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Physical Fitness and Training

January 11, 2011

My daughter took several classes at a local gym for children which enhanced her abilities to perform moves in tumbling, ballet, tap dance, and sports such at t-ball and basketball. It got a little expensive over the years so I supplemented her development by teaching some of the same skills at home.

Teaching children physical skills is easier than mental training. While teaching physical skills, parent can rely mainly on demonstrations and focus less on explanation. For example, I can position my daughter to do a front roll and then manipulate her body to perform it.   Or let us say that I want to teach my daughter how to do a cartwheel. I can hold her body in the correct position and physically move her through the correct motion of a cartwheel. I can give her some verbal coaching but the most important part of the learning is how she feels as her body moves through the motions.

Another technique for showing physical activities is to have a picture of the activity. The visual reminder will give children a reference to use while practicing. This just makes it easier for children to remember the positioning of all body parts. Once your children correctly perform the physical activity a few times, it gets easier and easier for them to do it again.

Comments: 2

Alphabet Letter Recognition

February 17, 2011

 

We all sing the alphabet song with our children.  This song is a great tool for helping children speak letters of the alphabet.  Unless your children have the same problem as mine and thought "L-M-N-O-P" was it's own letter:) 

Once children can recite the letters of the alphabet, our next step it to teach them visual letter recognition. Have the letters printed out on a piece of paper.  A way to teach this symbolism is to point to the letter as it comes up in song.  This combines both auditory and visual senses.  To deepen understanding, help children construct their own letters with sticks, string, play doh, or even with food.  After children are done constructing a letter, repeat the letter name. 

Attached is an informal mommy lesson plan for teaching alphabet letter recognition.      

Comments: 6

Children Learning Letter Sounds

February 24, 2011

I teach letter sounds by emphasizing the beginning sound of words. If you are teaching the T sound for truck, table, trip, tie....emphasize Tttttruck, Ttttable, Tttttrip, and so forth. You could even have a letter a day theme. Have a picnic with items that begin with T. 

Suggestions:

Food and drink- ice Tea, Tomatoes, Tortillas,and Turkey  

Toys- Trucks, Tiles, and Trampoline.

 

  

Language Tip of The Week

I teach letter sounds by emphasizing the beginning sound of words. If you are teaching the T sound for truck, table, trip, and tie.... emphasize Tttttruck, Ttttable, Tttttrip, and so forth. You could even have a letter a day theme. Have a picnic with items that begin with T.

Supplies as listed below.

Food and drink: Ice Tea, Tomatoes, Tortillas, and Turkey

Toys; Trucks, Tiles, Trampoline, Tape, and Tracing for play.

Comments: 1

Children with a Better Vocabulary

March 03, 2011

My kids loved to be chased. Besides being fun and it was a great way to get a little exercise (for me and them).  We just didn't simply run around though, I used the time as a way to help develop their language skills.

To help my children expand their vocabularies I would say the same thing using many different words-using similes. For example, as I was chasing my kids, I say to them “you are going so fast, you are quick, speedy, rapid, and swift.

Don't misunderstand me.  There are times when you should just play for the sake of playing, but why not try to sneak in occasional learning sessons with your kids when they least expect it smile

 

  

Comments: 4

Silly Faces for Speech Therapy

March 17, 2011

Don't be afraid to try different techniques to teach your children.  Become your own child's resident "expert".  For instance, my daughter had the toughest time saying the "th" in three.  I taught her to eventually sound it out.  I had her strictly exaggerate the motion of her tongue by physically holding her top lip (so she wouldn't be tempted to use it) and I had her stick her tongue WAY out and exaggerate the motion while saying the word "three". She got it after a few tries.  Now I am no speech therapist, just a parent and teacher, but I am telling you my technique worked.

Comments: 5

Five Ways to Play with Your Children When You are Too Busy to Play

March 31, 2011

Play House: Say you are playing house, be the dad and say you have to go to work.  I run into the kitchen and cook dinner. You can periodically pretend to call home to stay in touch with children in their play mode.

Scavenger Hunt:  For younger kids, draw pictures of different items they are to find.  For example, draw a green leaf or a square or anything the color red.  You can pick items found indoors or outdoors.  For older kids, you can write the items to be found. 

Verbal Communication: Sing, talk or tell a made-up story while you are doing your work.

Workout:  You can work out, holding baby or toddler for a tougher workout.  You can also invite your child to work out with you. 

Contest: Give each child a bag and see who can pick up the most toys.  Winner gets a prize!

