Saturday, February 24, 2007

Finally, some original ideas!

While I enjoy providing links to helpful resources, I have realized that I have been linking to other useful sites more than I have been posting original material. I sincerely apologize! I do not want this site to just be a linking site; I want it to be a place with original ideas as well.

Without further ado, here are some activities to try with your children:

Create a play. You can write a simple program for them or, if your children are capable, let them create their own skit. Encourage them to adapt a familiar story or to create an original play. Help them make simple costumes and/or props to flesh out their program. Have them rehearse several times, and then, with all due pomp, let them present their play to the non-participating members of the family. My girls love to act out segments from Peter Pan and other favorite stories.

Hold a treasure hunt. Children just love to hunt for treasure, and the prize doesn't have to be anything huge. I remember one year when my mother gave both me and my older sister a treasure hunt birthday party. We were all divided into teams of 2, and mother wrote out clues that sent us from place to place both inside the house and outside in our yard. (You could also create a treasure map in lieu of writing individual clues.) Each new clue was located with a small prize for each player: a headband at one place, (sugar-free) candy at another. The treasure was a pair of handmade teddy bears.

Create a stop-and-go story. Sit in a circle with your children. You start out telling a made-up story; when you stop (usually at an exciting point in the story), have the child to your left add to the story, and continue around the circle. This can be a lot of fun with young children because you never know what they might say. Obviously, this doesn't really work for infants and toddlers, but around 30-36 months, my girls have been able to begin creating rudimentary stories.

When the weather turns MUCH warmer, make some homemade ice cream. My kids love to help us make the ice cream and definitely enjoy eating it, too!Here is our favorite ice cream recipe. My husband particularly likes it because it reminds him of snow cream. We've made vanilla, banana, and strawberry ice cream using this recipe.

These ideas are not grandiose schemes and may not be anything new to you, but our family enjoys these frugal yet fun ideas. What does your family like to do together?

all clip art courtesy of

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