Tag Archives: games

Play and Learn Game Board

14 Jun

This simple and inexpensive game board is easy to make at home with things you have around the house. You can use it to have fun reinforcing skills your kids learned at school.

Materials

  • File folder
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Index cards

Open your file folder and draw a wiggly line with the markers. Make a “Start” and “Finish”. Add stickers along the line for places to land on.

Decorate the front of the file folder for added interest. We used markers, jewels, sequence and wiggly eyes.

Make game cards using index cards. If your child needs to work on recognizing letters, write one letter on each card. If your child needs to work on addition or subtraction, write one math problem (without the answer) on each card, etc.

To play the game, have each player select a marker (coins work well). Place the game cards face down. Player One rolls the die, selects a card and tries to answer the question. If the answer is correct, Player One move the number of spaces on the die. If the answer is incorrect, the player stays where he is. First one to the finish wins.

 

Bubble Gum Math

31 May

Who says math is boring! See who can blow the biggest bubble or try this bubble gum fun.

Bubble Wands

29 May

Click here for some other items to use as bubble wands. You probably already have them in your house.

Bubble Stuff

28 May

I love this idea for a bubble refill station. There are so many cute jugs and dispensers out there now. For the bubble recipe, click on the picture.

*Once recipe calls for glycerin and the other for corn syrup. Both are added to give the bubble a stronger outside so it will last longer. We recommend the glycerin recipe, however be prepared because a small bottle costs about $5. The corn syrup recipe works but leaves a sticky film on hands. It’s much cheaper though.

Making Chores Fun

18 May

  • Work together.
  • Fill a squirt gun with water and a drop of dish soap. Have them shoot at the baseboards.
  • Clean or pick up items by color.
  • Play basketball with the laundry. Set up three baskets; lights, whites, and darks. Have the children shoot the clothes into the correct basket. This works for toys too.
  • Give them the tools. Little kids like kid-sized tools and can use them easier. Older kids can use adult size cleaning tools. What kid doesn’t love a Swiffer?
  • Blast the dance music.
  • Create a special name for your cleaning crew.
  • Allow your child to be the “inspector”. They can look at your work and give you a pointer or two.
  • Put socks on little hands for dusting and wiping windows. You can even decorate them to be “dust monsters”.
  • 10 minute clean ups are great for the end of the day. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can get done before it rings.
  • Take a “coffee” break after completing some chores.
  • Use pretend play. If you want your child to help with dishes, play restaurant. If you want your child to deliver things to different rooms, play post office.

Don’t forget to have a special treat for a job well done!

Card Games for Kids

28 Dec

Cards are a simple and fun way to play with your kids, but we don’t always remember the rules of the games.

Simple Card Holder for Little Hands

Card Game Books

Card Game for Learning

Download our activity calendar for more fun!

Indoor Flashlight Fun

21 Dec

Flashlights make a great toy for kids and you probably have one in your kitchen drawer. Make some shadow puppets for your kids, play flashlight tag or just explore with light and shadows, your kids will spend hours with a simple flashlight.

Follow this link for some indoor fun.

Flashlight Fun

Download our activity calendar here.

Letting Them Win

25 Nov

Today is Game Day and we welcome, family therapist, Dr. Keith Kanner as our guest blogger. This is a question parents always want an answer to; should I let my child win? Find out what Dr. Kanner has to say.

When you play with your kids, do you let them win?  You really should if they are under the age of 10.  Children between the ages of 4 and 10 are obsessed with the concepts of winning, losing, and fairness.  After all, growing up means giving up all sorts of childhood fantasies that we as parents have always enjoyed.  But, once children begin to dabble in the world of reality testing, they get disappointed, very disappointed and winning fills the gap of a major sense of losing which they all feel.    The losses are huge and widespread during these years.  Wishes to become superheroes, Princes and Princesses, and even your husband or wife, makes us all smile and the list goes on.  But, nothing compares to the wish to be the only child, and this one really hurts the most once they experience the birth of a sibling.  So, kids, like adults, try to find other ways to feel successful and winning is a primary way that kids try to erase their losing pains. It also is a way to build up a healthy ego that they need to have in place in order to make it through the adolescent years without too many scars.  The problem however, is that every other child at their stage of development is on that same page and compete with each other everywhere from the classroom to the football field and they face the music of having to tolerate the fate of reality –  that we win and lose about half the time. I think if we could all come to terms with this early in life and accept it, we all would be better off, but kids, especially little ones, which still includes 10 and 11 year-olds, can’t seem to shake off the losing very well, and that’s normal.   In fact, too much losing at once can kill a child’s spirit pretty quickly.

