Showing posts with label active play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label active play. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Summer Bucket List 2016

School's almost out!  I love having all of my kids home with me.  Inevitably, after the nuance wears off, I always end up hearing the same thing:

"Mom, I'm bored!"  

I prepare for the boredom by creating a bucket list of things to do in the summer with my kiddos.  

Here is this year's list:

Feel free to print it off and share it with others (just give credit where credit is due please).  

What do you like to do in the summer?  Is there something you love doing that I missed?  Leave a comment.  Have a happy summer!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dinosaur Stomp File Folder Game

When school is out for the summer the kids think that their learning is done until school starts again.  But I find ways to secretly teach new concepts.  Usually, I do this through games.  This summer I decided to make some file folder games for my kids to play to help them keep learning.

Bud needs to work on the knowing his left from his right.  I created the dinosaur stomp game to teach him this concept.

I made these little dinosaur feet, some with an L and some with and R on it (representing left and right of course).  After cutting them out and laminating them, I threw them all over the living room.  I turned on some good stomping music.  Then, I would call out either left or right and Bud would try to step on a foot with the correct letter on it.  Goofy played along as well.

These are the little dinosaur footprints.  Feel free to save the picture to your computer and make your own dinosaur stomp file folder game.

Here is the cover I created for the file folder.  Now, if I make more dinosaur games I have a place to keep them.  (Again, feel free to save your own copy.)

Do you have any favorite summertime learning activities?

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Nativity - A Christmas Tradition

Usually, when I post on this site it is something new that I have tried, but I wanted to share something a little sentimental.  Ever since I was a little girl, we have re-enacted the nativity on Christmas Eve.  Now that I am older it is a delight to watch my children act out the nativity.

This Christmas Eve we performed the nativity at my parents' house.  I thought I'd share our nativity with you.


Here's my little shepherd.  I especially liked Bud's towel hat.

Two gorgeous angels.  I wrapped them in sheer curtains and added some garland for sparkle.  My girls love sparkle.

Here's my attempt at some fancy hair.  I don't do hair like this often, so I had to snap a picture.

The shepherds were sore afraid (especially of the sick little angel who had to wear a mask all night).

The shepherds went to see the baby Jesus.  The angels sang.  My new little nephew was an adorable baby Jesus.

The wise men brought gifts for the baby.

Re-enacting the nativity will never get old.  I love celebrating my Savior's birth each Christmas!

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Grab the Ghost

When I was little my mom would make ghost suckers for my siblings and me.  They were a favorite Halloween treat.  Naturally, I wanted to carry on the tradition with my kids.

I let each of my kids cover the sucker with a tissue and tied it off with yarn.  Then, they used a Sharpie marker to add the eyes and mouth.  Easy enough!

Before they could have their sucker we played a couple rounds of grab the ghost.

How to Play:
Tie a long string to the sucker and gave each child a paper cup.
Place the sucker on the floor while holding onto the other end of the string.
Drag it all over the house while the kids try to catch it with their cup.  If they trap it they can eat it.

We haven't had that much giggling and sliding around on the floor in a long time.  Who knew something so simple could be so much fun?!

Keep up with the fun on my Facebook Page.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

30 Days of Summer Activities

Summer is almost over!  School starts in 30 days and Princess is starting kindergarten.  Yikes!  My babies are all growing up on me.

I wanted to give my kids a chance to choose a couple of activities they would like to do before the summer ends.  Here is the list they came up with:

  1. Go swim
  2. Have a water fight
  3. Paint nails
  4. Eat ice cream cones outside
  5. Go on a hike
  6. Have a nighttime nature walk
  7. Go to an amusement park
  8. Go to the library/read/have a read-a-thon
  9. Dance
  10. Write a story/play/puppet show
  11. Make a blanket fort
  12. Have a sleepover
  13. Play hair salon
  14. Blow bubbles
  15. Go on a walk
  16. Wash the car(s)
  17. Play outdoor games
  18. Go on a bike/scooter ride
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Go to the park
  21. Learn something new
  22. Draw with chalk
  23. Play with play dough
  24. Paint
  25. Start a collection
  26. Play with animals/pretend to be animals
  27. Make cookies
  28. Go see a movie
  29. Look at the stars
  30. Go to a lookout and watch the sunset

What are you going to do with your kids these last few days before school?

