Activities Tips

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jump rope


A sailor went to sea, sea, sea.
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see.
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.
Coca-Cola went to town
Pepsi cola shot him down
Dr. Pepper fixed him up and
changed him into Bubble up!
Down by the river, down by the sea,
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
I told ma, ma told pa,
Johnny got a spanking so ha ha ha.
How many spankings did Johnny get?
1, 2, 3.... (Keep counting until the jumper messes up).

hurricane bottles


Remove the label from a clean, clear 16oz. plastic soda bottle. Pour at least 1/2 cup of light corn syrup into the bottle. Then add a few drops of food coloring and some glitter and/or confetti. Hot glue the lid onto the bottle. Have the children swirl and shake the bottle and watch it's movement. These can be varied considerably and still work great. Use the natural tendencies of oil and water to make a "lava lamp" type bottle. Just mix oil and water half and half, add a few sparkles and secure the lid. You can use 2 pop bottles joined at the mouth for these interesting bottles. Be sure to secure them very, very well, using hot glue gun or duct tape to prevent leaks.

teachers gifts


1. Teachers work hard to decorate and equip their room. A book for their classroom library is always appreciated.

2. Homemade baked goods. Teachers work hard all day and don't have a lot of time to bake. Items they can take home and share with their families are welcome gifts.

3. Tree Ornaments. This is a universal gift for Christmas. Works for everyone.

4. Gift Certificates. Again, something they can get for their classroom, like a book or toy.

5. Thank you for helping me grow potted plant

6. Scrapbook pages and fieldtrip pictures

kids tools


Children love to pretend that they are building. Hammers, nails, and a block of Styrofoam or soft block of wood can be wonderful tools for fine motor skills. This is an activity that should be closely supervised. It is fun to create a wood working area in your home.

science activity


Impress your kids with a "Dancing Paper Clip".
Fill a baby food jar with water and drop a steel paper clip into it. Tell your child that you can make the paper clip dance up and down in the water without touching it. Then move a magnet up and down outside the jar to make the clip dance. Let your child try it. Explain that the magnetic force form the magnet passes through the glass and water to make the clip move. Kewl!



Save all the advertisement papers from the local newspaper. Provide the kids with a pair of scissors and give them a pre-selected letter from the alphabet. Have them cut out pictures that begin with that letter and paste them on construction paper.

sensory toy


To occupy a small child while you are on the phone give him/her a couple of long strips of Scotch tape to keep busy.



Cut out many different sizes of a particular shape. Four or five will be fine. Have your child arrange them in order of size, largest to smallest, or smallest to largest.

water activity


Line up everyone on the side of the pool and toss in "treasure." I have used toy animals (plastic), plastic or rubber rings and even small (1-2 inch) smooth rocks. See who can bring back the most.

outdoor activities


Who doesn't remember this great winter activity. Of course, you need to be in a climate where snow is available, however, I wonder if there are such things as sand angels? Lie down on your backs in fresh, powdery snow and make snow angels. Swing your arms up and down and your legs back and forth. Get up carefully, and look at the imprint in the snow made with your body. See the wings?

party activities


Some night in the winter, when it is dark outside, find a few flashlights and play hide and seek. Turn off all the lights in the house and use your flashlight to find your brothers and sisters. This is a great pajama party activity. Be sure not to run, you may bump into something and get hurt! Ask your parents to hide a few things around the house for you to hunt and give you a list or a treasure map!

science activity


Place a small mirror in a clear glass of water. Put the glass on a sunny windowsill. Position the mirror in the glass so the sun will hit it and cause a rainbow to shine on the wall. Point out the rainbow to your child, then move the glass to make a rainbow somewhere else.

party favors


You can fill empty toilet paper rolls with small candy and tiny toys for a party favor. Once you fill it up close up each end and decorate the tube, or wrap in tissue paper and tie ends up with a pretty ribbon.