Comments: 5

Esmeralda

April 04, 2011

There was a little girl that my mom used to baby-sit. Her name was Esmeralda. Her parents were stark atheists. Wanting their daughter to get a good education, they still sent her to private school. Her father did not want her to pray and insisted she was never to participate in prayer with the others at school. Esmeralda obeyed and refused to partake of the morning prayer. One day my mom asked Esmeralda what they said for morning prayers and she confidently answered, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..." and she recited the whole prayer verbatim. Let there be no doubt that "repetition is the mother of learning." 

Comments: 3

Math Fun

April 07, 2011

  Despite what your kids may think, learning geometry can be fun. Get a pack of simple pipe cleaners or spend a little more and buy some Bendaroos to model geometric shapes: circle, square, rectangle and triangles. For more advanced kids you can add a rhombus, parallelogram, trapezoid and diamond. Then follow up by re-creating each figure using toothpicks. The toothpick will reinforce the idea that the edges are straight. Kids should quickly realize they couldn’t make a circle with toothpicks. All other polygons can be made with toothpicks since the sides are straight.

Extend the activity by finding these shapes around the house or create a shape scavenger hunt with various shapes drawn out.

For older children, you can create a game of concentration. You can have the shape on one card and the name of the shape on the other card; the name and shape cards make a match. Modify the game a bit by adding properties of shapes: right angles, opposite sides are parallel or congruent, opposite angles are congruent, consecutive (next to) angles add to 180 degrees...etc.

Comments: 4

Games, Games and More Games

April 18, 2011

My kids, husband and I love playing family games: Pictionary, Monopoly, concentration and Yatzee to name a few.  Over the years I have come to realize that playing games teaches children many useful skills. 

I remember when I was teaching pre-algebra and a number of my students had a difficult time adding numbers on a number line.  When adding up to a given number students would count the number of spots on the number line instead of the jumps between numbers.  So for instance when given 2 + 5, they would start at the number 2 and then they would count five spots on the number line--2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  Their conclusion was that 2 + 5 = 6.  What they couldn’t grasp was that they didn’t need to start counting by including position 2.  I remember thinking to myself haven’t these kids ever played Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly or just about any other board game out there.  This skill was so basic and yet many students could not perform it. 

Here is my simple solution—and it fits right in with what I have been preaching since I started this site—play more board games with your kids.  Learning is fun.  Play games that teach kids to move items on a board, count money or tally points at the end of the game.  You’ll be surprised what other important skills they develop.  It’s a great way to get the whole family around the kitchen table too.     

Comments: 2

Cooking Adventure - Too Fun to Believe it Teaches Math, Reading, and Science!

April 28, 2011

As I have already mentioned in some of my earlier posts, most Sundays we have a family day. Last year we decided to have each family member pick a Sunday activity.  My enthusiastic daughters always pick baking. 

While this activity seems to compete with my diet, we look forward to homemade melt-in-your-mouth brownies or double chocolate fudge cookies.  My ambitious girls read the ingredients, measure them out and follow the directions. 

Before I proceed I have to share a fun story.  I remember when my daughters were very young, they had the most challenging time cracking eggs. It was entertaining to watch their attempts as egg whites ran down their little fingers.  We ate a lot of crunchy brownies.  I got a fake solid egg and gave it to them to crack.  They kept banging it on the bowl first and then on the countertop and it just would not crack.  They soon realized something was wrong because they knew from experience that eggs break easily.  I had a heck of a time keeping a straight face so when I finally came clean you can imagine the laugh we all had.  That egg still makes an appearance when we bake and we still laugh about it. 

It is hard to believe that while we are having so much fun my daughters are learning lessons in math, reading, science and fine motor skills. 

Without even knowing it my daughters learn...

Math:·                          

Things are measured

There are different units of measurements: cup, tablespoon,...etc.

How to use tools of measurement

Reading:·                  

Following directions 

Reading units of measurements and their abbreviations

Science:·                  

Heat causes a chemical reaction by changing the form of the mixture

Fine Motor Skills:    

Pouring

Scooping·                  

Mixing           

Scraping                   

Cracking eggs

Now I know not everyone out there enjoys baking, but I have some recipes that are impossible to mess-up.  I’ll share some of my favorites over the next few days…so stay tuned.    

Comments: 2

Play for Reality - 10 Suggestions to Motivate Your Children to Action

May 19, 2011

 

Here are some fun ways to motivate your children to do what you want them to do. 

  

What you want your children to do

Play that encourages it.

