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Concentrated school children being occupied with a task

23 DIY Projects That Will Blow Your Kids

23 DIY Projects That Will Blow

Your Kids’ Minds

DIY yourself into the best parent ever.

 

1. Transform an old entertainment center into a kid’s

dream play kitchen.

01

 

 

2.Thrill your little Anna, Elsa, or Kristoff with a batch ofFrozen silly putty.

02

Learn how to make some here.

3.Turn travel into a blast with this portable Lego kit.

03

Check out the tutorial here.

4.Lego loving kids will flip over this wall storage, too.

04

I don’t know if everything is awesome, but this certainly is. Find the DIY here.

5.You know what else is awesome? This Lego table!

05

Learn how to make it here.

6.Is your kid a fan ofThe Little Mermaid? If so, their jaw will drop over this decoration.

06

Learn how to make a room look like it’s under the sea here.

7.Whip up some glow in the dark playdough.

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It’s all natural, too. Find the how-to here.

8.Turn a regular fan into an amazing rainbow one.

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Rainbow or not, your voice will still sound like Darth Vader. Find the how-to here.

 

9.Ediible playdough is pretty incredible, too.

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Find the tutorial here along with a link to a how-to for making ice cream playdough

10.This indoor baby swing is guaranteed to impress your toddler.

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Not feeling this ambitious? You can buy something similar here.

11.This airplane swing for the backyard will seriously impress little ones, too.

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Find out how to build one yourself here.

12.Older kids, meanwhile, will want this skateboard swing in their yard. Like, now.

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Why didn’t our parents think of this stuff? Learn how to DIY your own here.

13.Make this fluffy stuff so even California kids can experience a snowball fight this winter.

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15.Set up a robot building play station.

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Perfect for parties or an afternoon activity.

15.Confetti paint takes painting to the next level.

15

Find the how-to for this awesome paint here.

16.This pumpkin moon sand DIY is a total win this time of year.

16

Learn how to make it here.

17.Making a bucket’s worth of sand slime will win you some serious cool points, too.

17

Find the tutorial here.

18.Turn a regular bath into a super cool polka dot one.

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Don’t tell your kids, but there’s an educational component to this one, too. Learn more here.

19.If you build it, they will play.

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Epic backyard treehouse = winning childhood. Learn how to make one here.

20.Scrabble loving kids will go crazy for this outdoor word game.

20

Find the DIY here.

21.Kids will love this outdoor chalkboard, too.

21

Learn how to do this here.

22.Serving ice cream in bowls made out of chocolate? Yes, please.

22

It looks way harder than it is, thanks to this DIY using balloons.

23.Make this and your kids will think you’re a-maze-ing.

23

 

 

 

children-4

Jokes

Why was 6 afraid of 7?
A: Because 7, 8, 9.

Q: What musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
A: A tuba toothpaste.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Pizza.
Pizza who?
Pizza really great guy!

Q: What do you call cheese that’s not yours?
A: Nacho cheese!

Q: What do elves learn in school?
A: The elf-abet.

Q: Why did the boy bring a ladder to school?
A: He wanted to go to high school.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting, squawking parrot.
Interrupting, squawking parr-
SQUAWKKKKKKKKKKK!

Q: Where do pencils go for vacation?
A: Pencil-vania.

Q: Why did the girl smear peanut butter on the road?
A: To go with the traffic jam!

Q: Why do bananas have to put on sunscreen before they go to the beach?
A: Because they might peel!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Little old lady.
Little old lady who?
Wow, I didn’t know you could yodel!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in, it’s freezing out here!

After many years, a prisoner is finally released.
He runs around yelling, “I’m free! I’m free!”
A little kid walks up to him and says, “So what? I’m 4.”

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?
A: You put a little boogie in it.

Q: Which flower talks the most?
A: Tulips, of course, because they have two lips!

Q: A man arrived in a small town on Friday. He stayed for two days and left on Friday. How is this possible?
A: His horse’s name is Friday!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Cows go.
Cows go who?
No, silly. Cows go “moo!”

Q: What did 0 say to 8?
A: Nice belt!

Q: What did the mushroom say to the fungus?
A: You’re a fun guy [fungi].

Q: Why couldn’t the pony sing himself a lullaby?
A: He was a little hoarse.

 

den2-3

Building a Den

37 Quick Games to Play – (that require no special equipment!)

Wow!! Thanks very, very much to Trudy Haughland, who posted all these ideas! These games are all so short I decided they didn’t need their own individual pages. For most of these games you need no equipment – just players. Perfect for those 5-minute gaps between activities!

A.B.C. GUIDES – The first person says, “A Guide is. and adds a word beginning with A that describes what a Guide/Scout is (or should be). The next person repeats this and adds another word beginning with B. The third person repeats the A and B words and adds a word beginning with C. continue through the alphabet. Each time remembering the words that have gone before.