color activity


Supply the children with several clear cups of water. Using food coloring (red yellow and blue) drop colors one drop at a time into the water cups. Have them discover what color they get with blue and red, yellow and red then try blue and yellow. Supply the children with plastic eyedroppers and let them mix the colors in the empty cup. (Add more coloring as desired)

group games


Take turns finishing this sentence:
"I found a sunken ship beneath the ocean waves, and I collected a ________."
The others must say what the others found, then add to the list an idea of their own. After 5 or 6 kids, it becomes a challenge to remember all the found items!

family memories


To encourage your child's imagination try this activity. Place several small toys or objects in a paper bag. Start telling a simple story. Then take turns with your child and family members in choosing an object from the bag, holding it up and incorporating it into your story. Continue until all the objects have been used

scavenger hunt


While on your next walk in the park take along this list. (All you have to do is find them, not bring them home.)
Tree bark,
Dead leaf,
Dead grass,
Spider web,
Rock pine needle,



Give each child a crepe paper octopus made from 8- 15-inch streamers knotted together. Let each child dance around the room with an octopus partner while you play music.

summer activity


Mix dish soap, water and red food coloring to a dishpan. It's a good idea to place the dishpan on a vinyl tablecloth. Provide manual eggbeaters for children to make bubbles. Wooden spoons and sponges in various shapes are good for this activity as well.

summer activity


This is a long term project for families with enough space in their backyard or cottage to accomodate it. You can help your children create a special place of their own this summer by growing a Sunflower Fort.

Look for an area sunny enough to grow sunflowers and large enough to supply a minimum of 6 foot square garden space. We made ours 8 foot x 6 foot, but have seen them on television 12 foot square. Start by marking the perimiter of your Sunflower Fort with stakes and string. Be sure to locate and mark your entry.

Prepare the gardens around the perimeter by digging down about 8 inches deep and about 5 to 10 inches wide. The "floor" can be left as grass (be sure to make the door wide enough for the lawnmower to enter) or made of sand by laying in a bag or two of childrens play sand.

Here comes the fun part. Go to the local nursery and select a few sunflower seed packets. Choose a variety of heights, and colors. Also pick up some bean, pea or climbing vine seeds (such as sweet pea or morning glories)to fill in the spaces between the sunflowers.

Now read the seed packets and show the children how to plant their seeds. Planting the sunflowers first and then the peas and vines between the sunflower seeds. Be sure to water them.

And the hard part? Wait, water and watch them grow! It will take the "walls" of your sunflower fort about 10 to 12 weeks to bloom, however my kids enjoyed the fort from day one, putting the sand on the floor gave them a sandbox to make roads in for their little cars. Being able to play in their fort enabled them to watch it grow and reminded them to care for it. Be sure to warn them not to step on the garden "walls".

Our sunflower fort has become a tradition. We make it year after year, building summer memories for our grandchildren now.

pinata chant


My goodness! My goodness!
A big paper jar! (make large circle with hands)
A big paper jar that is shaped like a star (draw star shape in the air)
And filled full of walnuts and
filled full of sweets, (clap hands)
Of toys and of oranges and wonderful treats.
Let's hit it and hit it and hit it until (pretend to hit piñata)
The piñata breaks and
makes everything spill (clap)



We're for puddles, rain and snow; pull us on and off you go. (Boots)

On your nose we like to rest; for sunny days we are best. (Sunglasses)

When the rain falls from the sky, put me over you to keep you dry. (Umbrella)

I'll keep you warm when cold winds blow; button or zip me, and off you go. (Jacket)

We always come in twos; put us on before your shoes. (Socks)

Long or short sleeved, blue or red, slip me on over your head. (Shirt)

On your hands I go, so you can play in the snow. (Mittens)

Do rabbits use combs? They use hare brushes.

What kind of a cat could you find in a library? A catalog.

When is it safe to pet a lion? When it is a dandelion.

What dress does every girl have that she never wears? Her address.

sensory toy


Zip lock bag,
Blue gel toothpaste,
Fish stickers.
Squirt an ample amount of toothpaste into the zip lock bag. Have the children squish it all around in the SEALED bag. Then reopen the bag and add fish and other sea life. Stickers work best because the toothpaste does not affect their appearance. Seal tightly and let the little ones play with it. I have one of these on their high chair to play with while I fix a meal.



