It's holidays -- Teachers have bid farewell to students, hoping their gleefully escaping charges don't forget everything they've learned during the school year. It's also the time of year when nervous parents take on the challenge of keeping their children physically busy and mentally active during the long holidays.
To help those efforts, the ideas offered will not only reinforce skills taught during the year, but also entertain students through the holidays. Hope parents and their children make the most of the lazy, hazy days!
• Teach kids to cook with the step-by-step lessons and recipes at Cooking With Kids from http://www.childrensrecipes.com/. The site also includes measurement reminders, safety tips, and suggestions for involving kids in the cooking process.
• Create musical instruments from materials found around the house. Need help? Enchanted Learning provides instructions for such Musical Instruments as a rattle, box guitar, maraca, and rain stick.
• Cool down by making Ice Cream in a Bag. The simple technique produces delicious ice cream in about 5 minutes. What ice cream varieties will you and your child concoct?
• Plan with your child a family activity day. Decide how much money to spend, and help your child research events and activities in your area and choose an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy. Remind your child to be sure to allow enough time for the activity, and to remember to include food in the day's plan. (Don't forget to bring a camera and take lots of pictures. Your child can mount and label each photo and create a family scrapbook of your special day. You might provide the questions below to help guide your child's thoughts as they plan this special day.
1. Describe the event or activity your family will attend.
2. Will everyone in the family enjoy this activity? Why do you think so?
3. What do you need to arrange ahead of time? Will you need to purchase tickets? Pack a lunch? Make reservations?
4. What supplies or materials will you need?
5. What costs will be involved?
• Kids rarely have the opportunity to design their own rooms to best suit their individual needs. Invite your child to devote some thought to ways to improve his or her living space. Explore with your child Kids' Room Decorating Ideas and Creative Kid's Rooms to find ways your child might individualize his or her room without spending a great deal of money. Then have the child draw the layout of their "new" room. The following questions might guide kids as they consider the possibilities:
1. Other than sleeping, what do you do most often in your room? Play games? Work on a computer? Listen to music? Do homework? Entertain guests?
2. What furniture or other items do you use most often? What do you use least often?
3. What kind of storage do you need? A dresser? A bookcase? A clothes hamper? A desk?
4. What do you like best about your room? What do you like least?
5. How do you want to change your room?
• Put old wallpaper and magazine scraps to good use by using them to create Recycled Paper Beads. This easy activity requires very few common materials and keeps kids very busy on rainy days. When they're finished, children can string their beads and give them as gifts or wear them for fun.