Twelve Days of Christmas- Continued

We have six more days in our song!

On the Seventh Day.....We have Seven Swans Swimming

It may be too cold to swim but your children can still pretend play with their small figures and toys. On a cookie sheet or tray, spray some shaving cream and ask them to spread it out on the tray, making a pool. Now have them pick some small figures and go swimming in the shaving cream! Create a whirlpool, drawing circles and other shapes in the shaving cream.

On the Eighth Day......We have Eight Maids Milking

Have your child help make a snack. Making pudding is an easy snack. Pour milk into the measuring cup and have your child pour it into the mixing bowl with the pudding powder. When the pudding is finished- have snack time or writ your name.

On the Ninth Day..... We have Nine Ladies Dancing

Dance, Dance Dance, Play freeze dance. Put on some music and dance around, when the music stops you have to freeze! Anyone that is still moving has to sit. Keep going until there is only one person standing. Then get up and dance again!

On the Tenth Day....We have Ten Lords Leaping

Hop, Jump, and Leap through an obstacle course. Hop on one foot for five feet, then jump in and out of hoops or over a jump rope. Now leap over pillows or blocks. Have a relay race through your obstacle course.

On the Eleventh Day... We have Eleven Pipers Piping

Make some music!! Gather as many household items as you can and see what makes music and what doesn't. You can shake a box of rice or macaroni, clap together two empty bottles, or tap a spoon against a plastic cup. March around and have a musical parade!

On the Twelfth Day...... We have Twelve Drummers Drumming

Keep those household musical instruments out! Now drum on whatever you find. Which is louder, drumming with a spoon and pot or wooden spoon and box? Try to copy rhythms, you bang one..two..three. Can your child copy the exact sound?

Twelve Days of Christmas

On the First day...... You have a partridge in a pear tree....

Leaf prints are a fun way to end the fall season. Collect some of those last leaves on the ground before the snow comes or in the warmer weather just grab some off the tree. Place them under a sheet of white computer paper, now with the side of a crayon rub over the leaves until you can see the leaves appear on the white paper. The more pressure applied on the crayon the darker the leaf will be.

On the Second day.... You have two turtle doves.....

Bird Seed project- Make reindeer food! Have your children scoop some bird seed and glitter into a zip loc bag. On Christmas Eve sprinkle your "reindeer food" outside so the reindeer can find your house!

On the Third day... You have three French Hens...

Animal Walks- How far across the room, can you walk like a hen? a bear? a crab? Have animal walk relay races as part of your group session or around your house.

On the Fourth day... You have four Calling Birds...

Play a game of telephone. Someone starts with a message and whispers it in the ear of the person next to them, and so on down the line. When the last person hears the message, they then have to say it out loud. How different is the message from the original?

On the Fifth day... You have five Golden Rings...

Hula Hoop activities- tie two hula hoops together with string and loop one around a basketball net, Now you have three "baskets" instead of one. Keep score as you shoot. Scoring in the hula hoops will be easier then the basket so make sure they aren't worth as many points!

On the Sixth day.. You have six Geese a laying...

Duck Duck Goose! An old time favorite. Have your children sit in a circle. One person is "It" and gets to walk around, tapping each child, saying "duck" "duck" or "Goose". When you say "Goose" that child gets up and runs around to try and catch the child up already before they get to their space in the circle.

Simple and fun messy play!

Cornstarch and Water:

On a tray or in a shallow bowl, pour approximately one cup of cornstarch, add water and mix. The consistency will be smooth and slippery. Move around the mixture, draw or roll a car through it. Can you move your fingers fast enough to make a full circle before it moves back together again. Place a few boxes of cornstarch and some water into a large under the bed box and have your children walk on it. Watch this great video, as Ellen Degeneres learned about cornstarch magic!! (Link to Ellen on youtube)

Gelatin Painting

This one is a little more involved and will need more time to set up but still messy and fun. In a large container unroll and rip 6 rolls of toilet paper ( let your children rip the toilet paper, great fine motor activity) Pour water until it is wet. Grate the soap on top and mix Now stir in 1 1/2 cups of Borax into mixture. The mixture will become fluffy.

