks, you can change their time, too.


Make this a family activity: Get everyone to guess how many clocks there are in the house, then go count them all. Who was the closest? Were there more or less than you thought there would be?

This activity promotes math skills and visual identification.

Saturday

#394: Window Shopping

When you go window shopping, you aren't really looking to buy windows. Window shopping is when you look in the front windows of stores, but don't go in, and don't buy anything. Instead, you admire and enjoy the beautiful window displays and a nice walk around outside or in a mall.



Make this a family activity: Take your family (don't leave home without them!) and talk about the wonderful things you see.

This activity promotes self restraint and visual admiration.

Friday

#393: Shiverees

Give a friend the shiverees. Don't know how? Fear not! I have the way...

1) On your friend's back, slowly and gently draw a big 'x' with your finger.
While doing that say: Criss Cross

2) Then slide a hand slowly and gently down their back.
Say: applesauce

3) Walk your fingers up their back, one by one.
Say: Spiders crawling up your back.

4) Tickle their left side, then their right side.
Say: One here, one there.

5) Run your fingers around on their scalp (head).
Say: Spiders crawling through your hair.

6) Give them a little squeeze.
Say: Tight squeeze

7) Blow gently on their neck.
Say: Cool breeze. Now you've got the shiverees.

They might get goosebumps all the way from their toes to their nose!

video

Make this a family activity: Give everyone the shiverees!

This activity promotes tactile awareness.

Thursday

#392: Magic Carpet!

Pretend you are taking a magic carpet ride!


Get on a blanket, towel, or little carpet and pretend you are flying through the air. What do you see down there? Is there someone in need of rescue?


Make this a family activity: Give your family members a ride! Where should you go? What do you want to see?

This activity promotes imagination and stimulates free play.

Wednesday

#391: Light Switch Cover


Hmmm... does you room need a little decorating? An easy way to brighten up your room is to dress up your light switch cover (the rectangle plate around your light switch).



To make the cover shown, cut out a piece of crafting foam that is the same size as your cover. Then, cut out the rectangular hole for the switch. One easy way to get the right size and shape is to have an adult remove the cover from the wall and trace the shape and switch hole onto the foam.

Cut out the foam and decorate it with other foam shapes.

Stick your new cover on your old cover using tape (or if you are allowed, use glue).

Variations: You can also make a cover using cardstock (thin cardboard) instead of foam. Glue buttons, sparkles, sequins, ribbon, pictures, or draw or paint on your cover. (Or try it all!) Use your imagination and you can't go wrong!


Make this a family activity: Everyone can make one for each room of the house.

This activity promotes creativity.

Tuesday

#390: Unfortunately - Fortunately

The game Unfortunately-Fortunately is a pile of fun and will get you thinking.



Take turns with a friend or bunch of friends and switch between ‘unfortunately’ and ‘fortunately’.

Start with unfortunately.
For example:
First person: “Unfortunately our essay that was due next week is really due tomorrow morning.”
Next person: “Fortunately, I have mine done.”
Next person: “Unfortunately the teacher added an extra page.”
Next Person: “Fortunately, mine was two pages over.”


Make this a family activity: Play together in the car, around the supper table, or anytime you feel up to a little playing.

This activity promotes positive problem solving and thinking in opposites.

#389: Write Fan Mail

Do you have someone you admire? Write them a letter telling them how much you enjoy their singing/dancing/books/acting/rock at the Olympics/basketball playing or whatever it is that they do.


You can probably find their mailing address or email address for fans on their website, on the Internet, or by asking your favourite librarian.

Usually, famous people don't have time to reply to all their mail, but maybe, if you are lucky, you will get a reply back--make sure you include your return address!


Make this a family activity: Get your whole family to write a fan letter to someone they admire.

This activity promotes showing one's appreciation for others, as well as literacy skills.

Monday

#388: Punch Buggy / Slug Bug

Going somewhere? Play Punch Buggy / Slug Bug!