Rubbing Materials:
Objects that will leave impressions (with texture like leaves, puzzle pieces, coins, keys, etc.)
Crayons or chalk

Cover your table with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth. It is easy to draw off the paper in this project. Gather the objects that you will use and lay them your table. Place a piece of white paper over the items and tape down all 4 corners.
Using a crayon or chalk by laying it on its side, rub it over the objects, which will create a wonderful design on the paper. They can then cut the items out of the paper and make a mobile with them.

party activities


Great for birthday parties where you want to give each guest a favor. For each child you will need a small block of wood wrapped with a very long (several yards) piece of yarn. Make sure each child has a different color yarn. Just before the party unwrap the yarn by winding it back and forth, over and under and through the furniture in party room. At the end of each piece of yarn tie a favor. As the guests arrive give them their block and let them wind up the yarn as they follow the string to the favor.



Pipe cleaners are perfect for stringing activites because they are stiff and easy to handle. Set out an assortment of pipe cleaners knotted at one end and the oposite sharp end bent down. Let the children string buttons, large wooden beads, thread spools, cereal pieces or other materials with holes in them.

This project should be supervised by an adult as small pieces could pose a choking hazard.

fishing game


Tie 3 feet of string to a wooden spoon. Attach a magnet to the end of the string. Cut and laminate many different colored, and sized fish from construction paper (not too big though). Attach a paper clip to each fishy. Spread the fish on the floor and let your child try to catch them. Have them try to catch the largest or smallest fish. For a twist, label the fish with letters or numbers. Ask the children to catch a specific fish, or ask them which fish they caught.

time lines


On a long piece of paper, (computer continual feed paper is great, or a roll of Kraft paper) draw a long horizontal line. Write on the date of your child's birth at the beginning of the line. Then talk with your child about important events in his/her life and mark them at the appropriate places on the time line. If desired, attach actual photos of the event or let your child illustrate the events.

sidewalk art


A new "sidewalk artist" activity. Use a paintbrush, or a plant mister to create pictures on the sidewalk. Using water mixed with a little paint powder, food coloring, or Kool-Aid powder as the "paint".

dot to dot pictures


On a sheet of plain paper make a dot to dot picture for your kids. It might be a simple heart or ball shape or as elaborate as a house or animal. You can trace the shape from many coloring books, then just place dots about 1 inch apart and number them. Eventually the kids will get in the groove and make some of their own dot to dots to share with their friends.

matching game


Collect pairs of clean socks in a variety of colors, patterns and size. Place one half of each pair in a laundry basket. Give each child one of the other socks. Hold up one of the socks from the laundry basket. Challenge the children to determine who has the matching sock to make a pair.
Extension: Shoes, too, can be used to play matching games.

kid exercises


This is a great outdoor activity in the summer or the winter! Either find a soft grassy area or a spot with new snow on the ground. Have your kids lie down like logs with their hands at their sides. Roll around, keeping your body in a straight line. What designs do you make in the snow (grass)? Who can roll the fastest? Is it easier to roll on a flat ground or down a hill?



Here is an idea to keep the little ones busy and teach them hand eye coordination. If you save your slurpee straws it is great because they are so colorful, if not just grab a bag of straws at the local grocery store, cut the straws up into different lengths. Take a good length piece of yarn and tape one end so that it is easier to slip the straw on, and on the other end tie enough large knots so the straw pieces do not slip off. Now give the kids a bowl of colorful straws to make their own necklace. Another substitute for straws is Cereal (fruit loops, cheerios, etc.) Or you can use Lifesavers, or other candies with a whole in the center.