Feel free to print off the checklist above.  Have a happy summer!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Embrace the Rain

"Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."  But why?  Why not enjoy that wonderful rain.  And I'm not just talking about watching it from the window.  No, no, no!  I'm talking about going out side and experiencing it!  Some of my best memories as a child happened in the rain.  I will share a few of those in the following list of 20 activities you can actually do IN the rain.

  1. Go on a walk - There's almost nothing better than walking in the rain and listening to the pitter-patter on your umbrella.  I took my munchkins on a walk during our last spatter of rain.  My girls love using their umbrellas!  After our walk they spent the rest of the day playing with their umbrellas in the house.
  2. Play with the worms - Yep, you read that right.  I find worms fascinating.  I even did a science report on worms in 6th grade.  Whenever it rained I would pick up some worms and chase the other neighbor kids with them.  (I never said I was always particularly nice.)                                            
  3. Watch the birds - With the worms come the birds.  My kids absolutely love bird watching.  The girls like to count the birds whenever they fly by.  You could also count how many different species of bird you see during the storm.                                                                                                                    
  4. Race leaves/boats in the gutter - Who honestly has not raced leaves in the gutter?  All of the kids in my neighborhood would pick a leaf, drop it into the gutter, and follow it to the storm drain to see which leaf was the fastest.  We would cheer our favorite leaf on.  I remember trying to scoop up the winner of each race to let it race another round.                                                                                    
  5. Splash in the puddles - Another one of my favorite rainy day activities.  Splash your friends.  See who can make the biggest splash.  This is a rainy day must!                                                                  
  6. Get drenched! - Waaaaaay back when I was in high school (I hope you sense my sarcasm because I am NOT that old) my brother and I were in the chamber choir together.  We were supposed to sing early in the morning on a Saturday for a Memorial Day service, but it got rained out.  After driving home, we had an unspoken need to get drenched in our choir clothes.  So, my brother in his tux, and I in my dress ran down the street until we were soaked.  I'm sure my mom wasn't amused, but she never did punish us as kids for enjoying the rain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  7. Play in the mud - This picture has some of my very favorite people in the world on it.  These are the kids I grew up with!  We loved playing together in the rain, but notice the kids in the front completely covered in mud.  Yep, we did more than just make mud pies.                                                                
  8. Wash the car - Have a car that sits outside and you know it's going to get streaky?  Grab a bucket and washcloth!  Let your kids go to town "washing" the car.  You'll be surprised how much fun the kids will have.  Heck, you could even join them *wink, wink.*                                                            
  9. Sit on the porch and watch the lightning and thunder - Use good judgement when you do this of course.  When the lightning gets too close, for heaven's sake go inside!  But until then, have fun counting the seconds between the thunder and watching the storm roll in.                                            
  10. Get the cars to splash you -  Again, use caution with this one.  This is one of my favorite ways to get drenched in the rain.  I remember finding large puddles on a busy street and coaxing cars to drive through the puddles and splash me.                                                                                                         
  11. Float in the large puddles - If the puddles get big enough thrown on a fluffy coat and snow pants, lay in the puddle, and see if you can float.  There was a time when I was growing up that the rain completely flooded the streets.  I laid back in the water and was amazed to find that I was floating.  It was incredible!  You haven't lived until you've floated down a water-logged street.                              
  12. Dance and sing - Go watch Singing in the Rain.  Right now.  I'll wait...  Welcome back!  Now you must be filled with the unspeakable desire to sing and dance in the rain.  Admit it!  Sometimes when my friends and I would see dark clouds in the horizon, we would make up rain dances pleading with the clouds to send rain.  (Don't judge!)  I'm sure we looked ridiculous, but it was lots of fun and if it rained all the better!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  13. Fill up different containers - Lay out a bunch of different containers and see which ones fill up first.  Listen to the different sounds the rain makes in each containers.  Princess particularly likes filling up containers to water the plants.                                                                                                              
  14. Play in a sandbox and create sand castles - If you have a sandbox you will be able to make the best sandcastles and moats of your life.  Bonus - they won't wash away like the ones on the beach!   
  15. Go down a slide - Going down a slide is enjoyable.  Going down a slide in the rain is thrilling!  It's like going down a water slide fully dressed.  The ride is much faster paced.                                           
  16. Build your own swimming pool - If it's raining particularly hard, get creative!  Find materials around the house and try to build your own swimming pool.  My little brother build one with his friends using chairs and a tarp.  What will you use?                                                                                               
  17. Lay down and let the rain hit your face - I know it seems silly, but give it a try.  I liken it to that feeling you get when you let the shower-water hit you in the face in the morning.                                   
  18. Smell everything! -  Rain brings out the BEST smells!  I open my doors and windows (as long as the rain isn't getting inside) and let it permeate my home.  Go on a hike and smell the trees, the dirt, the flowers, etc.  You won't be disappointed.                                                                                         
  19. Play outdoor sports (like football) - Are you a hard-core athlete?  Add an additional level of difficulty to your game.  You will slip and slide in the mud; your vision will be impaired; everyone will be harder to catch.  What are you waiting for?  Get out there!                                                                
  20. Set up a tent in the backyard - Set up a tent before the rain hits.  Huddle inside and tell stories, listen to the rain hitting the tent, sing songs, drink something warm, whatever you can think of!  
After a day of playing in the rain I like to run inside, dry off, grab a nice warm drink or soup, and bundle up contentedly in a blanket.  