Here are the rules for Punch Buggy which is also known as Slug Bug:


Look for Volkswagen Beetles (Bugs). Whenever you see one (old styling or new styling--it doesn't matter), yell, "Punch Buggy White (or whatever colour it is)!" Then lightly punch the person riding with you in the arm. Also add, "No punchbacks!" or else they can call that same car on you and punch you back! If so say no punchbacks, it means nobody can use that punch buggy again.

Variations: Some people call them Pinch Buggies and pinch instead of punch. And some people call this game Slug Bug. As well, if punching isn't your thing--OUCH!--try variations such as a gentle nudge, a tap, or simply calling out with no actions.


Make this a family activity: Get everyone looking for a punch buggy. Break into teams if there are a lot of you riding together.

This activity promotes keen eyesight and quick visual identification.

Sunday

#387: Shoot Elastics

Target practice time! Grab some elastics and aim for a target. If you don't have a target, you can make one out of cardboard or a piece of paper. Draw circles on it--different circles equal different points! The circles can be random (all over the paper or cardboard), or they can be inside each other with each smaller circle being more and more points.


To shoot an elastic, hook one end over the end of your right thumb. Pull the elastic back by grabbing it with your left hand. Let go and see where the elastic goes!


Make this a family activity: Target practice together!

This activity promotes aiming skills, predictive skills, and fine motor skills.

Friday

#386: Do Your Homework

The weekend is coming! Do your homework, then if something exciting comes along, you will be ready and able to go as your homework will be out of the way!

Hop to it!




Make this a family activity: Work together to get all those 'have to's out of the way so you can use the weekend for fun, fun, fun!

This activity promotes personal responsibility and planning.

Thursday

#385: Play a Video Game

Sometimes, it is nice to challenge yourself with a video game.

Just don't forget about the real world--take breaks!



Make this a family activity: Challenge your family to a video game tournament.

This activity promotes fine motor skills, and problem and puzzle solving skills.

Wednesday

#384: Sledding / Tobogganing

Go sledding or tobogganing!

Dress up warm, watch out for rocks, trees, and other people and have a blast!


Make this a family activity: Get the whole family out there--it's great exercise and can chip away at those winter blues.

This activity promotes physical activity and enjoying the great outdoors.

Tuesday

#383: Make a Puppet


Make a puppet! Making a puppet can be as simple or as hard as you want it to be!

Here are instructions on how to make different kinds of puppets:


Paper Bag Puppets: Take a paper lunch bag and where the bottom of the bag folds, create a face. The fold will be the puppet’s mouth. Decorate your puppet by colouring, drawing, painting or gluing things to the bag to give your puppet character as well as face.

Sock Puppets: Take an old sock that you can fit your hand into. The toe of the sock will be the mouth and nose area of the puppet. Glue or sew scrap material to the sock to make a mouth, nose and eyes. Buttons make great eyes, and yarn or string makes excellent hair.

Finger Puppets: Take a piece of cardboard and cut it out into the shape of a person or an animal—but without legs. Your fingers will be the puppet’s legs. To do this, cut holes in the bottom of the puppet for your fingers to fit through. Decorate your puppet. If you would like a template (something you can print off and cut out) look for ‘finger puppet templates’ online.

For instructions on how to make more elaborate puppets, check out the arts and crafts section of your public library.

Once you are done making your puppet, put on a puppet show!


Make this a family activity: Make puppets together and put on a little show.

This activity promotes creativity and storytelling skills.

Monday

#382: Time Yourself

How fast can you run across the yard? How fast can you hop? How fast can you clean your room? How fast can you roll across the living room?

Time yourself and see if you can beat your own record!



Make this a family activity: Who is the fastest at what? Can they beat their own record?

This activity promotes math skills, speed and agility and healthy personal competition to improve and challenge one's self.

Sunday

#381: Play With Your Food

Play with your food! Can you make a picture? A face? A mountain or volcano (mashed potatoes and gravy make a great volcano).



Make this a family activity: See what your family does with the same food.

This activity promotes creativity.

Saturday

#380: Colour

Colour in a colouring book or printed out colouring sheets from your favourite online kids website.