Be quiet

My father-in-law started this game with the girls called "zip it". Everyone zips their lips and has a contest to see who can be quiet for the longest.

Pick up

Have contests: Can you beat the timer? Who can pick up the most toys? Have a scavenger hunt for who can find the most things around the house to pick up?

Resolve conflict

Have your children trade places with each other or you can even trade places with your child and see how they would resolve the problem if they were in other’s shoes.

Exercise

Chase children around the house or out in the yard, create an obstacle course for them, do an exercise video together or do yoga animal stances.

Do homework

Play school. Make it fun with healthy snacks, fun colored pencils and role-playing.

Clean

Play house and when you are cleaning your house in play you are also cleaning your house for real.

Bedtime

Pretend the bed is a magic carpet. Play a little and then it’s bedtime. Time to sleep on the magic carpet. Another option is to put a cover on the bed and create a camp. Pretend you are camping--kids love to sleep in forts or tents.

Try a new food

Pretend you are in a new country. Make–up characters and even create pretend countries if necessary. Kids will get caught up in the story and eat…sometimes.

Hustle-Hurry

Time your child for a given activity. Record the time. Next time have your child try to beat their own recorded time for accomplishing the task. The nice thing about this technique is your child is competing against their own times and not against their siblings or other children.

Set the table and help with dinner

This is an easy one…play restaurant. We all know how to do that.

 

  

Comments: 1

Reading Math and Teaching Fun: Enjoyable Books that Motivate Children to Learn Math - Age 2 - 12

May 26, 2011

Here is a list of books that will help increase your children's math IQ.  There are four charts: levels 1 - 4.  Reading these books to your children will enhance math sense and help them build strong learning schemas for math. 

Level 1

Patterns: Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom!

Comparing Sizes: The Best Bug Parade, If Dogs Were Dinosaurs

Directions: Bug Dance

Doubling Numbers: Double the Ducks

Opposites: The Greatest Gymnast of All

Ordinals: Henry the Fourth

Understanding Capacity: A House for Birdie

Hours: It’s About Time!

Counting: 1) Math Fables Too by Greg Tang, 2) One Child, One Seed, 3) One Nighttime Sea, 4) Swan Harbor A Nature Counting Book

Odd and Even Numbers: Missing Mittens

Subtracting One: Monster Musical Chairs

Matching: A Pair of Socks, Seaweed Soup

Sequencing: Rabbit’s Pajama Party

Sorting, Classifying: 3 Little Fire Fighters, Grouping at the Dog Show

Quantities: More or Less

Shapes: Windows, Rings, and Grapes – a Look at Different Shapes, First Shape Book, Round and Square  

 

Level 2

Area: Bigger, Better, Best!

Rounding: Coyotes All Around

Time Lines: Get Up and Go!

Understanding Halves: Give Me Half!

Symmetry: Let’s Fly a Kite

Comparing Numbers: More or Less

Numbers 1-100: 100 Days of Cool, 100 Ways To Celebrate 100 Days

Counting by 5’s and 10s: Leaping Lizards, Toasty Toes

Calendars: Pepper’s Journal

Money: Counting Money, Money by Penny Dowdy, Money at the Store by Jennifer Rozines Roy and Gregory Roy, I Can Add Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

Probability: Probably Pistachio

Perimeter: Racing Around

Making Predictions: Same Old Horse

Counting By 2s, 3s, and 4s: Spunky Monkeys on Parade

Combinations: The Sundae Scoop

Measuring: Super Sand Castle Saturday

Order: Guess the Order

Shapes: Shapes in Sports, The Shapes We Eat, The Shape of the World Many-Sided Shapes

Odd & Even Numbers: Splitting the Herd

Graphs: Bar Graphs by Vijaya Khisty Bodach

Addition: 1+1=5 and other Unlikely Additions, Adding and Counting On, Mission Addition

Subtraction: Subtraction by Ann Becker

Multiplying: Doubling and Multiplying by Richard Leffingwell

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 3

Estimating: Betcha!

Classifying: Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop

Equivalent Values: Dinosaur Deals

Dividing: Divide and Ride

Place Value: Earth Day-Hooray!

Time: Game Time!

