EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
a Dr. Seuss Tongue Twister Book
Of course, the best way to celebrate Dr. Seuss is to read
one of his books, out loud, together. If you are not familiar with his
tongue twisters you will be surprised by how much fun they are. The
first time I ever read, Oh Say, Can You Say?, I was,
literally, rolling on the floor laughing with tears rolling down my
cheeks. Your tongue definitely does get tied in knots and laughter
happens every time we read the book together. The illustrations are fun
for children and his nonsense, made-up words are terrific for young
readers who are learning to sound things out! As an extra bit of
celebration, you could wear a "cat in the hat" style hat while reading
or perhaps have a dessert of "beautiful scholpp with a cherry on top".
Date changes each
The Jewish feast of
Purim is great fun for children. This feast celebrates the decision of King Ahasuerus to save the Jews. The children make noisemakers which they twirl
to make drown out the name of Haman, the enemy to the Jews when the Book of
Esther is read. Celebrations for this holiday include face painting, sack
races, sponge throwing, costumes contests and carnival style games and
activities. Children sometimes wear crowns as part of their costumes.
Make a Purim
To make a Purim
rattle, decorate two heavyweight paper plates using felt pens, crayons or
glued pieces of construction or tissue paper. Place some dried beans in one
of the plates. Glue a paint stick or tongue depressor partially into one of
the plates. Glue the two plates together with the beans inside. Make holes
and tie ribbon streamers around the edges of the plates. When the glue is
completely dry, shake the rattle and it will make a great noise.
(Also National Pi Day--
Try a Science Experiment
rockets. Try different types. The simplest form of a rocket, and one that
most kids enjoy, consists of a half tablet of Alka-Seltzer™
which is placed in a small empty film container which is filled about
halfway with water. Cap the container lightly and shake it before setting it
down on the ground and running away. The container will shoot into the air
to the delight of all. (This is not a good activity for young children,
unless an adult is placing the container and watching the child carefully.)
make or purchase sling-shot styles of rockets which can be made out of
Styrofoam™ or even
clothespins. They are operated with a rubber band used like a slingshot to
send the rocket flying.
If you have a tire pump, you launch empty plastic two liter soda
bottles as rockets. Try a search engine for
information if you need details.
There are various sizes
and styles of kits available at Hobby Stores that contain parts and
instructions for making and launching rockets.
Whatever kinds of rockets you use, tie the activity in with Einstein's
Birthday. There are many quotes by Einstein and they can be easily found
on-line and use for discussion. Our favorite is: "Imagination is more
important than knowledge."
Incredible Kid Day
Today has a perfect excuse to take a break from work of all kinds and
spend a little time playing. Blow bubbles. Tell stories. Take a walk
together and count all the birds you see or all the airplanes that fly
overhead while you are walking. Build something with blocks. Put a
jigsaw puzzle together. Play a board game. Have a tea part and include
dolls and stuffed animals at your table. Just play and listen to what
your child or children have to say.
Then celebrate with a favorite meal, a picnic, a dessert or
something else that is special.
Make up a ribbon that says, "I am one incredible kid" and
give it to your child.
Play Leprechaun Games and Celebrate with an Irish Dinner
Play hot potato by passing a potato around from one person to another
while Irish music is playing. (Any music will work, but Irish music adds
to the fun.) The person holding the potato when the music stops is
"out". The game continues until there is only one person left. The idea
is to pass the potato quickly so that you won't get caught holding it.
Use green paint or markers to write "Blarney Stone" on a
stone. Pass your Blarney Stone around. As each person gets they stone
they make an outlandish "Tall Tale" statement and then pass it to the
next person. (Kissing the stone is optional.)
Read Irish folk and Fairy Tales.
Play Irish music and dance a jig or try some step dancing.
Sing along with favorite Irish tunes like "Danny Boy", "When Irish Eyes
are Smiling" or "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen".
Decorate with green construction paper shamrocks. Fill a
pot with gold foil-covered chocolate coins and place your "Pot of Gold"
at the end of a rainbow. (Children can color a rainbow on a sheet of
When it comes to dinner. Think Irish and think green. Irish
stew with potatoes or corned beef and cabbage are standard, as is Irish
soda bread. Add green food coloring to drinks. Make some green Jell-O™
or green pistachio pudding. If you have a
shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, make some cookies and decorate them with
IRISH FUN WITH FOOD!