Lacing is a favorite activity at home or it's great for trips in the car. Any shape can be made into a lacing activity. First draw or photocopy your picture on a piece of cardstock. Use a hole punch to punch holes around edges . Tie the end of a long piece of yarn through one of the holes. Dip the other end of yarn in glue to stiffen them for easier lacing. You can also use actual shoelaces for lacing activities.

summer activity


Hide plastic dinosaurs in your child's sandbox. Provide them with plastic shovels and paint brushes. Have them excavate and gently remove sand to uncover the dinosaurs.

kids cooking


If you don't have aprons for the children give them an old adult-size T-shirt to wear over their clothes.

indoor activities


To encourage working together try "Puzzle Sharing".
Separate the pieces of a puzzle into two piles. Give one pile to each child. To assemble the puzzle, have the children take turns selecting pieces from their piles.

science activity


Here is a great little "science" project that will amaze your young child. Get a white carnation. Leave it out of water to 1 - 2 hours until it starts to wilt a bit. Cut 1" from the stem. Place carnation in red-colored water made by adding red food coloring to water. Cover 6" of stem with water. Observe what happens to the carnation.

science activity


First you will need to freeze water in various shapes for your outdoor winter construction. You can use old cake pans, jelly molds, plastic containers, tin cans and milk cartons. Just fill the containers with water and leave outdoors for several cold, freezing days (in the shade) so you will have lots of ice bricks. Stick the blocks together with water and snow as the mortar, and build a wall. You may need to build your structure over several days, refilling the containers and making more blocks as you go along. Happy building!

kid exercises


Make sure you have enough floor space for the free movement of arms and legs. Here are simple exercises your kids can do that are fun.
-From a sitting position, sit up as tall as possible, relax. Repeat.
-Place hands on the floor and crawl forward with legs held in a stiff manner.
-Walk on all fours slowly, like a turtle.
-Lie on the floor with hands above the head. Raise right leg, raise left leg. Lower right leg, lower left leg.
-Lie on the floor. Rise up to a sitting position, lean over and touch your right toe with the left hand. Return to a reclining position. Repeat with the right hand.

kids cooking


Let the children choose a color for your picnic. Then try to incorporate that color into your picnic plans as much as possible. For example, if they choose green, you might wear green clothes, sit on the green grass, use a green tablecloth, eat green grapes, and celery with cream cheese mixed with green food coloring, play with a green ball, or take a walk and look for green things.



You will need a length of butcher paper the length of your table. Spread the butcher paper out on table and decorate using crayons, markers, etc. This makes a very cute tablecloth that doubles as a memory!



1. You will need Styrofoam cups, rubber bands, straws that do not bend, and a piece of cotton cloth.
2. Fill the cup part of the way with solution. Poke a hole near the top for the straw and insert it.
3. Cover the top with a square of cloth. (I use an old piece of flannel or cut up towel.)
4. Secure with the rubber band.
5. Then have the children blow into the straw and watch the bubbles come out the top.
If it works right, the bubbles will be in one long continuous piece...really cool.



Select the King of Hearts from a deck of cards, and two other cards. Place the cards face up on the table. Turn the cards face down and move them around. Ask your child to turn over the card he or she thinks is the queen of hearts. Reverse roles and continue playing.



Riddles are great fun! Here are some to start you off. See if your children can make some up of their own.
Who am I riddles…
1. I can swim or walk for miles.
I'm big with thick, white hair.
I live up in the Arctic.
I am a ________ POLAR BEAR

2. I'm usually made of colored yarn,
By someone who is knittin'.
Unless one's lost i come in pairs.
Of course I am a ______MITTEN

3. My antlers tower above my head.
Where I live, it's cold all year.
I can pull a sled or pack a load.
You call me a ______REINDEER

4. I'm big and white and made of snow,
So I'll never have a tan.
When the sun comes out, I melt away.
Each year, I'm a new ______-SNOWMAN

5. I've got a big mustache.
I dig shellfish with my tusks.
I swim in icy waters.
I am a big ______-WALRUS

summer activity


An activity that children can never get enough of is the "car wash". Simply supply buckets of mild dishwater, sponges, brushes and rags and the children's riding toys. Sit back and let them at it. It's a good idea to have the kids in their swimsuits. Getting wet seems to be the big attraction here. Supply them with other outdoor toys that may need a "bath" too. Make sure they have their sunscreen on.

bubble activity


Fill a small wading pool with bubble solution. (Combine 1 part liquid dish soap with 12 parts water and a few drops of glycerin or Karo syrup.) Have a child stand inside a hula-hoop in the pool as you pull the hoop up around him. A human bubble!

