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 have an un-birthday party. Have an un-birthday party for yourself, your child, other family member, a pet. Let your child help prepare the party. You can include ideas from THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll where the “unbirthday” party idea started. You can sing “The Unbirthday Song” from the ALICE IN WONDERLAND movie.
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 play “What If.” Play “What If” about any situation – going back to school, having super powers, breaking a toy. You can play it anywhere. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask your child a “What If” question like, “What if schools opened up next week? 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 do you think you would like the most?” “Do you think that is a good idea?”
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 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.