Monday, June 29, 2009

Something fun

I have my girls in summer school, which around here goes for about a month. It is in the morning and lasts until noon. At which point I become responsible for them again. Again! (I mean, didn't I just take care of them yesterday?)

Since all indications are pointing to visits from The Crazy, tantrums, fits, and the rage of all those who are not getting their way, versus those who are not playing right, I decided to take a different approach instead of my usual approach of screaming. Sigh. I am going to be considerably more assertive in deciding what they do. Aggressive even. No arguments. Here is our fun thing to do now shut up, smile and have fun doing it.

No, not really. But as I thought up a few things I thought, well maybe I will share them and maybe other people will share some ideas too. Because folks, it is going to be a looooong summer. Looooooong. It already has been loooooong. And there is more coming. (Lets face it, summer vacation is the Department of Educations way of keeping us down. Its their loving little way of saying EFF YOU parents! Quit your complaining about accurate state capitals and spelling of vegetables! Or we will make these breaks even longer! There will be more! Arbor Day vacation! No child will be left behind!)

Okay, to the point already. This little fun thing occupied my kids for about a half hour and they had a blast. I decided to teach them coins and so I laid out 4 coins on a piece of paper and wrote the number value next to them and we went over and over the names of each. Quickly I realized 4 coins was too many. Ahem. So, we went to the penny and nickel since they are more obviously different. I grabbed a pile of loose change out of The Husbands coat pockets and hid it behind a notebook. The girls sat across from me with their little coin banks. I showed a coin over the top of the paper and they had to call it out, whatever it was, and the first kid to get it right got to keep it and put it in their bank. I would flip it over the top of the notebook and they had to grab it. Then we switched it up and used quarters and dimes. Loads of fun, made them happy, and they quit the complaining for over 30 minutes! And they got them some educatin'!

Share! Share and linkback if you have something fun, easy, simple, fun and time consuming.


  1. how very cool. i bet they had fun i mean they were getting hard cash what could be more fun!
    "Dead lions" is a game my parent used to play with us...and only as an adult did i realise it was a rues (can't spell but its like a cunning plan) . You all have to lie down and the first to move is out.... how dumb was i to think that was a great game!

  2. I'll be racking my brain but for now I'm totally gonna steal your idea for the K bug.

  3. haha... I think I will have to play "dead lions" with my kids :)
    My kids have tons of playdough, but they love when we make it ourselves. You can find tons of recipes for it online and it's really easy. If you want it to be educational you can work on the alphabet. Give them a letter to make with the playdough then have them make something that begins with that letter. Fun, easy to clean up, and can be educational.
    I also like to give them popsicles and send them off to the backyard. That gives me about 10 minutes to breathe.

  4. Good idea! My kids are a little old for the play with money ruse though.

    And to your commenter: Play dough is the bane of my existence. HOW is play dough easy to clean up? I dread when the kids pull the play dough out!!!

    But popsicles: YES! I buy the low cal/low sugar ones so I don't have to feel guilty about letting them have them multiple times a day. I will dole out popsicles in exchange for 1/2 an hour of kids who agree to go outside and not come back in to tattle or anything until the 1/2 hour is up.

  5. When you make it yourself it doesn't stink the way the stuff you buy does. And it's nothing that a sponge can't wipe up or a broom sweep up. So easy!

  6. Fingerpaint with pudding in the bathtub.

    Anything with water. Water the plants with a squirt gun.

  7. Hi,
    Megan here - lurker from Ontario. I am a nanny and also a 1:1 support worker for kids with special needs at day camps... ideas off the top of my head:

    get a big roll of craft paper and tape it to a table (outside if possible) paint or decorate with markers and stickers have the girls do it together if they can handle it or split the paper in half and get them each to do their own section

    -set up obstacle courses... help them at first and then encourage them to set up their own... for each other or for Mom to do.

    -colouring and activity books or printables off the 'net. - one of my baby-sitting tricks is to get the child to make a picture for someone else, googling and printing a picture the person would like.. for some reason motivates kids more then colouring for it's own sake... if it's for people near by you can go on an adventure to deliver the pictures.
    scavenger hunts - either drawn or written list depending on if you have readers or not. Can just be stuff in the house and then a "prize" of a sticker.
    -picnics... let them set everything up, pick a wardrobe and then give them lunch on plastic plates at their picnic (inside on the kitchen floor works in bad weather)
    -games like red light/green light what time is it mr. wolf, I spy, hot or cold (hide something for them to find and then give clues of warmer/colder until they find it)
    -sidewalk chalk - if you have a driveway set up a roadway for trikes and ride on toys.

  8. We play lots of word games in the car. My particular favorite is "Word Train". We go around the car each saying a word that starts with the letter the last word ended with. For example, I start with a word like, STOP. The next person has to say a word that starts with the "P". POTATO. The next player would have to have a word starting with "O".

    When mine were the age of yours, we would have "Challenges". Daddy and the kids would await my "challenge"....for example. Daddy has to walk from one end of the room to the other carrying Aidan on his feet. They'd do that then I'd issue another challenge. Daddy and Aidan have to jump up and down twenty-two times on one foot with one hand on their head. Man! I had a lot of fun in those days. Craig was really a good sport, now I stop to think of it.

  9. Excellent ideas! Dead lion... thats great! I forgot I have a popsicle maker thingie in the back cabinet. I totally forgot about games like I spy, red light green light, hot/cold, we'll do those tomorrow! (Hi Megan!)
    I have an aversion to play doh- ugh, the stench of it! But I never tried making it, I will look that up. They both love anything with water, will try some of those too. Genea did obstacles at school and loved it will try it!
    Wow, I should have written this post last month. Great ideas- THANKS- and keep 'em coming!

  10. I had to climb a big hill to my aunt's house to get to where there is decent internet access, so here I am! Now, I am probably about 10 times as eager for school to start because my kids have been on summer vacation for about 10 years and in the fall, they're all going to school!!! Yesssssss!

    Bummer that we can't meet up at Denny's. I'm sure there will be many more trips to Green Bay, so we'll do it some day, oK?

    :) Jen


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