Be careful not to get the bubble solution in their eyes.

outdoor activities


A wonderful sense of interconnectedness can be nurtured… even in the city. With a little preparation, a simple trip to the park provides your child with the opportunity to feed small animals (birds, squirrels and chipmunks) and observe their preparations for the winter.

sensory toy


Even the youngest children will enjoy this activity.

Sponges cut in various shapes
Tub of water
Paper towels

Give the sponge to an infant to feel and squeeze. Then moisten it with water and let him feel the difference. Then help him make prints on the paper towel. Or play with the sponges in a tub of water. (Set the water on a towel on the kitchen floor) Supervise closely as always when water is involved.
Older children can use sponges to "stamp" designs on construction paper with paint.

science activity


To raise a Monarch Butterfly you'll need:
A large glass jar or aquarium
Milkweed leaves
Waxed paper
And elastic band
Look for a caterpillar about as big as your little finger. Collect the caterpillar and the top of its plant in your glass jar. Put in a few extra milkweed leaves. Cover the jar with waxed paper and secure with the elastic band. Punch small air holes in the paper with a fork.
Place the bottle outside or near a window where it's sheltered from direct sun and from rain. Now watch but don't bump the bottle. After a few days, the caterpillar will stop moving and hang still under the lid or one of the leaves. When the chrysalis is finished, take the cover off the jar and gently ease the milkweed part way out so the chrysalis is in the open air. (If you have used an aquarium this is not necessary) Check on it often and remember to count its golden spots. Before long, the chrysalis will lose it's beautiful green and turn dull and dark. Nothing is wrong, when that happens, it's not dying it's changing again. You should start checking on it more often
When the chrysalis eventually turns clear, with black and orange showing through, stay nearby. The butterfly inside will soon crack the chrysalis. Then the wings will emerge, followed by the whole butterfly. Let it take its time to stretch and dry before flopping away. Look carefully. What has happened to the golden spots?

tongue twisters


Tongue twisters are a lot of fun when you share trying them with your friends! Here are two you can try.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked

Moses supposes his toeses are roses
But Moses supposes erroneously;
For nobody's toeses are poses of roses
As Moses supposes his toses to be



Only a fraction of what your child learns comes from their time in the classroom. Home and community activities help children grow, and reinforce concepts they're learning in school. Help them find a hobby that interests them. It may provide your child with a lifetime of joy.

crafting with kids


Let's face it, crafting isn't for everyone. Some people have never experimented with craft materials, and feel they don't have a creative bone in their body. All of a sudden there's a child in your life that wants to "craft". You want to encourage their interest, but feel lost! Well have no fear….Crafting is an art. It's the process of discovering with your child that is important, not the perfect results.

outdoor activities


Great for birthday parties. Make your own fish pond by covering a very large cardboard carton with a sheet and decorate by attaching cut-out paper fish to the sheet. You can usually obtain a large appliance or furniture box, which would be ideal for this purpose, at a furniture store. If you can't get a box just hang a decorated sheet over a doorway. Use a fishing rod or a stick or yardstick with a string tied to it would do. Tie a clothes pin on
the end of the string. Have a helper sitting in the fish pond (cut out top and back of box to allow him to sit in it to attach favors to the clothes pin when each child goes fishing. I use leftover scraps of gift wrap to wrap the little surprises. Children love to unwrap prizes!

memory books


Make a family love book by asking each member of your family to draw a picture of something or someone they love. Let the children dictate a sentence about their drawing and print on the page. Your children can also attach the family valentines to pages. Older children can write a short story about something your family did for Valentine's Day. Attach together for a wonderful memory "family love book". Be sure to date it!

family memories


The holidays are an excellent time to record your children's voices.(but not the only time!) Record them singing Christmas carols or telling Christmas stories. Put the tape away to enjoy for years to come.