Percentage: The Grizzly Gazette

Angles: Hamster Champs

Bar Graphs: Lemonade for Sale

Negative Numbers: Less Than Zero

Metrics: Polly’s Pen Pal

Finding Unknowns: Safari Park

Subtracting Two-Digit Numbers: Shark Swimathon

Dollars and Cents: Sluggers’ Car Wash

Fractions: Fraction Action, Full House, Fraction Fun

Symbols: Math Words And Symbols

Problem Solving: 1) Math-terpeices: the art of Problem Solving, 2) Word Problems Made Easy, 3) You Can, Toucan, Math

Counting Large Numbers: Place Value

Multiplying: 2 x 2 = Boo! A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 4

Probability: Chance and Average

Roman Numerals: Fun with Roman Numerals, Roman Numerals I to MM

Multiplication: Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

Clump Counting: Greater Estimations

Real World Math: Restaurants By The Numbers

Geometry: Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone,

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Numbers: Go Figure! A Totally cool book about numbers, On Beyond a Million An Amazing Math Journey


 

Comments: 1

I Repeat, “Repetition is the Mother of Learning.”

May 31, 2011

My job as a parent is to prepare my children to be safe, independent and responsible.  I believe teaching children to stay in pairs is part of being responsible and safe. If I start teaching them the routine now, hopefully it will become habitual.

Unfortunately, I get frustrated by their slow progress developing the habit.  Every day we go to the park and I tell them, “Watch out for each other.”  They impatiently respond, “We know mom, you already told us.”  Then I’m still frazzled trying to keep track of where they are. 

Last week my girls and I head to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather.  As always, I tell my daughters to stay together and watch over each other.  They both say in unison, “We know mom, you’ve already told us!”  Keeping a watchful eye on them, I study their behavior from a distance.  Both daughters swing on the monkey bars.  My youngest girl Madison runs off and leaves the gated area.  A few seconds later Madison is at the drinking fountain.  My oldest daughter Reese notices her sister is absent.  She looks around, finds Madison and follows.    

I asked Reese, “Why did you follow Madison?”  She looks at me and says, “Mom, you said we should watch out for each other!”

Repetition is the mother of learning!

Comments: 1

Threats or Natural Consequences?

June 13, 2011

It occurred to me the other day that some types of ineffective discipline can often resemble bullying. I asked my daughter to listen to me otherwise she couldn’t have her after dinner treat. She responded: "Mom, what do treats have to do with listening?"

I realized that she was right! What do they have to do with each other?  She is expected to listen out of respect not because she will be rewarded with desert. Rather than using threats as discipline, it may be more effective to just allow the natural consequences of misbehaving act as discipline.

Punishing by natural consequences prepares children for the real world. Punishing by threatening, being vindictive, or any other motive may get the immediately desired result, but it ultimately teaches poor character development and isn’t true discipline.

Often, bad behavior has natural consequences. Here are some examples:

  • Not picking up barbies from the floor- dolls may get lost, stepped on or broken.
  • Not listening when told to hold your ice-cream cone still - icecream falls to the floor, cannot be eaten, and must be cleaned up
  • Procrastinating by not completing chores in a timely manner - miss out on fun play-dates because end up spending fun time on chores instead
  • Fail to brush teeth when told to –friends may not want to play with you or get too close.
  • Poor manners—will miss out on play-time because parents may choose to leave play-date early so their children won’t be exposed to a bad example
  • Going to bed too late—too tired to enjoy the day and have to go to bed early the next night 
Comments: 3

Summer Fun - Top 5 Activities

June 23, 2011

Top Five Summer Activities (taken from Family Fun Top Twenty list - March issue)

SPONGE BRIGADE

First, divide players into two teams and have the members of each team lie down side-by-side. Place a bucket of water near the head of each line. Have the first player on each team hold a large, soaked sponge with her feet. At "Go," the teams use their feet to pass their sponge down the line and back. If a player drops the sponge, he may sit up to recover it but can use only his feet to get it back into the game. The first team to get their sponge into the bucket wins.

Physical Fitness: Fine Motor Skills

MAKE DELICIOUS HOMEADE SUMMER TREATS

Chocolate Pudding Pops

Use a whisk to blend together 1 package of instant chocolate pudding, 2 cups milk, ½ cup cream, and ½ cup sugar. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds. You can also pour into small plastic cups, cover each with aluminum foil, and insert a craft stick through the foil. Freeze and eat.

Ice Cream in a Bag

Combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 cup half and half, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a pint size Ziploc bag and seal it tightly. Place 1/2 cup coarse salt in a gallon-size bag. Most grocery stores sell Morton Ice Cream Salt. Then fill the gallon-size bag halfway with ice cubes. Place the sealed pint size bag into the gallon size bag as well and seal the larger bag. Shake the bags until the ice cream mixture hardens, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Math: measuring

CONSTRUCT A DELUXE KID WASH or MAKE A PLAY CANOPY

On a sweltering summer day, few kids can resist running through the spray of a lawn sprinkler. The Deluxe Kid Wash continues that time-honored tradition-but with a creative new twist. It’s crafted almost entirely from PVC pipe, a material we love not just for its low cost and durability, but also for its ease of use (with all those interconnecting pieces, it’s like Tinker toys for grown-ups) For a complete set of instructions, click on "free printable" at FamilyFun.com/funshop.

