- Let’s go backwards. Do something backwards today. Wear pajama’s until lunchtime. Eat lunch foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for lunch. Walk backwards for a certain amount of time. Wear your clothes inside out.
- Let’s play the Pizza Game. You can find directions for Mr. Steig’s Pizza Game at Summer Fun. You can get a more elaborate idea of the game from the book, PETE’S A PIZZA by William Steig. Get ready for lots of giggles and fun. And, decide ahead of time how many games you’re willing to play, because this one is a game you’ll be asked to do over and over.
- Let’s write a story. One person starts the story by writing a sentence or two on a page. Each person afterwards takes a turn to add another sentence or two one by one. If both younger and older children are doing the activity, let the younger child dictate her idea about what happens next and have an adult or older child write it for her.
- Let’s play “What If.” Play “What If” about an upcoming vacation or special outing. You can play it anywhere – in the car, on a bus, in a waiting room, at a restaurant. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask your child a “What If” question like, “What if we went to Grandma’s house for our vacation?” Let your child imagine himself in that situation. By listening to his answers you can learn how he feels about the situation, what he likes or doesn’t like about it, what to expect of him in the situation, and what preparation he may need to be comfortable or successful in the situation. You may need more questions to get him thinking – “What would that be like for you?” “What would you do there?” “What do you think you would like the most?” “Do you think that is a good idea?”
- Let’s read nursery rhymes. Read your child some nursery rhymes – even if he seems to have “outgrown” them. You can find them in library books or on Internet sites. For younger children, have them do an art project about one they like. They can draw, paint, make a sculpture, or make up a song or dance. For older children, ask them what they think the nursery rhyme meant when it was written, or what they think it could mean if someone wrote it today. For example, what could the water stand for that Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch? Who could the three men in the tub be and what were they doing there?
- Let’s have an un-birthday party. Have an un-birthday party for yourself, your child, or a friend or relative. Let your child help prepare the party. Make sure your celebration includes THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll where the “unbirthday” party idea started. Also include “The Unbirthday Song” from the ALICE IN WONDERLAND movie.
- Let’s play ball. Teach your child to play ball against a wall. For younger children, use a nerf ball. For older children, if the weather permits, use a hand-sized rubber ball against the house or garage door outside. If you’re rained in, try bouncing against a basement wall. Count how many times your child catches the ball. Catching in a row is the most difficult, but you can make it easier by counting catches over a certain period of time. Make the time pretty short for younger children or those new to the game. For older children, spell words with a letter for each catch. With more than one player see who can spell a whole word without missing a catch. Make it harder by letting one person be the thrower and the other person be the catcher (and speller). This would be a lot like playing H-O-R-S-E in basketball.
Watch for Summer Activities Part 2 on June 17.