For example, my middle son is playing his first year of pop warner football.  That is tackle football by the way which I have mixed feelings about at his age anyway due to the high level of competitiveness at this age.  Meanwhile,  our team began the season undefeated and were on a serious “winning” high until  we were handed our first loss.  The emotional impact of that loss blanketed the team with such a sense of defeat that no matter what we did as the coaches, their spirit was killed.  Even our team mom, who was a past Pepperdine University cheerleader couldn’t do enough back flips to get them past this loss.  So, then after two more back to back losses, we have slipped to third place and the boys feel more like they are in last place.  Welcome to the mental world of nine year old boys.  If they are going to win any more games this season, we are going to have to find some areas where they feel like winners and use that spirit to get them carry it on to the football field.   Kids before adolescence need success and support to feel good about themselves before going into puberty.   It’s like the pre-teen years are training camp for adolescence, where the more you practice and feel successful the smoother transition will be in store for those stormy teenage years.  In fact, kids who feel good about themselves tend to be the healthiest – kind of makes sense.

Size also really matters for kids in this age group.  In most cases, the bigger is considered better so bigger wins carry more weight and will often compensate for smaller losses. Here is where parents can come in particularly handy.  If kids beat us at something, it’s a big win.  Whenever my kids beat me at something, they do feel better, especially if they won fair and square.  Therefore, one way to help your kids feel like a winner is to lose to them and make a big deal that they beat you.  Even having a small temper tantrum that you lost can go a long way in celebrating that your child beat you.  It is also a great way to show them how ridiculous a temper tantrum looks in real life.  But, the key is to help them feel great about their victory.  I always tell parents that the two forums where you actually want your child to brag out loud is to you the parent and themselves.  Bragging to their friends only creates greater competition, but bragging to mom and dad should be encouraged and celebrated.  If parents can’t handle their child boasting about feeling good and victorious, then we have a real problem on our hands.  Home is suppose to be a place to let your hair down and share how you are really feeling.  As parents, we need to be that safe harbor where we can help our kids compensate for their losses by making them feel like winners.

That old adage of toughing up is just that, an old adage.  Just go back and watch The Great Santini.  Sure, we can make too big of a deal about losing or getting hurt, but we can also minimize it which is equally a problem.  Losing, like winning, are emotional moments which need to be experienced and processed or children will learn that certain feelings are not okay.  If a child determines that losing is a “bad” emotion, then a lot of kids will believe that losing is not tolerated inside or outside and here the real problems begin to form.   On the other hand, no one will argue with the feeling of victory.  These feelings win and lead to greater achievements. When kids win, they feel victorious and such feelings can then healthfully compensate for those “losing” feelings.  As with other functions that parents serve and provide to their children is knowing when their kids need some love or some “winning” feelings, which we can directly provide to them by just being gracious losers.
Key Points:
* small children experience loss differently then older children and adolescents

* losing feelings are especially difficult for the 6 to 8 year olds

* too much loss during this time can lead to poor self-esteem in adolescence

* winning can lessen losing feelings

* when kids beat their parents, it’s a big deal and a big win

* parents need to be good losers too


Laura Crawford
Social Media/Web Content Manager
Dr. Keith Kanner
Web: www.kanner.tv
Facebook: Dr.KeithKanner
@DrKeithKanner

Pumpkins

26 Oct

Huge, puny, orange, green, white, smooth or bumpy, pumpkins are the highlight of Halloween. Not only that, kids can do so much with pumpkins. Here are some ideas to entertain the kids and maybe teach them a little something, too.

By the way, did you know that using an ice cream scoop makes cleaning out the pumpkin easier?

  • Weigh pumpkins of different sizes
  • Order them from smallest to largest or largest to smallest
  • Paint small pumpkins and decorate them with jewels and feathers
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Estimate how many seeds are in a small pumpkin, then find out
  • How high can you stack the pumpkins
  • Compare the seeds in different colored pumpkins
  • Have a race rolling pumpkins
  • Read a pumpkin book
  • Make pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread
  • Sing a pumpkin song or say a pumpkin poem

 “Five Little Pumpkins”

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,

The first one said, Oh, my it’s getting late!

The second one said, There are owls in the air!

The third one said, But we don’t care!

The fourth one said, Let’s run and run and run!

The fifth one said, I’m ready for some fun!

Then Woooo went the wind

And out (clap) went the lights

And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

10 Ways to Have Frugal Fun With Your Kids

1 Oct

Today is Frugal Fun Day according to HolidayInsights.com’s “Bizarre and Unique Holiday List”.  Here are ten frugal ideas for family fun today.

  1. Ride a bike
  2. Invite friends over for dinner
  3. Play board games
  4. Fly a kite
  5. Go for a hike
  6. Get a book, music, or movie from the library
  7. Find a free event in your city
  8. Play ball
  9. Make s’mores
  10. Camp out in your backyard or living room
Remember…Your children need your presence more than your presents.  ~Jesse Jackson
Have a fun and free day!
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