Make this a family activity: Get down on the floor and share your colouring book or pages with your family.

This activity promotes fine motor skills and colour awareness.

Friday

#379: Ice Fishing

Go ice fishing!

You'll need special ice fishing gear--like an ice auger and maybe even an ice fishing hut to keep you warm. If you know someone who ice fishes, ask them if you can come along. They'd probably be totally delighted to show you how and to lend you a rod!



Hint: Maggots make good ice fishing bait and you can usually get them at your local bait shop near popular ice fishing lakes.

Safety first: Go with an adult who knows what they're doing and always make sure the ice is nice and thick.


Make this a family activity: Go out as a family and see if you can catch supper.

This activity promotes an interest in nature and outdoor sports, as well as patience.

Thursday

#378: Hot Chocolate

Have you been playing outside? Have a cup of hot chocolate to warm you up. Add a few mini marshmallows if you have them to up the fun factor.


Safety First: Don't make it too hot and have an adult help you!


Make this a family activity: Make enough hot chocolate to share with your whole family.

This activity promotes culinary skills.

Wednesday

#377: Play School

Play school. Who gets to be the teacher? What subject will the teacher teach?


Make this a family activity: Play as a family. Who gets to be the teacher?

This activity promotes communication skills and learning.

Tuesday

#376: Ice Cube Curling

Let's go curling--at the table!


On a smooth surface, mark a circle. (You might want to lay smooth plastic over a table and draw your circle on the plastic.) Then, take ice cubes and slide them across the surface. To get points, you need to make your ice cube stop inside the circle, or touching the circle in some way.

Take turns with the other players.


Make this a family activity: Is there anyone who can make the ice cube stop in the very middle of the circle?

This activity promotes motor skills (and cold fingers!).

Monday

#375: Research Someone Famous/You Admire

Research someone famous, or someone you admire. Is there someone you know or someone you have heard of that you want to learn more about?

Make a list of questions you are interested in finding the answers to. They might be questions like: What is their favourite colour? How old are they? When and where were they born? Do they have brothers or sisters? What was their first job? What did they like to do in their free time?

In parts of Canada it is Family Day. Maybe there is someone in your family that you would like to learn more about. Where they were born, etc. Ask your family to help you research this person and learn more about them.

In the USA it is President's Day. Maybe you'd like to learn more about a past president? Look them up by their name in the library or on the internet.



Make this a family activity: Get the family researching people they are interested in and then share what you've learned.

This activity promotes research skills, knowledge attainment, and satiates as well as creates curiosity.

Sunday

#374: Paper Hearts

Happy Valentine's Day!



Cut out paper hearts and decorate the house! Fold a red piece of paper in half and draw half a heart over the fold. (See picture below) Cut out half heart, cutting through both halves. Unfold the paper and you have a heart.

Make this a family activity: Make these hearts into valentines for your family. (Get everyone sharing them together.)

This activity promotes fine motor skills.

Saturday

#374: Crazy Hairdos

Give yourself or your friends crazy hairdos! What have you got? Put it in your hair! (Well, not gum, or paint, or things that will ruin your hair or not come out!)



Make this a family activity: Take turns giving each other crazy hairdos.

This activity promotes creativity and grooming skills.

Friday

#373: Story Time at a Library or Bookstore

Does your local library or bookstore have story time for children? Call and ask! Sometimes you need to register, sometimes you don't.


Make this a family activity: Take the whole family to the library or bookstore to enjoy the books!

This activity promotes literacy.

Thursday

#372: Mini Pizzas

Here are some ingredient ideas for making your own pizza at home.



How to make mini pizzas:

Crust: Make your own crust from scratch or use mini-pitas or small tortillas (found in the bread aisle). You can also find pre-made crusts in the bread aisle.

Sauce: Use canned pizza sauce, salsa, alfredo sauce, or olive oil mixed with Parmesan and garlic.

Toppings: Be creative! What have you got? Cheese, olives, peppers, pineapple, olives, mushrooms, cooked chicken, salami, pepperoni, canned tuna, ground beef, pineapple, cooked potato, sausage, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, cooked noodles...