Product Highlight: My Sandbox

This portable, high quality, hardwood box comes with sand, tools and lid to keep it all contained. The clear plexiglass bottom allows the colorful lid or other art to be placed on the bottom. A fun, tactile way to reinforce letters, shapes, numbers. Item # T1151

Summer is Near the End, School is Just Around the Bend

As the summer ends, some of us are excited and some not so much, but another school year is already here!

There are so many things to do to get ready for school and so many things your child can help with. Getting them involved with the packing and planning, gives them some control and hopefully alittle excited about starting a new school year.

As you are receive school supply lists from teachers, have you child make his own list. Break out those pencils and paper and ask them to copy the list (making their own shopping list) and add to it other items they think they'll need. School probably won't list items like: a new "cool" lunch bag and matching backpack, Sneakers with extra long laces for easier and faster tying. (Or this may be the "perfect" time to teach shoe-tying! ( Jude's Shoe box makes it quick and easier to learn! M7029 $12.95). Also discuss if duplicates are needed of any item. One for school, and one for home use.

While shopping continue to give them as many choices as possible. No, they can't pick the most expensive items. If appropriate, give them a budget either for all the items on the list, what they added to the list, or item by item as you shop. If it's within budget, do you really care which super hero is pictured? When shopping or once you purchase all their supplies, ask your child to go through and carefully check items off their list. Do they have everything? What is missing? Now ask them to organize all the supplies. What goes to school, what stays for use during homework? (Use caution when discussing the dreaded "H" word!)

Can they write their name and the subjects on the folders and notebooks? If needed they can copy words from a piece of paper you write on. (Great practice for copying from the board!) They can also draw a picture for each subject. Maybe flowers for science; a book for reading; part of the alphabet for spellling... Can they put pencils in the cases and organize their book-bag?

Are you buying new school clothes? Have your children help take off the tags and put them in the wash. Will it fill a laundry basket? Have them carry or push the basket through the house to the washing machine and dump it in. Time to dry, then fold, they can help with that too!.
All of these tasks are so much easier to do yourself but letting your child do it will promote confidence, independence and hopefully get them excited to start the new school year!

What Can We Do With Water?

Here are some fun and "cool" activities to try!

Fill a bucket of water and get some old paintbrushes. Give each child a paintbrush and ask them to paint the outdoor furniture, playgorund equipment or the side of your house. They will be working those little muscles from their fingers all the way up to their shoulders and cleaning at the same time!

Water relay races: You will need 2 buckets and some sponges. Set up one bucket filled with water and an empty one a few feet away. Dip your sponge and run to the empty bucket, squeeze the water out into the empty bucket. How many times do you have to run back and forth? Set up relays, Who can fill the bucket faster?

Water Cup Relay: You will need 2 plastic cups, with holes in the bottom and 2 buckets; 1 empty and 1 filled with water. Fill the cup and run for it. How much water is in the cup to dump into your empty bucket? How fast can you run?

Avoiding "Are We There Yet?"

Are you going on any long car trips, train rides, or an airplane ride? Here are some fun and easy to bring along games to keep your children busy.

Freestyler Sketcher: The next generation from the Etch a Sketch people! Use the joystick like control knob to draw curves, squiggles, circles and even letters. As always, just shake to erase and start your next masterpiece. U7623

Water Magic- Take Along: Paint anywhere, anytime! Simply wet one of the brushes and start your masterpiece. Wait a few minutes and it disappears...just like magic. Self-contained for easy, take-along-travel fun. 12" by 12" book converts easily to an easel shape for vertical presentation of drawing surface. Fun, non-threatening way to practice formation of shapes, letters and numbers. Item # W5165

Wikki Stix Activity: Set: Comes with 84 short colored wikki stixs and a firm, durable, reusable playboard to work your wikki's on. Board can also be used as a write - wipe surface. You can draw a design, then outline it in wikki's (sorry-pens not included). Playboard is also great for working in a vertical plane, and also when no surface is available (i.e. travel, bed). R3004