What are your favorite things to do in the rain?

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Heart Scotch - Love at Home FHE Lesson

How many of you fought with your brothers and sisters?  I'm sure you were all perfect children.  Well, I wasn't.  I remember getting into a couple "heated conversations" with my siblings.  Many times during these arguments, my mom would come up behind us and start singing "Love at Home."  When I got older my siblings and I would roll our eyes, but it is hard to keep fighting when that song is sung.  In fact, it helped me let go of the anger and forgive quickly.  That memory has stuck with me throughout the years.

I wanted to teach my children ways we can show love in the home and that if our feelings are hurt we need to forgive quickly.  Nephi is a great scripture hero to teach your children about.  He "frankly forgives" his brothers many times.  I read my kids a story from the March The Friend magazine called Big Brother Trap.  (Once it comes up online I will post the link.)  It talks about a girl whose feelings had been hurt by her big brother.  So, she set up a trap - a water bucket above the shed to dump on his head - and waited to get him all wet.  She has opportunities to let her anger go, but she won't back down.  When her brother comes out she drenches him.  She feels victorious until she notices that he has been working in the shed to fix her bike.  She learns about the importance of quickly forgiving.  I explained to my kids that if your feelings have been hurt, you need to let your anger go and forgive or you will only be holding yourself back from moving on.

I then told the kids that we want to have loving, happy feelings in our home.  We talked about some ways we can do that.  One thing that I really wanted to encourage is giving compliments or saying nice things about members of the family.  We did this by playing a game I call heart-scotch.  It is just like hopscotch only the squares are hearts and inside each heart is the name of a member of the family.

Princess started the game for us.  She threw the beanbag.

After a couple of tries, it landed on dad.

She then said one thing she likes about her daddy.  Once she did, she could hop over...

Pick up the beanbag, finish hopping on the hearts, and pass the beanbag off to someone else.  We played the game a couple of times giving everyone a few turns.  This gave us a change to compliment everyone in the family.  We finished the game feeling closer.

Once everyone was done playing the game, we played with chalk.  Bud and Goofy had fun decorating my heart-scotch board.

Goofy said she was making "my own hearts."

Princess made a heart-scotch board of her own.

She was pretty proud of it.

Goofy liked trying out both heart-scotch boards.

The part of Princess' heart-scotch game that touched me most was her final heart.  It says, "I Love Jesus."

What are some ways you like to show love in your home?

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