Fun Stuff for Kids

Family Activity – Cleaning House

My house usually looks like a whirlwind has blown from one room to the next and left utter destruction in the wake.  Toys have made their way from the kids’ bedrooms to the living room or kitchen, and everything seems to be all over the floor.  The books are out of the bookshelf, and every video we have is piled up by the chair.  With a 5-year-old and an 18-month-old, that is exactly what happens on a daily basis.  Don’t get me wrong; the kids will help pick up if I am right there beside them, but my poor husband usually comes home to utter devastation.

A couple of months ago I came across something on Pinterest (The House Game) that has helped our family clean our house.  This simple tool gets us working together in the evenings or on the weekends to get the house clean.

It is a simple concept:

  1. Roll a number.
  2. Visit that room of the house as a team and clean.  Or do the assigned task on the chart.  Mom and Dad assign tasks to the kids, and everyone works together to accomplish the goal.
  3. Repeat until all tasks are completed.

The site has the printable available with either 9 rooms or 12 rooms.  I downloaded the 12 room printable and then customized it for our family.  I wrote in all of the areas of our home, or tasks that we can do together, i.e. Kitchen & Dining Room, Living Room, Laundry, Hank’s Room, Faith’s Room, Mom & Dad’s Room, Bathrooms, and Dusting/Sweeping/Mopping.  I also filled in the leftover numbers with some kind of physical activity, i.e. Jump up and down 10 times, Walk around the house backwards, Hugs all around, Hop like a bunny around the house.  I put our game board in a picture frame and we use a dry-erase marker to check off the numbers as we complete our tasks.  But you don’t have to go through all that work.  Just use a scrap piece of paper and write down the numbers.  Then as you complete each task, use a crayon or pencil to color the numbers that are done.  To make sure we hit all of the rooms/tasks, we roll only one dice until we get the first 6 numbers checked off.  Then we add the 2nd dice and play until the end.

The kids (and my husband) love it.  We go from room to room and really work together.  Hank loves to race back to the board and roll for the next job.  We get so much more done when we play the game rather than just try to “clean the house.”   So if you are looking for a nice change of pace with cleaning the house, I would recommend trying a variation of The House Game.

What ideas do you have to get your kids involved with helping around the house?

Have a Great Week!

Lisa

Indoor Fun – Snow Day

Some days it’s just too cold to go outside and play, or the weather doesn’t cooperate in another way.  Whatever the weather, I have a special day planned for the kids – an indoor snow day.  I have come up with a list of some games, activities, and treats that we can pick and choose to do throughout the day.  This would also be fun as a family activity anytime of the year.

Have a Great Week!

Lisa

 

snowballgames

Snowball Games are Minute to Win it Style games.  I found this list a couple of years ago, and Hank looks forward to doing them every year – especially the indoor snowball fight.  This year we are going to start out the games by hiding all of the “snowballs” around the house and have a scavenger hunt.

Also, to go along with the games we already have, we are adding a couple of new ideas.

 

snow_fun

 

The kids both love craft time, and here a couple of projects that I know they will enjoy.

 

Who doesn’t love a good book?  Here are a couple of resources with a variety of snow or winter books.  A couple of our favorites are Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton, and If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws! by Kim Norman.

Here are a couple of math-related activities that we will incorporate into the day.

We love experiments, so here is a great resource with ideas.

 

snowscience

from Inspiration Laboratories

 

We kept a couple of the larger boxes from Christmas to use for our snow bricks activity (see below).  I also saved white tissue paper and collected snowflake stickers.

 

snowfort

from Things to Share and Remember

  • Snow Bricks (boxes covered in white paper and snowflakes) to build a snow fort or Igloo
  • Or make a fort or igloo with blankets and a table

Here is a list of props to use with this snowy dramatic play activity:

  • Ear Muffs and Hats
  • Scarves
  • Jackets and Snow Suits
  • Sweaters
  • Boots
  • Long Underwear
  • Buckets and Shovels
  • Snow (cotton balls, styrofoam)
  • Thermos and Cups
  • Snowman Blocks (see below)
  • Let your imagination go wild!

Idea:  Try putting your dramatic play and block play materials together.  See what happens?

 

snowblocks

from No Time for Flashcards

We have saved quite a few spice jars to use for our snowman “blocks” idea from No Time for Flashcards.  We also saved small Pringles cans to use as a larger version of these blocks as well.

snowytreats

 

I thought it would be fun to incorporate themed snacks into our day of fun!  Here are a couple of quick, simple ideas that we are going to try.

