I confess I miss my kids when they are at school. I started thinking/praying about ways I could impress upon them how blessed I am to have them and just bring some encouragement and joy to them. I decided to start doing love post it notes for my kids. After they are asleep I go into their rooms and stick a post it on the wall of their bed with something I love about them or just an encouraging word or scripture. This is a great way to practice reading and seeing print once again. It takes just a few minutes but they are delighted!
Oh how my kids love to draw! So much fun for them to create. We have checked out drawing books from the library, and drawn on many different types of surfaces. Today we decided to draw on foil using sharpies (an idea I used from pinterest). I tore squares for my kids and let them free draw. The only advice I have would be to put newspaper underneath so that none ends up on your table since the foil can be a little thin! It might also be fun to create a theme like make Christmas pictures, family members, animals, etc.
I saw this on the chick fil A’s website and thought we’d give it a try! Sounds fun to me.
15 minutes flies by when you break it into action-packed, 60-second morsels.
Have the whole family do each of the following 15 activities for one minute. A minute goes by
fast so you might have to break a sweat as a family.
You’ll need one member of the family to watch the clock and yell out “Switch!” and then call the
1:00 Act like opera-singing cows
2:00 Go !nd the biggest thing you can that’s blue
3:00 Hug each other
4:00 Make a funny face and hold it
5:00 See who can jump the highest
6:00 Talk about all the places you want to visit around the world
7:00 Pretend you’re being chased by a swarm of bees
8:00 Tell your best knock-knock jokes
9:00 Eat something weird out of the fridge
10:00 Pillow !ght!
11:00 Draw a picture of a robot unicorn
12:00 Go put on your favorite pair of shoes
13:00 Dance…dance…dance…in your favorite pair of shoes
14:00 Share your favorite holiday memory
15:00 Create a secret handshake
You could also have your family brainstorm the ideas and then draw them out of a hat to see what they should do.
My kids are making a book about the things they are thankful for as a way to remind them of the many blessings we have. Each day they draw a picture and write what they are thankful for. The kids are really into it and it is neat to see what they are thinking about. This will be fun to set out each year at Thanksgiving and see how their drawings and writings and thoughts change. I think it will be our new tradition.
My kids have had very few babysitters, mostly family have watched them. This weekend my husband and I had his cousin come and watch our kids while we went to dinner with some friends. To give our kids something to look forward to, and her something to keep them entertained, we made a list of all the fun things they wanted to do with her. They each wrote their own list. Great practice for writing and reading as well!
My daughter is finally into writing! I am so excited, as I have tried for many years to get her to love writing, finally she is into it. To help her with her sight words I had a sheet made with the alphabet and blew it up to the size of her door and then laminated it. She loves to think of new Ll words that we can add to her board and she feels proud of herself when she learns a new word. This is a great tool to use while getting ready for school in the morning or bed at night to really encourage writing and reading along with learning new sight words. I also added pictures to some of the board. This helps her remember what word she is reading. For example a picture of her cousin next to her name. Happy learning!
Tonight we will do things backwards. I am a rule follower, but every once in awhile I like to switch it up. Here is a look at what we’ll be doing. I think the kids will love it!
We will eat under the table (breakfast for dinner), we will also start with dessert!
We will see how many things we can do backwards: walk, skip, jump, hop, etc.
Wear our pajamas
· What vehicle is spelled the same backwards and forward? Racecar
· What has four legs and goes “oom-oom” answer: A cow walking backwards
· Forwards it is heavy, backwards it is not. What is it? Answer: A ton.
Count backwards from 100
Sing the alphabet backwards
Write their name backwards and show it in the mirror
Read a book backwards (This made my son giggle a lot!)
Lay under the table and draw a picture on paper taped under the table.
Now that we live close enough to walk to school I like to make the most of it and encourage learning as we walk. Here are some things we are doing on our walks.
1. Find as many things as you can that begin with the letter Mm. Mailbox, maple tree, man, etc.
2. For my nephew (he’s 2) we are working on colors. Each car/house/etc. we pass we call out the color.
3. I spy is always fun
4. New ways to walk: skip, balance beam (if we’re not running late!), gallop, tip toe. etc.
5. Write the Neighborhood: Give them a clipboard (my kids love them) and have them write the things they see. You could give direction with this as well such as have them trace words you know they’ll see.
6. Count: How many steps to the next house? Baby steps? How many cars will pass us on the way? People?
7. Songs: I admit I got caught singing to my nephew when it was just him and I on the way home from school one afternoon. I was singing songs and nursery rhymes and a lady pruning her rose bushes smiled (I usually stop if I see people, but she snuck up on me!), I smiled back and when we got home he was asleep!!! Oh well, I think she enjoyed my singing.
8. Pick up trash: Bring along a bag and pick up litter as you go… we always wear gloves for this!
9. Tell stories about myself when I was in school. The kids love hearing these, especially when I tell them I got in trouble some…they are shocked!
10. What I love about you: Try to boost their self esteem and tell them all the things that are great about them before they go to school.
What kind of things do you do on walks?
We are into poems lately in our house, reading Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky, even the Fancy Nancy book about poetry my daughter adores! We decided to write some of our own. Here are some simple ways to get started.
Name poems: Write your child’s name down and then write a word for each letter. Here is what my daughter made hers.
We also have made poems about nature. We’ve taken walks and written what we’ve seen. It might be simple about an ant or rain all over the deck. You can pick a certain favorite toy, color, or even poems about your family. I love their ideas!
Poems don’t have to rhyme but our kids like to, so before we do poems it’s fun to brainstorm some rhyming words. Bike, Mike, Trike, Like, etc. This helps to teach word families as well.
My kids were shocked to learn that Nursery rhymes and songs count as poems too. It’s fun to check out a nursery rhyme book from the library or turn up the radio and write down some lyrics.
We are thinking of making a poem journal, whenever we find poems we like, copy them and add them to the journal. I love that idea, right from Fancy Nancy herself!
Today was our first official day of summer break together. I wanted to do something special to start it off so I had a few small items waiting for our kids at the breakfast table this morning. I gave them each a jump rope (Target dollar bin…don’t you love that?), a notebook for writing, and a mad lib book (Clearance at Barnes and Nobles buy 1 get 1!). I really want to encourage writing this summer since it is our first summer to keep the learning going in between grades and also work on my daughter’s fine motor skills. Today they made their own list in their notebooks of the summer fun ideas they have. I was really impressed with their list. My son included a lot of crafts, which really surprised me, and they both included Dairy Queen and Slushes, not surprising! My son even kept adding to his throughout the day and asked if he could take his notebook in the car!! Have fun making learning fun over the summer.