#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.


#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!

Make this a family activity: Give everyone the shiverees!

This activity promotes tactile awareness.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.