If everyone opts to stay dry, then make a play canopy. Be creative and use various household items to construct one.

Science & Creativity: constructing

MAKE A PINAQUA – A CANDY-FREE VERSION OF A PINATA

Fill a medium plastic trash bag with one to two gallons of water and knot the top. Tie a rope tightly beneath the knot. Toss the free end of the rope over a tree branch and either tie it securely of have an adult stand by to raise and lower the pinaqua. After being blindfolded and spun around three times, each player takes three whacks at he pinaqua with a broom. The winner is the one who manages to break the bag and unleash the wave.

Physical Activity: swinging a bat

SQUASH THE SHARKS

Blow up balloons and draw on shark faces with permanent markers. Fill a kiddie pool with water, add the balloons, and have children try to sit on the balloons and pop them - no standing allowed. The player who squashes the most sharks wins. Note: collect and discard the pieces promptly since pooped balloons can be a choking hazard.

Creativity: imagination 

  

   

Comments: 1

Exceptional Play for Education and Fun

June 30, 2011

We have invested in numerous Lego sets, Lincoln Logs, City Blocks, and other building block sets. Aside from building the specific structures planned by the Lego kits, our favorite event in to see how tall we can build.

Skills enhanced by building with blocks:

  • Imagination
  • Inventiveness
  • Attention
  • Planning
  • Application
  • Organization
  • Independence
  • Fine motor skills
  • Collaboration
  • Cooperation
  • Problem Solving

Different kinds of blocks: Lego, Kaplan or City Blocks, Lincoln Logs, Link N-Learn links, sensory snap beads, linky triangles, pyramid master builder blocks, textured building block set, Mega magnets construction set, Fiddlestix rods, Connector set, Geometric shape building blocks, Large hard plastic lego blocks (age1 -3), Master building system - Japanese system, Build a Link Clip Shapes, Criss cross shapes, Dacta Lego Set III, Star links…etc. Feel free to add to this list.

 

Share your favorite building experience.

Top Ten Rainy Day Play: Fun for All Age Groups

July 11, 2011

 

Activity

Additional Resources

Skills

Cards: Bullshit (we call it “I doubt it” in front of our kids) and other card games or dice games

http://www.best-family-games.com/family_card_games.html

http://www.best-family-games.com/dice_games.html

Math and Problem Solving

Drawing games or paper and pencil fun: Draw a picture and see if your kids can guess what it is and then switch roles, Hangman, and others games

http://www.pencilandpapergames.com/

Math, Language, and Problem Solving

Cook, bake and have a theme for dinner that night: Italian, Mexican,…etc

 

Math, Language, and Cultural Awareness

Origami with paper or food

http://www.FamilyFun.com/magazine, or http://www.origamiwithrachelkatz.com

Spatial Reasoning

Indoor bowling. golf or bean bag toss

 

Fine Motor

Build a fort, tell ghost stories, watch a movie and eat popcorn (for children age 1 – 8)

 

Imagination and Creativity

Physical Fun: Hula Hoop, Cartwheels and do them simultaneously with multiple people (I know this is mostly a girl thing)

 

Balance and Coordination

Play Board Games

http://www.best-family-games.com/

Math, Language, and Problem Solving

Magic Tricks: use a kit or look up some online

http://www.goodtricks.net/frameset6.html

Spatial Reasoning, Math

Play with paper airplanes

design ideas at http://www.paper-airplane-designs.co.uk/and games ideas at http://www.ehow.com/info-tip_7977004_paper-airplane-games.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask

Spatial Reasoning, Math, and Science

 

 

 

Comments: 1

Clever Ways to Play that Teach Brief Math and Language Lessons

July 15, 2011

I love the game I-spy because I can use the game to reinforce a plethora of math and language concepts.    

Here are some examples:

MATH

  1. I spy something longer (quantity) than a pencil.
  2. I spy something heavier (quantity) than a cup.
  3. I spy something inside (spatial awareness) something else.
  4. I spy something that is used in a pattern.
  5. I spy something bigger (quantity) than a ball
  6. I spy something that has four parts
  7. I spy a rectangle.
  8. I spy something that has three sides.
  9. I spy something thinner than a ruler.
  10. I spy something used to measure (math tool).