kid exercises


This obstacle course provides experience for a wide variety of gross motor movements and skills. Select a number of things the kids can do in any order, and make an obstacle course in your yard.
1. Make a balance beam with a 2x4 piece of wood.
2. Climb up on a chair and jump off.
3. Jump through a hoola hoop, feet together.
4. Crawl under a table.
5. Swing on a rope and jump off. (best if done Outdoors)
6. Jump over a box onto a mat. (be sure the mat grips the floor and will not slip.)
7. Crawl through a tunnel or under a chair on your tummy.

party activities


Looking for an indoor icebreaker for a group of children? This mitten game will surely warm up the crowd. First, have the kids remove their mittens and place them in a heap in the middle of a big room (you may need to push back the furniture). It's your job as referee to see that the pile is mixed up. Then, have the children stand in a circle around the pile (about ten feet away). At your signal, the players should race to locate their own mittens; the first child to find and put on his winter gear and shout "mitten match" wins. You can complicate matters by including hats or boots in the pile, too .



Welcome the birds back with a tasty treat! Sandwich a bagel between two plastic lids from margarine containers. Thread a string through the center, and tie a big knot at the bottom. Hang from a tree.



Make a list of items you would like your child to find on a walk. Start by making a list made up of easy-to-find items like a leaf, pine cone, red car, or fire hydrant. Later they can increase in difficulty. Use clues like "find an item that is bigger than the refrigerator and is brown and green" for a tree, or "find all the (choose a color) items you can and list them". Go on the walk with the paper and mark of the items as your child finds them.

tasting activity


What the children will learn- To compare the tastes of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
Materials you will need fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. A large bowl and serving bowls and spoons. If you use frozen berries, select those, which do not have sugar added.
1. Have several children assist you in washing the berries and preparing them for the snack table.
2. At snack time, let the children serve themselves a few of each berry
Taste the berries and compare the tastes. Discuss some of the foods we prepare with berries, jams, pies or cobblers, fillings for pastries.

kid exercises


Make sure you have enough floor space for the free movement of arms and legs. Here are simple exercises your kids can do that are fun.
-From a sitting position, sit up as tall as possible, relax. Repeat.
-Place hands on the floor and crawl forward with legs held in a stiff manner.
-Walk on all fours slowly, like a turtle.
-Lie on the floor with hands above the head. Raise right leg, raise left leg. Lower right leg, lower left leg.
-Lie on the floor. Rise up to a sitting position, lean over and touch your right toe with the left hand. Return to a reclining position. Repeat with the right hand.

indoor sleds


Using a large piece of corrugated cardboard tie a rope or heavy string to one end. Have the kids take turns pulling each other around the room on this "Indoor Sled". It works well on carpeting.

party momento


Here's an idea for your next overnight party. Make sure you have a pre-washed T-shirt for each kid. (they could bring them from home or you could supply them). Using fabric paints and markers each kid can design their T-shirt on the front. Get everyone to sign everybody else's T-shirt. You can even date them. Let them dry overnight and everyone has a one of a kind party favor! This idea is not limited to T-shirts, try decorating hot chocolate mugs, or bookmarks with these ideas in mind.

memory books


Help your child select a picture of each member of your family. Using a separate sheet of paper for each person, glue the picture to a piece of construction paper. Collect magazine or catalogue pictures of items that remind you of the likes of each family member and glue them to the family members page, being careful not to cover the picture.

science activity


When the temperature dips below the freezing point, many changes occur in our environment: water turns to ice, and rain turns to snow. Let the children experience some of these changes by taking part in the following activity.

Chill containers of bubble solution in the refrigerator. When the temperature is below freezing, take your child outside to blow bubbles. Have your children observe the bubbles closely as they blow. They will notice ice crystals forming on the surface of the bubbles. What happens when the bubbles pop? They shatter.



Pull out your rubber boots and find a puddle to muck around in (or fill a wading pool with water). Then, bring out the food coloring, bubble bath, whisk, funnels, ladles, water wheel, etc. to have a wild 'n wet time!

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Guru Spotlight
Sheri Ann Richerson