Tie three green lollipops together to
make a shamrock.
Johnny Appleseed Day
Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees that provided many
apples that people enjoyed years after he planted the seeds. In his honor
enjoy a treat of an apple and plant something for your family to enjoy.
Sweet potatoes are a very satisfying plant
for children to grow. They usually grown quickly, get very large and require
very little care.
Place several sturdy, round toothpicks around the "waist" of
a sweet potato and use them to balance the potato in a jar of water so that
half of the potato is in the water and half is above the water. For a quick
start, you can sit it in a closet or dark place for a day or two. Just keep
water in the jar and watch it grow. We have had several try to take over our
entire kitchen after they filled up the window area. You can also wait until
a sweet potato begins to get sprouts and bury it in the dirt outside. Let it
grow, and in the fall, you can harvest sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving
Build Something Using Wood
This could be as
simple as playing with wooden blocks or scrap pieces of wood. You could make
a simple wooden boat by gluing or nailing scrap pieces of wood together.
Make a birdhouse, a
cutting board, a trivet with a ceramic tile on top or a wooden scrapbook
cover. Vary the project with the age and ability of the child involved. Use
as many tools as possible and let older children carefully use power tools
with supervision. Include using sandpaper and staining or painting the
finished project if possible.
Big Bird's Birthday
Make a birdfeeder
A very simple birdfeeder can be made by turning an empty
plastic two-liter soda bottle upside down and cutting some holes in it. Run
some wooden dowels through holes on opposite sides of the bottle to make
perches. Fill the bottle with birdseed, cap it and hang it outdoors. You can
also string popcorn and berries and hang it in trees.
The Ultimate Collection of
Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
by Kas Winters
Over 5,000 ideas for tots through teens
and worth its weight in
Kids' Craft of the Month
Single Parents' Day
If you're a single parent, you probably deserve a special
treat of some kind. If childcare is available take advantage of it and
get out and do something just for you. It might be shopping, lunch or
dinner out, or just a walk in a park. If you need to be at home, find
some time for a cup of tea and a magazine or a book. Take a relaxing
bubble bath after the kids are in bed. Just sit and do nothing while
listening to music. Even if you just get 15 or 30 minutes all to
yourself, it can make a difference in your day.
National Sing Out Day
Sing in Rounds, Sing in Harmony, Sing in the Car
Sing kid's songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat and sing in rounds.
Sing oldies but goodies. Sing in Harmony. Sing folk songs. Sing your
favorite pop hits. Sing Broadway tunes. Sing together. Sing in the car
instead of listening to the radio or sing along with the radio. Just have
some fun and do it together.
Harry Houdini's Birthday
Learn a Magic Trick
Children love magic! Learn a card trick or get information on
how to do other simple magic tricks. There are plenty of books and websites
available with information. (As the mother of two magician sons, I'm sworn
to secrecy on "How did you do that?", but researching and reading is a great
activity for kids!)
Your Own Holiday Day
Create a Family Celebration
Of course you can come up with any theme for a
celebration that works for your family, but here are some ideas for a
Pirate Celebration. You could also use these ideas for a child's
Raft favor made from pretzel sticks held together with
powdered sugar and milk frosting. A Lifesaver™
and fish crackers are on
board. Use a gum drop to hold a toothpick with a sail nametag.
Snacks can include gold-foil covered chocolate coins,
crackers and fish gummies.
Kids can play in empty box boats. Pirate eye-patches can be made with
felt and ribbon. A sword can be a piece of cardboard covered with
aluminum foil. The top of a 2 liter plastic bottle can be used to make a
"hook" if you cover it with foil and shape the hook from a piece of
Pirate is made of clothing stuffed with
newspapers, a mask, glove, hook made as described above, scarf and mask.
Don't forget to talk like a pirate! Have fun
making a treasure hunt activity, and wearing newspaper pirate hats. You
might even read something about pirates to get a real story.