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Monday, March 22, 2010

What Do You Have Planned For Today?

You, like so many other parents out there may be asking yourself "what should we do today?" Having a 3 and 5 year old that question has been entering my mind with regular frequency these days. I want to make sure that they are not only entertained but being intellectually and physically stimulated while feeling productive. Sound like a tall order? Here are some suggestions I have for a summer packed with fun, free (or very cheap) kids’ activities that will have you shining like the star parent you are!

1. Buy a book about birds and get outside to try and find them for yourself. This is a great way to get outside and to keep the children focused on an activity with the goal of finding a certain type of bird in mind.
2. Play cards. Buy cards designed for children and play the memory game, go fish and crazy eight’s. Both my girls love to play with the princess cards!
3. Do puzzles.
4. You hate to match socks after doing the laundry right? Well, dump them out and have your little one do it! They will have a blast!
5. Make cereal jewelry. Pour out doughnut shaped cereals such as Fruit Loops and Cheerios into a bowl and have your child separate them by color and then have them string the cereal into a necklace and/or bracelet.
6. Have a scavenger hunt. Choose some (15-20) items for them to look for like “find something red,” or “what does mommy use to start the car” etc.
7. Read a story and then cut and paste a collage from magazine photos that remind you of what you just read.
8. Let your little darlings draw activities out of a bag. Write a few of these ideas down on a scrap of paper and let them choose what they will be doing in this fun way!
9. Cook with the little tikes. Kids love measuring and stirring and then in the end you will have a delicious treat that you can all enjoy as a family! Choose an easy recipe from right here under the “recipes” tab. http://recipes.kiddingaroundintown.com/
10. Plant a garden of things that grow easily like peppers and tomatoes and them have your kids do all the maintenance like watering pulling weeds and picking the produce themselves.
11. Clean the house. My little ones love to clean with me! I give them a Swiffer with a shortened handle, a damp washcloth or a feather duster and they are off not to mention the house gets cleaned!
12. Don’t forget the public library! They have great free stuff all summer long for the kiddos to do including preschool film on certain days. You can find their activities on my web site or on theirs.
13. There are also many great, free web sites with games, worksheets you can print out, recipes you can make and many other fun and free activities geared towards children. Here are some of my favorites:
A. http://www.printactivities.com/ will allow you to print worksheets with the letters of the alphabet and the letters are big enough to color
B. if you are looking for a more comprehensive web site then this is awesome for reading, writing and counting and is absolutely free as well http://www.beginningreading.com/Free%20Workshe.htm
C. http://www.nickjr.com/ also has many things you can do for free like play games, print work sheets, browse through recipes that and kid friendly not only for simple cooking steps but also for eating
D. And there are many web sites where you can download children’s stories for free or inexpensively like http://www.storynory.com/ , http://www.lightupyourbrain.com/ or http://www.audible.com/

Enjoy your summer!