We hope these activities will lead to some quality time for you and the 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 to be surprised by many “magical” moments while doing our summer activities. If you fully tune into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection.
1. Let’s read without using words. Get some books without words from the library or the internet. You can ask to see some by Barbara Lehman or David Wiesner as a start. When you tell your child the story represented by the pictures in the books, use words, character names, and details that are familiar to your child. On some pages you can ask your child to tell you what is happening and help tell the story.
2. Let’s create “My World.” Do a “My World” art project with your child. Use whatever type of art your child likes – drawing, sculpting, painting, dancing, singing, photographing, etc.).
The idea is:
Start with your child at the center of the “world” being created – in the center of the picture, the base of the sculpture, the star of the performance, etc.
The other things included in the “world” should be people and things important in your child’s day-to-day life – a friend, a pet, toy, hat, etc.
The “world” should show how those important people and things look next to your child – are they close, far away, big, small, bright, faded, etc.?
Be sure to display the finished product.
3. 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.”)
4. 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.).
5. 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
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.
For more activities see: