Each week in June and July, we will publish activities to do with children. We hope they will lead to some quality time for you and kids you care about.
Quality time happens when we least expect it, often around the smallest and least expensive events. You can’t schedule it. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Instead, it takes a lot of small moments. Be prepared for a “magical” moment when doing any of the things in our lists. As long as you are fully tuned into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection. You could learn something really important about him. She could show you how important you are to her. Your hearts will connect.
Let’s act it out. Let your child choose a favorite story and act it out. Pick out just one small section of the story, if your child is young. You can do several sections with older children. If it is safe, you can have neighbors join or if not, you can each play different parts. Make up costumes from things you have around the house – just different hats can work, if that’s all you have. If you are playing more than one part, having a different hat for each part can help you switch from one to another. Perform the “play” for your family or neighbors in-person, if it is safe, or on film that you can share on the phone or internet.
Let’s build a special place. Build a tent or fort. It can be in or out of the house. You can use a real tent or blankets, tablecloths, and furniture. Let your child decide what the tent or fort is all about – a secret “mom and me” club, hiding out from monsters, a lab for making a power potion, etc. Once the fort is done, play pretend together. Let your child know when you start playing pretend and announce when you are done pretending. This announcement is important for helping them learn what is pretend and what is real.
Let’s tell jokes. Ask your child to tell a joke as his “ticket” to each meal. For young children, ask them to make a silly face or a silly sound. For older children, you can find knock-knock jokes, riddles, and plays on words at the library or on the Internet. Read some jokes to your child and let him repeat them through the day or print them for your child and let him read them through the day.
Q: Knock, knock—-Who’s There?—-Who—-Who Who? A: Is there an owl in there?
Q: What gets wetter the more it dries? A: A towel.
Q: Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long? A: Because then it would be a foot!
Q: What has one head, one foot and four legs? A: A Bed
Q: How many letters are in The Alphabet? A: There are 11 letters in The Alphabet
Let’s play puppets. Have a puppet show. For puppets you can use stuffed animals, dolls, hand puppets, marionettes, and even old socks that you have drawn faces on. The show can be inside or outside. A stage can be a chair, table, box, etc. Make up the story and name the show. If you can safely perform it for the family or neighbors, be as fancy as you like – with tickets, refreshments, etc. Otherwise, you can film it on your phone and send it over the phone or internet.
Let’s all scream for ice cream. Make homemade ice cream. You can find recipes in most cookbooks, at the library, or on the Internet. If you want an adventure, try making ice cream the old fashioned way in a tin can. Or, use an ice cream maker, if you have one or can borrow one. Some recipes don’t require any special equipment – they just go directly in your freezer. Little known fact: it has been reported that there are over 1000 different ice cream flavors.
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