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 play “What If?” Play “What If” about something scary. You can play it anywhere. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask a “What If” question and take turns answering it. For example, “What if your neighbor got a new dog that scared you? By listening to your child’s answers you can learn how well prepared he is for that situation. By offering your own answers you can make sure your child has heard some good ways to handle the situation. (Your answers should not include, “Don’t be afraid.” Accept that your child is afraid and that you can be afraid at times as well. Offer ideas for what to do about those feelings, like “slowly walk away.”)
Let’s be silly. Make up a silly, nonsense food like Worm Pudding, Goop Balls, or Sticky Icky Buns. You or your child will pretend to be the main ingredient of the silly food you have made up. Figure out what else you’ll need to add to the main ingredient for your silly food. What can you use to represent those things? For example, confetti for sugar; raisins for ants, blanket for gravy, etc. Make or collect the things that will represent the ingredients you will need. Be sure to name your silly food and to let your child know how creative he is. After you have all the drawing, cutting, coloring, sculpting, and collecting done, plan a day to use all your “ingredients” to play a Silly Food game (See below.).
Let’s play a Silly Food game. Turn the “silly food” you thought up into a game like Mr. Steig’s Pizza Game. You can see how it is done at Stat-At-Home Activities, Part 1 or 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.
You and your child will take turns being the main ingredient of the silly food you have made up. The other person will be the “cook.”
The “cook” will gather all the ingredients that you and your child made for your silly food.
The “cook” will assemble all the ingredients by chopping, stirring, kneading, tossing, and patting the “food.” (This means you will knead, stir, and pat your child as though he is a food – and he will do the same to you.)
The “cook” will cook the “food” – in a stove, skillet, grill, etc. (under a chair for a stove, in a box for a skillet, etc.)
The “cook” will serve the silly “food” – on a plate with gravy, in a sandwich, on a stick, etc.
Switch roles as “food” and as “cook” and try the game again.
Let’s make a movie. Let your child use a mobile phone, ipad, or video camera to make a movie.
Talk with your child about what he wants his movie to be about; what the message of his movie is; and who he wants to see his movie.
Plan the things he will need pictures of to get his message across.
Shoot the movie according to the plan; review the movie; make changes and additions, if needed.
Plan a “showing” for those people your child said he wanted to see his movie.
Let’s chalk it up. Use sidewalk chalk to create an art gallery. Talk about all the different types of pictures your child thinks should be in his gallery. Plan the different locations on the sidewalk. Let your child draw the pictures. Have a “showing” of the art with neighbors or relatives. If you can’t share safely using social distancing, take pictures and share on the internet or FaceTime. It may surprise you that this activity will be interesting to your older children as well as your toddlers
Let’s make a handmade gift. Make a gift for someone. While making it, talk about the person you are making it for and how much you think he might like it. Also talk about how much fun it is to spend this time together making the gift. Wrap it. Send it, or deliver it. If you can’t safely deliver it right now, take a picture and share it on the internet or on the phone.
Let’s learn geography. Pick a place – your own state or country, an interesting city, etc. Read about that place with books from the library or on the Internet. Make a list of the interesting things about that place. What it is near; what it is famous for; who lives there – people, animals, plants; what the weather is like; etc. Have your child draw pictures about the things she learns about.
For more activities see:
This Week’s Summer Activities (June 1)
This Week’s Summer Activities (June 7)
This Week’s Summer Activities (June 14)
This Week’s Summer Activities (June 21)