While I should be thinking of all the fun events in April (and writing a post about that instead) I am actually only thinking of ways to keep the children occupied during April vacation. Usually this means crafts and worksheets. However, I have realized that my children need to MOVE! So I’m trying to come up with more ways to incorporate controlled movement. In other words, how can I get them moving without having them go completely crazy and destroying everything in their path.
My first idea is just a simple daily exercise time where we can all get a dose of movement and get the blood pumping. Since I rarely make it to the gym, I see the benefits for me as well! To keep it orderly I came up with 24 simple exercises and printed them up on cards. Each one is either done 10 times or is performed while counting slowly to 10. I let the kids call out the exercises, but I do the counting so they don’t go to fast. You don’t have to do all the cards at once. For today I decided to start slow and just have them choose 10 from the stack. Once I get my schedule completed I will try to split them into 3 or 4 quick sessions a day.
Print out your own set here: Get Moving Cards
I’ve set it up to print on both sides if you want the cute picture on each. If not, just print pages 1 and 3. Here’s how ours look printed (and laminated of course!)
Now go and get moving!
I can’t take credit for this tip, but I am passing it on because it was so much fun for the boys last year. Instead of hunting for eggs, we sent the kids on a scavenger hunt. I loved this idea the moment I saw it on WhatsUpMoms because I HATE hiding eggs all over and then having a war break out over who finds what. The scavenger hunt was something they could do together and then just get their baskets at the end. They loved it and I plan on doing it again this year.
Here is a link to the original video from WhatsUpMoms. I think I mostly used her clues, but here is a printable of mine if you want something to print and go. Easter Scavenger Hunt
I really liked these special little eggs to hide the clues in.
Check out Harry and Liam on their hunt last year.
When I think up activities, there is always a grand plan. That doesn’t mean I always make it to the finish line though. One thing my boys have taught me is that they are more than willing to finish the race for me. Tonight’s post is a perfect example of that.
I came up with an idea to encourage them to write some funny little stories. Here was the grand plan, which I still hope to sit and do with them, and then I will explain how far I got and what the kids did with what I had.
I went online and found a bunch of pictures that I though were either cute, funny or interesting.
I printed them out and (of course) laminated them. I cut them out and had grand plans of separating them out into characters, settings and exciting elements and then using them to help the boys create silly little stories. I had them all organized and ready to go when the baby woke up and made it too difficult to sit and explain my big ideas to the boys. So, instead I tossed the cards at them as I ran upstairs to get the baby.
When I came back down there they were pairing up characters with different locations and elements and making up funny scenarios. It didn’t keep them busy for hours, but they had a good laugh and are excited to take out the picture cards again to make up stories and play more games.
Sometimes, less is more. It’s nice to have big plans, but it’s sometimes even nicer to give the kids something interesting and then to let them figure out what fun they can have with it.
Here is a pdf with the images for you to try: Build a Story
I’ve been wanting to post for a while but as most moms know, even small blips in routine can send the whole family spinning. Well, in a span of 2 weeks we have bought a new home and sold our old home. Sad to be leaving our town, but excited for what is ahead. And, it has been crazy!
But now to get back into routine, I want to post a little something. The boys and I were lucky enough to have some friends over for an early play date before school. Last night I threw together this little game to help harness the energy of 4 well-rested children!
It is basically the “Hide the Button” game that is posted on my printable page, but using St. Patrick’s Day pictures instead. I printed out 6 of each picture and then wrote 1,2 or 3 on the backs before laminating them and cutting them out.
Then I hid them all around the playroom and set the kids looking. Once they were done we tallied the scores using this game board. Each one took a different colored marker and then colored in the number of squares they had earned according to the backs of the pictures. It took two rounds to fill the board and then they all colored in the center together.
Want to give it a try? Print out the pictures and game board here.
Game Board and Leprechaun Hide and Seek
I never thought about how freeing it would be for my kids to have some guidelines on how to draw stuff. This Christmas my sister (Hi Jenny!) got my sons Ed Emberley’s Make a World which teaches them how to draw loads of stuff. They love this book!
I thought at first that having a drawing book would stifle their creativity, but it was the opposite. Now they could finally draw all the things in their minds! They started making up stories and illustrating them, and they have not stopped.
Today Harry was working on his new book, C is for Clover, which is an ABC book about St. Patrick’s Day. When he got to P he needed some help drawing St. Patrick and that is how I stumbled upon this website: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/learn-to-draw-saint-patrick. Both boys had so much fun drawing St. Patrick that I kept digging and found a few more March themed drawing pages. Check them out here:
These are just links to the drawing instructions but this whole website is really fantastic. Check it out and let me know what you think!
March is around the corner and there is lots of fun to be had! Check out the calendar here: Calendar and enjoy some of the activities I found to keep you busy!
- March 2 – Dr. Seuss’s Birthday
- March 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day
- March 13 – Daylight Savings
- March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
- March 20 – First day of Spring
- March 23 – Purim
- March 27 – Easter
No go have some fun!
Looking for a fun way to teach your child about telling time? Look no further, Pocket Puppy is here. Check it out in action: Liam and his Pocket Puppy
This little printout will help teach them to tell time and also how to care for a little puppy. Click here to print out your own: Puppy Practice
For my boys I just printed it out and laminated it. I used a punch and a small brad to assemble the clock. We always hang things like this on the fridge and use tape to move the pieces around. You don’t need to laminate it, but it does make it last longer.
Then to play with it as a tool to teach time, I just set the clock and then ask the boys what Puppy is supposed to do next. Then they can move him to the right card on the fridge. Or, ask them to pick an activity for Puppy and then set the time on the clock to match.
You can also just staple these pictures onto a poster board and move Puppy from pocket to pocket.
Your kids will be time-telling masters before you know it!
Have fun and if you like this activity share it on Facebook!