There are some toys that kids usually play with on their own while you watch on the sidelines. However, you can make those toys feel like something new and fun, by suggesting different ways to play with them. Another thing that will make it more fun is if you become actively involved rather than just watching.
- Teach your host children how to say the names of some of the food and dishes.
- Using English and/or your language play games where you are ordering food like in a restaurant. Take turns with who will be the waiter and who is the customer.
- Come up with silly food combinations. For example: Who wants pickles on their slice of cake?
- Play a guessing game where the kids have to figure out what food you are talking about. For example: I grow under the ground in the dirt. People eat me fried, mashed and baked. What am I? (a potato)
- Play a game with setting the table using your language to ask for the different items (plate, spoon, etc.)
- Ask the children to divide the foods up into the different food groups (vegetables, meat, dairy, etc)
Block, Lego Blocks and Other Building Toys
- Divide all of the blocks up between the people playing by taking turns for each person to select block by block.
- Suggest specific things to build (robots, house, mountain) and build together.
- Challenge everyone to use all of their blocks.
- Sort the blocks by color or shape and make patterns with them (red, blue, red blue or square, triangle, rectangle.) You can create a pattern and ask the child to fill in what comes next to continue the pattern.
- Make the tallest block tower you can and let them knock it down (over and over again, if like most kids they like destroying things.)
Mr. Potato Head
- Teach your host children the names of the different parts in your language.
- Play a game asking them to put on the body parts by naming them in your language.
- Play the same game above, but using Simon Says. Simon Says is a game where the leader gives commands by saying “Simon Says” first. For example, “Simon Says, put on the nose.” The players are only to follow the commands when the leader says Simon Says. If the leader doesn’t say Simon Says first and just says, “put on the nose,” and the player follows the command they are out of the game. Repeat the game multiple times, so all kids get a turn to be the leader at least once.
I know the kids have been home for many snow days this winter. Believe me I know, since I have 4 kids of my own at home. The key to keeping things manageable and fun is planning ahead and being proactive. Don’t wait until the kids are fighting and getting into trouble to find things for them to do. Get them engaged in activities to prevent the boredom and arguing that can happen when everyone is in the house for too long.
I am putting together some blog posts with activity ideas in the following categories:
- New Ideas for the Same Old Toys
- Indoor Physical Activities
- Activities for Older kids
- Cooking Activities
On National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5, 2010, millions of people will choose to wear red and speak up against heart disease. It gives women and men everywhere a way to show their dedication and support of the cause, and empowers them to take action for their health. And it gives them the opportunity to honor the women in their lives by sharing this lifesaving information.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in America.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
- Eat plenty of fiber and good fat.
- Lay off cholesterol and salt
- Lose the gut.
- Get regular excercise.
- Calm down.
- Don’t smoke.
So, when you look in the closet on Friday— GO RED! Wear red and join women – and men – across the nation who are wearing red and speaking up to save women’s lives.
For more information about Women & Heart Disease, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org
I friend shared this recipe with me and I thought it would be a lot of fun on a cold snow day like this. It is gingerbread because of the color and smell, but it is not to be eaten. Since the ingredients are all food, it is safe if the kids sample it. I can guarantee it will not taste as good as it smells though.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and knead* until smooth.
*knead – to massage, shape and press with your hands as you do with dough or clay.
- If you are working with older kids, you can have them help make it.
- If you are working with younger kids (6 and under), I recommend you make the playdough ahead of time and just bring it out for them to play with.
- Lay wax paper on the table to protect the surface where they play with it.
- Bring out playdough tools and/or kid-safe kitchen tools (cookie cutters, plastic knives, etc.)