Have an adult pop your pizza in the oven at 350F or toaster oven until the cheese turns light brown around the edges. Enjoy! And watch the cheese--it might be hot!


Make this a family activity: Make supper for your family, or get everyone together to make their own pizzas!

This activity promotes culinary skills.

Wednesday

#371: Wiggle Your Toes in Cold Noodles

You heard me! Get ooey, gooey gross!



Cook some elbow noodles or spaghetti noodles and let them cool. Place your feet in them and wiggle your toes. Doesn't that feel cool?


Make this a family activity: Get everyone to try it.

This activity promotes sensory exploration.

Tuesday

#370: Create an Invisible Friend

Do you have an invisible friend? No? Why not create one.

If you already have an invisible friend, create another one.


Who is your invisible friend? Give them a name, birthday, hobbies, favourite foods, and books they like to read.

When you get bored or lonely, talk and play with your invisible friend. Have tea parties, play cars, even race each other across the living room.


Make this a family activity: See if your parents had invisible friends when they were kids.

This activity promotes imagination as well as coping and resiliency skills.

Monday

#369: Paper Stained Glass Window

To make stained glass window using paper, you will need: tissue paper, black construction paper, glue, white pencil crayon, and scissors.


The sheet of construction paper will be the frame for your stained glass.

1) Draw different shaped windows/panes on the frame. Make sure you leave at least 1/4 inch (3 cm) of space between your windows so you will have room to glue your stained glass/tissue paper in behind.

2) Cut out the holes.

3) Cut out tissue paper pieces to fit behind the holes in the construction paper.

4) Gently glue the tissue paper (stained glass) in place.

Hang your stained glass in a window so light will shine through the tissue paper.


Make this a family activity: Create a large stained glass window by working together.

This activity promotes fine motor skills and creativity.

Sunday

#368: Rainstick

Make your own rainstick (can also be written as rain stick) with these simple instructions:

To make a rainstick, you will need: empty paper towel roll, tin foil, 60 mL (1/4 cup) rice, white glue and stickers for decoration.


video

1) Take a small square of tin foil and glue it over one end of the paper towel roll. Make sure it is smooth.

2) Take a long piece of tin foil (about one and a half times longer than the paper towel roll—about 45 cm / 1 1/2 feet). Fold this piece in half lengthwise, then scrunch it into a long strand—but not too tight. Place this inside the roll.

3) Pour your rice in the paper towel roll.

4) Take another small square of tin foil and cover the open end of the roll. Glue the end in place.

5) Take another piece of tin foil and cover the outside of the towel roll. Glue it in place and decorate with stickers, ribbons or markers.

When you turn your rain stick over, it should sound like rain as the rice falls from one end of the roll to the other.


Make this a family activity: Everyone makes their own rainstick and make a rain storm!

This activity promotes audio imitation (musical skills) and creativity.

Saturday

#367: Make a Balloon Stick to the Wall

'Tis the season for static electricity. Why not use it for fun?


Did you know if you rub a balloon in your hair, it will build up static electricity on the balloon's surface, making it able to stick to a wall? Try it!


Make this a family activity: Get everyone adding a balloon to the wall.

This activity promotes curiosity about science.

Friday

#366: Paper Doll Chain

To make a paper doll chain, you will need paper, a pencil, and scissors.


Fold your paper like an accordion. Start on one end of your paper and fold it up about and inch and a half. Then, flip you paper over and take your inch and a half fold and fold it (as well as the paper over it) up an inch and a half. Flip your paper over and fold the fold up again. Keep going until you are at the end of your paper.

Now, draw half a person on the top fold of your folded paper. Starting on the left fold, draw half a head--the middle of the head will be right at the fold. Draw the neck and body. The arms and legs come next and will reach all the way out to the right fold. Next, cut out your body--make sure you cut through all the folds--but do not cut the folds apart. You should have half a body when you are done.

Unfold. You should have a chain of people holding hands with their feet touching.