We are going to continue the fun through dinner.  The kids are going to help prepare 2 “Pizza Snowmen”  – one with mushrooms for eyes, mouth & buttons, and one with black olives instead so each child has his/her favorite topping.

snowpizza

Snowman Pizza from Delia Creates

 

Indoor Fun – Rainy Day Activity Bag

I’ll be the first to admit it – I LOVE Pinterest.  I’ll tell my husband I have an idea to make something, and the first words out of his mouth are “Let me guess – Pinterest.”  Like many moms who use Pinterest, I have been collecting a lot – alright a whole lot – of ideas of games/activities/art projects/etc. to do with my kids.  It is time to start doing some of these activities instead of just looking at them over and over again on my boards.  So here I go.

I thought I would start with a Rainy Day Activity Bag: a resource of ready-to-go activities for days that we are stuck inside because of inclement weather. In looking back through my mountain of pins, I picked some ideas that I have wanted to try with the kids for some time and others that I recently pinned.   I have included the original link and then how I tweaked each activity while I was preparing my bag.  For the bag I used one of those reusable shopping bags (this one I got at the local dollar store).  For the activities, I organized them in plastic storage bags – gallon and jumbo (I also picked these up at the dollar store).  I had so much fun getting this bag together.  Hope it inspires you to start putting some pins into action as well!

Have a Great Day!

Lisa

 

Rainy Day Kit

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Pinned From Sun Hats And Wellie Boots

This looks like so much fun!  You set up an actual bear hunt for your children to go on throughout the house.   The blog gives ideas for things to use to make the story really come to life.  I made a Bear Prints Template to make printing the paw prints easier.  Once I gathered all of my materials, I put them in a bag and then right into my box.  Most of the items I purchased at the local dollar store:  2 child’s green grass skirts to hang from a door frame for the grass, a blue table cloth for the river, a brown laundry bag for the mud, 2 blow up palm trees and 2 kid’s lanterns for the forest, a white table cloth and cotton balls for the snowstorm, and plans to decorate Faith’s crib as the “cave” with the bear.  Both kids love to play in her crib at times, so it seemed like the perfect place for the bear. My second idea for the cave would be covering our card table with a blanket and putting it in Hank’s room.  I also got each child a set of play binoculars to help search for the bear.

 

Hopping Corn Science Pinned From One Time Through

This looks so cool every time I see it.  I can’t wait to see how the kids react to this experiment.  Since everything I need is in the kitchen already, all I needed was to make a Hopping Corn Activity Sheet to put in my bag for easy access to the instructions.

 

Giant Game Board Pinned From Toddler Approved

Since the kids both love games, I know they will love a game that you play throughout the house.  I used this blog as an inspiration to make my own game called, “Escape_the_Rain_Game,” to go along with a rainy day theme.  I printed everything on cardstock and then put it in the activity bag. The original templates that are included in the blog are great to use by themselves as well – one has activities printed on the tiles and there is one without.

 

Flying School Pinned From Sewing Mama Raeanna

I love the idea of the Flying School to practice throwing.  I designed a Flight School Template to use with file folders, but used the link in the blog for the Disney Plane patterns.

 

Clean Mud Pinned From Growing a Jeweled Rose

My kids love sand and other sensory experiences.  Since this is for a rainy day kit, I thought the clean mud would be appropriate.  As with the hopping corn activity, everything I need is in the kitchen already.  I just added a Clean Mud Activity Sheet to put in my bag for easy access to the instructions.

 

Scavenger Hunt Pinned From KMC Kay Designs

This scavenger hunt is a quick and easy addition to the rainy day bag.  A downloadable pdf provided has everything to print and put into a recycled Altoid tin.  You can decorate the tin if you want, but if not, all you have to do is print and cut.  I had some raindrop scrapbook paper, so I printed my cards on that and decorated the tin to match.  Since my kids are young, I think we might do it as a cooperative game with everyone working together.

 

Flashlight Puzzle Hunt Pinned From Toddler Toddler

Ever since I first saw this idea I have wanted to try it with the kids: A Flashlight Puzzle Hunt.   I already bought the lanterns for the Bear Hunt, so I just purchased a puzzle at the dollar store.  I plan to hide the puzzle pieces in the closets so that the kids can use the lanterns to find them.  Then we can put the puzzle together as a group.  It will be good counting practice for Hank as he tries to figure out if we have all of the pieces.