LANGUAGE

  1. I spy something that rhymes with up. 
  2. I spy something that begins with the letter t.
  3. I spy something that ends with the letter r.
  4. I spy something translucent (vocabulary).
  5. I spy something that goes with a fork.
  6. I spy something that is the opposite of big.
  7. I spy something that is a compound word.
  8. I spy a homophone.
  9. I spy something that spells a three-letter word with o in the middle.
  10. I spy  something that makes this statement an alliteration: Lazy Lizzy Let Lucas Lick ____. 

 

 

  

Comments: 1

Are Your Children Bored?  Simple Ways To Get Them Physically Active While Sneaking in Math & Science

July 18, 2011

Children need many daily opportunities for exercise.  My daughters fail to choose physical activites to fill up their time. They have great imaginations and could easily spend the entire day with imaginative play: creating prompts and playing superheroes.  In their defense, they do get exercise swimming in our pool several times a week.  I have found that I need to make a concerted effort to create more opportunities to encourage them to exercise.  In the process of doing so, I’ve found ways to incorporate some practice with math and science as well. 

Here are some ideas for getting your children moving while sneaking in bits of academics.  In time-keeping activities,children alternate between keeping time and being participants in the activity.

Keep track of time with a stopwatch or regular watch (math) for the following physical activities.

  • Potato sack race
  • Create an obstacle course for children to perform
  • Run races
  • Swim races
  • Have children time each other to see who can: hula-hoop, do jumping jacks, skip, hop, or jump rope the longest.  To tame competition, have children compete with themselves, trying to improve their own time with each try.  Different-age children should not compete since it creates an unfair advantage to the younger ones.

Counting (math)

  • Throw a ball back and forth and count the number of consecutive catches before dropping the ball.
  • Have children time each other to see who can perform the most of any given activity in a row: sit-ups, cartwheels, and/or jumping jacks. 
  • Young children can play the game “duck duck goose” (counting)

Counting down (math)

  • Play Musical Chairs

Measure total distance, length or distance away from a goal.

  • Jumping the farthest
  • Hopping the farthest without falling down or stopping
  • Walking the farthest distance on an imaginary balance beam without falling off (Use tape to create one)

Keep track of the score (math)

  • Any sport: basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball…etc.
  • Beanbag toss
  • Miniature Golf
  • Bowling

Make a Map (Spatial Awareness, Science, and Math Scale Drawing)

  • Nature Map: Have children go for a walk and try to remember landmarks.  Then upon arriving home have them do their best to draw a map including landmarks and other things seen on the walk. Remind them to keep the length of each part of the route proportional to the length of the whole trail.
  • Map for a Scavenger Hunt: One child makes the map of the hidden items and the other children go for a walk to find the items.  They switch roles as needed.

Get a Smart Cycle and buy educational games to go with it. 

Play darts while jogging in place. (Spatial Awareness)

Play Simon Says (Following directions, Learning parts of the body: Science)

Imitate different animals and move around like those animals. (Science)

Have children make-up a dance routine with patterns in dance moves Try to include hoops, scarves, and ribbons to spice it up. You can also let them play Dance Dance Revolution DVD game.  (Patterns: Math)

Other great ideas for increasing exercise but these don’t involve learning. 

  • If you have room, keep a mini trampoline available. Children can exercise during their TV time.
  • Exercise video to do with mom or anyone else
  • Hopscotch

To keep your children accountable for exercising everyday, they can log onto an incentive program at http://www.nick.com/thebighelp 

 

 

Comments: 1

Activities that Distract Children And Give You A Break

July 28, 2011

All parents can relate to the feeling of needing a break from their children.  I admit that sometimes I hide in the bathroom just to get a few minutes of quiet time.  Here are some suggestions for keeping your children occupied.

 

 

  • Get Out Some Puzzles.  If your children are old enough to do puzzles by themselves, they can stay busy for a while.

 

 

  • Have them “surprise” you by building something with blocks!  Tell them you can’t look until they are each done with their structure. You are not allowed to participate because it’s a surprise.

 

 

 

  • Take out toys they haven’t seen in a long while.  I used to have an emergency bin of toys they could only play when I was desperate for a break.  My children would be so excited to reunite with the lost toys and it kept them busy for hours.

 

When all else fails, call someone for help. 

 

Share any ideas that work for you and your children.

 

Comments: 1

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