Make this a family activity: Have everyone make a chain that is 'them' and put all the chains together in a big family. You can buy a large frame at a second hand store to place your family chains into and hang them on the wall.

This activity promotes eye hand coordination as well as visualizing abstract concepts.

Thursday

#365: Make a Volcano

Instructions for making a volcano:


video

To make a BIG volcano, you will need:

- 250mL (1 cup) Vinegar
- 60 mL (4 tbsp) Baking Soda
- Red food coloring—about 4 drops (optional)
- Dish Detergent—about 6 drops
- jar or bottle (This will be your volcano. Or a volcano can be made from clay or paper maché.)
- stir stick that reaches the bottom of your volcano (a long straw works)
- tray to put under the volcano to catch the lava

In your jar or bottle, pour in your baking soda and dish detergent. Mix your food colouring and vinegar. Pour the coloured vinegar into the volcano (jar/bottle) and give it a slight stir.

Look out! It's a bubbly eruption! There's lava everywhere! Save the people!

If you are using a smaller bottle like mine in the video, use half the ingredients.

Enjoy!


Make this a family activity: Work together to make your volcano erupt.

This activity promotes the knowledge of chemical reactions.

Wednesday

#364: Musical Chairs

Number of players for musical chairs: 5 or more.

To play musical chairs, you will need: music, chairs (one for each player—minus two).


Musical chairs rules:

Place chairs in a circle, the seats facing out. One player is in charge of the music, the others are trying to get a chair to sit on when the music stops.

Put out one chair for everyone, minus one chair. For example, if you have 5 people, one is in charge of the music and 4 are playing, so you need 3 chairs. Without looking at the players, the player with the music randomly turns the music on and off. The rest of the players walk around the chairs while the music is going. (You have to keep moving!) As soon as the music stops, everyone tries to sit on a chair. Whoever is left without a chair when the music stops, is out.

After each round, take out a chair. Keep playing until there is only 1 player left.

Variations: Everyone tries to get in a hula hoop or onto a towel when the music stops.


Make this a family activity: Who can get their butt on a chair the fastest? Is it better to be small or tall?

This activity promotes listening skills, coordination, and timing.

Tuesday

#363: Categories

Categories can be a tricky game. If players are to keep the rhythm, this is a game best suited for ages 9 and up. If players don't need to keep the rhythm, this game can be for younger players--ages 6 and up.

Everyone sits in a circle and claps or slaps their legs to a rhythm (like: clap-clap, clap, clap-clap, clap or if you are slapping: slap-slap, slap, slap-slap, slap). Once everyone has the rhythm, one player starts the categories by saying “I am thinking of kinds of…. (and says what the category is and then adds in their item).”


They say this in rhythm to the clapping or slapping. The next player in the circle joins in after one clap or slap by saying something that fits in the category.

Go around the circle until all players are out of ideas or someone misses a beat. Players are normally sent out of the game for missing a beat, but you can also play where they keep playing.

Example:
Person one: (clap-clap, clap) “I am thinking of kinds of clothes” (clap-clap, clap) “hat”
Person two: (clap-clap, clap) “socks”
Person three: (clap-clap, clap) “pants”
Persons four: (clap-clap, clap) “t-shirt”

Category ideas: clothes, candy, places, things that grow, TV shows, books, people, relatives, food that is red, animals, electronics, teachers in your school, sports, dog breeds, song titles, names, school subjects, ice cream flavours.


Make this a family activity: Instead of playing a board game on family game night, try this one. This game can also be played in the car. (The driver doesn't have to clap or slap though!)

This activity promotes timing, word association and grouping skills.

Monday

#362: Obstacle Game

You will need a ball and some obstacles as well as some space on the floor to play the obstacle game.

The point of this game is to roll your ball (you toss it at the start line) from one end of the 'court' to the other end where the finish line is, missing or hitting different things that are in your ball's way.

This is an easy course with the white rack as the start line, the blue jar lid as 100 point bounce off object and the comb as a knockdown item for 200 points. The horse was a bridge to go under, but is now the audience.

