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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Supermarket Detective

Why is grocery shopping with kids such a nightmare? The problem is that it is SO boring. Here’s how you can turn your next shopping trip into a fun-filled activity:

 Tell your kids that they are going to be “supermarket detectives,” and it’s their job to find every letter of the alphabet in order somewhere in the store. Ask them to start out by looking for the letter “A,” then move on to the letter “B.” They can find the letters on signs, packages, and even on those annoying TV screens that bombard you with commercials while you’re shopping.

Once they complete the alphabet, have them start with the number 1 and repeat the search. What’s the largest number they can find before reaching the car? HINT: when looking for double or triple digit numbers, you can pull them out of numbers in a series. For example, if I’m looking for the number 132, I could call it on a product code like 7813265.

Believe it or not, by keeping kids busy with simple games like this, they can actually enjoy their time at the store.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Toy Change

Kids love toys, but they soon become bored with them.

Separate their toys into several large plastic tubs. Leave one of the tubs out where they can play with the contents, and then put the others away in a closet or the garage.

When boredom strikes, pull out one of the tubs that has been set aside for a few months.  Open it up and let the fun begin. It's like having a mini-Christmas. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Link It

If you’re on a road trip or are stuck in a waiting room and the kids are getting antsy, try playing Link It.  

Someone starts by saying a word such as, “feather.” The next person must come up with a word that starts with the last letter of that word, like, “rabbit.”

The next person might say, “tree,” and so on. You can make it more challenging by requiring the words to relate to each other. For example, if I say “banana,” the next player would have to say something like “apple,” or, “artichoke,” which are both things that you eat.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Does this Thing Work?

Is your vacuum on the fritz? Has your radio given up the ghost? If it can’t be fixed, don’t throw it out. Give your child a screwdriver and let her remove all of the screws and take it apart piece-by-piece (with it unplugged, of course.)

This is a wonderful way to teach your kids about the inner workings of household items. Make sure she knows that she is never to take things apart unless you give her permission.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Painting" with Water

Are your kids bored? Send them outside with a cup full of water and a paintbrush and ask them to paint a picture on the sidewalk or driveway.

If it's a hot day, paint in a shady spot so that the pictures won't dry up before they're finished.

Hand them a digital camera and let them photograph their masterpieces. Print the photos, and help them create a portfolio of their artwork in a photo album.