First off, decide where your court will be. Create a start line (can be a ribbon, a pencil, a line drawn into the carpet with your finger, or whatever you have) and a finish line. Between the two lines, make obstacles for your ball to hit, miss, go over, bounce off, under, around--anything!

Some ideas--a toy horse could be a bridge and your ball has to go between the legs. Maybe a propped up comb needs to be knocked over, a toilet paper tube needs to be gone through. Put as much in your court as you want. Mix it up! Is it too hard? Make it easier. Too easy, make it harder!

When playing with a friend, have one person on each end of the court. So your finish line becomes their start line and your start line becomes their finish line.

The obstacle game can also be a 'points' game where you get points for hitting or missing different things in your court.


Make this a family activity: The more people working on the course, the cooler the ideas!

This activity promotes fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Sunday

#361: Telephone

Telephone is a game that is best when you have 5 players or more players.


How to play the telephone game:

Have everyone sit in a circle. One player makes up a sentence—silly sentences are good—like, “On Sundays giraffes walk sideways in peanut butter.” They whisper their sentence in the ear of the next player. That player repeats what they heard to the next player, and on and on until it reaches the last player.

The sentence can only be whispered to a player once. If someone forgets or doesn’t hear it all, they have to repeat the sentence to the next player as best as they can. The last player in the circle says the sentence out loud and the player who made up the sentence tells everyone what the sentence really was. Sometimes it is very different!


Make this a family activity: Sit in a circle with your family and see if the telephone gets broken.

This activity promotes listening and memory skills.

Saturday

#360: Whistle / Learn to Whistle

Can you whistle? Whistle a song! Can you whistle like different birds?



If you can't whistle, practice puckering your lips and blowing air in and out through your lips. Can you make a small whistling sound? You are on your way!

Can you do like the picture above and put two fingers in your mouth to make a really loud whistle noise?


Make this a family activity: Can you all whistle a song together with different family members whistling different parts of the song?

This activity promotes muscule control.

Friday

#359: Make up Funny Words and Definitions for Them

Time to get wordy and goofy!

Make up words. How about Suchatuft What is it? Make that up too (that's a definition)! I think Suchatuft is the tuft of hair that sticks out around a dog or cat's ear. What do you think? Who can make the craziest word and definition? Use your new words--you never know... people might start saying them too!


Make this a family activity: Make up words that are 'secret' family words.

This activity promotes language development skills.

Thursday

#358: Make a New Friend

Is there a new student in your class? Is there someone you don't know on the playground, sitting on the bus, or playing at recess who looks like they are having a blast? Join them. You might make a new friend!



Make this a family activity: Join a club or class and make new family friends.

This activity promotes social skills and making connections with others.

Wednesday

#357: Snowmobiling

Go snowmobiling! Make fun in the snow.


Safety First: Have an adult drive and always wear a helmet. As well, stay on trails and be sure to stay in areas cleared of avalanches in mountain areas.


Make this a family activity: Go for a ride with your mom or dad.

This activity promotes learning about vehicle safety and enjoying the beauty of winter and the great outdoors.

Tuesday

#356: Make Up Your Own Constellation

A constellation is a group of stars with a story to go with them. Usually, if you look at the group of stars, you can also make a shape by connecting the stars. (See the Big Dipper below.)



The nice thing about winter is that it gets dark early, making it easier to stay up to see those stars. You will need a cloudless night away from streetlights in order to see the stars. Use your imagination to make your own constellation and make up your own story to go with it.



This is Cassiopeia.
She was a Greek queen who liked to brag about how beautiful she was.


Make this a family activity:
See if you can convince your parents to drive out to a place without a lot of lights (like a large park or out of town) and make up your own constellations.

This activity promotes an awareness of the universe as well as imagination and storytelling (communication) skills.

Monday

#355: Have a Picnic

Have a picnic.


Pack up... wait... is it still winter? Hmmm... Have an indoor picnic!

If it is cold outside, move the picnic indoors. Pack a lunch into a basket and grab a blanket. Lay the blanket out on the floor and enjoy your picnic. You won't have to worry about ants!


Make this a family activity: Have a picnic on the living room floor. It can be for supper, lunch, even breakfast!

This activity promotes fun!

Sunday

#354: Knock Your Socks Off

Get a pile of friends together and play the game Knock Your Socks Off.

How to play Knock Your Socks Off:



Rules: Divide the group of players (6-16 players works well) into two teams. Everyone needs to be wearing socks. The two teams get down on their hands and knees as this is a crawling game--you cannot stand up or stand on your feet at any point during the game. Choose an area for the game such as the living room--if you leave the boundaries of the game area, you are automatically out.

When the game starts, the two teams begin crawling around, trying to pull the socks off the other team's feet. The goal is to get all the socks off the other team. Once a sock is off a foot, it stays off. Once a player has no socks left on, they move to the sidelines to cheer on the other players (they are out of the game).

No kicking! And no grabbing at your own sock if someone is pulling it off. And no knee-high socks or stirrup pants--they are so unfair!


Make this a family activity: Break into teams. Parents against kids or boys against girls or just mix it up! Watch out: Mom tickles!

This activity promotes speed, agility and a little healthy competition.

Saturday

#353: Snowball Fight

Make snowballs and have a snowball fight!



Safety First: Be sure that your snowballs don't have ice chunks, rocks, or other hard spots in them--you don't want to hurt someone when the snowball hits them.


Make this a family activity: Have a snowball fight with the whole family.

This activity promotes aim and gross motor skills.

Friday

#352: Tie Dye

To tie-dye you will need these materials: clothing for dying; dye; water; buckets; rubber bands, strips of cloth or thick string; rubber gloves; and an adult.



Tie dye instructions:
Find an item of clothing (something white is best) that is okay to dye a different colour. If your item is brand new, wash and dry your item.

Tie strips of cloth/rubber bands/thick string around the item you are dying. Where you tie the strips the dye can't colour and it will remain the original colour. Make sure the ties are very tight so dye doesn’t seep underneath them.

Have an adult mix your dye according to the package directions. If you mix the dye in a large bucket you can dip your item into the dye. Make sure you wear old clothes, rubber gloves (so you don’t dye your hands) and cover your work area with plastic or newspaper.

After dipping the item in the dye a few times, rinse it really well in cold water and then again in warm water. Afterwards, you can take your ties off and admire your new tie-dyed item. (Lay it flat to dry.)


Make this a family activity: Tie dye something for everyone.

This activity promotes an awareness of textiles, the dying process and a bit of chemistry too.

Thursday

#351: Count Windows

How many windows are there in your home? Count them!

Yikes! That's a lot of windows!

To make it more challenging, see if you can count them all from memory--that means you close your eyes and try to picture all the windows and count them in your mind. Can you do it?

Have you already counted the doors in your home? Are there more doors or more windows?


Make this a family activity: Counting can be tricky when you have to go from room to room, get your whole family in on the game and see if you all come up with the same answer.

This activity promotes math skills.

Wednesday

#350: Cuddle or Play With a Pet

Do you have a pet? Cuddle or play with it. (If it isn't a fish. They are hard to cuddle.)


Make this a family activity: I feel a cuddle fest coming on!

This activity promotes pet care.

Tuesday

#349: My Pet Peeves List

Are there things that make your grumpy? Drive you crazy? Write them down. (These crazy-making things are called pet peeves.)



Want to look on the bright side? Make a favourites list.

Make this a family activity: Get the whole family to write down their pet peeves. Pet peeves make a good family discussion topic. Work together to help eliminate (get rid of) each other's pet peeves. For example, Dad hates tripping over wet boots at the front door when he comes home--make sure you put your boots in the boot rack or to the side. And you hate it when your dad comes into the bathroom without knocking--now that he knows, he'll make sure he knocks. Sometimes when others do things that drive us crazy, they don't know! Then again, sometimes brothers and sisters do know and they love to do them just to watch us go crazy!

This activity promotes self-awareness and expressing emotion.