ADD TO IT – Sit or stand in a circle. One person makes an action, the next person repeats the action and adds one of her own. The third person does the first two actions and adds another of her own etc. When someone forgets an action the next person starts a new sequence off.

ALPHABET STORY – Make up a story with each word beginning with each letter of the alphabet (in the right order) e.g. ‘Anne Brown Came Down Every Friday..etc’ Share stories.

BLOWING IN THE WIND – Put markers round the room to show 8 points of the compass. Decide which is north and write ‘N’ on the marker; do not label the other markers. One person is chosen as the ‘Wind’ and the rest are ‘Yachts’. The ‘Wind’ calls out a direction and the ‘Yachts’ have to sail in the direction to which they are being blown i.e. in the OPPOSITE direction to the direction called out.

BOATING – Play this in pairs. 2 people sit on the floor with their legs straight and the soles of their feet touching. They lean forward and grasp hands. Keeping their legs as straight as possible. Each person then tries to pull the other person to her feet.

BUZZ! – Patrol sits in a circle. They start counting out loud in turn, but whenever a 2 occurs in a number, they just say ‘Buzz’ e.g. 14 = Ten Buzz, 24 = twenty buzz, etc. Later when any multiple of 4 occurs e.g. 8, player just say ‘2 times Buzz’. When you have mastered this, you could try adding “WHIZZ” for 5 and multiples of 5

CATCH THE HANKY – Play in pairs. One of each pair stands in a space with feet slightly apart, and holding a clean hanky, which they must wave about their head and change from hand to hand without moving their feet. The partner dodges about and tries to catch the hanky. They then change places.

CENTIPEDE – Everyone gets in a line on their hands and knees and links up by holding the ankles of the person in front. Try crawling together, then doing an obstacle course.

CREEPY CRAWLERS – All but one stand in a line with legs apart, either blindfolded or with their eyes shut. The one person then has to try to crawl through the legs of the others without touching.

DANGER MIMES – Each person takes it in turn to mime a danger in the home e.g. leaving a frying pan unattended, putting too many plugs into one socket, not wiping up a spill on the kitchen floor etc. The others have to guess the danger.

DROP IT – Play in pairs. Partners face each other. One holds an object in each had, outstretched at shoulder level and the suddenly drops one of the objects. The other person has to catch it before it touches the ground.

EAR AND NOSE – Group sits in circle. One person starts off the action by (gently!) pulling the ear or nose of the person next to her, who then does the same to the next person, etc. As soon as the first action is passed on, the first person starts another action e.g. stroking the cheek or pulling the hair. This carries on until someone laugh, smiles or makes any other sound. The person next to the culprit then starts off the actions.

ELEPHANT WALK – All but one get down on hands and knees, in a line, alternately in opposite directions, they then begin to sway forwards and backwards gently. The extra one then tries to crawl along the line without falling off.

FIND YOUR SHOE – Each person puts one shoe in the middle. In turn each person is then blindfolded, and has to find their won shoe, with instructions shouted out by the rest of the group.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU – Each person tells the rest of the group about themselves for 2 minutes e.g. their address, family, pets, school, hobbies, likes and dislikes etc. Then write each person’s name on a slip of a paper and fold. Everyone then picks one piece of paper and writes down as much as they can remember about the person named on the slip of paper.

GUESS THE STEPS – Everyone estimates how many heel-to-toe steps they will need to take to cross the room. then see who is nearest to their own estimate.

I WENT TO THE SHOPS – The first person starts by saying ‘I went to the shop and bought a toothbrush’ and mimes the action. The second person repeats this with the mime then adds another object and mimes it. The third person repeats the first two mimes and adds another and so on.

JAN-KEN-PON – Play this in pairs. 2 people face each other with hands behind them. Together they say ‘Jan-Ken-Pon’ which is Japanese for stone, paper or scissors. As they say it, they must bring one hand forward to represent either ‘stone’ (clenched fist), ‘paper’ (open palm) or ‘scissors’ (first two fingers out). Decide who is the winner – stone beats scissors (blunts them), scissors beat paper (cuts it) and paper beats stone (wraps it). 1 point for the winner each time.

LETTER CHALLENGE – One person calls out a letter and second person has 30 seconds to say as many words as they can think of, starting with that letter. Others keep count and check that no word is repeated. Second person then challenges the next person with another letter until everyone has had a go.

LETTER HUNT – Choose a letter from the alphabet. Each person has 3 minutes to find and bring back as many objects as possible beginning with the chosen letter. Score 2 points for any object that no one else has, 1 point for objects other have.

NAME SENTENCE – Think of a sentence using each letter of your full name as the first letter of each word. All the letters must be in the right order and your sentence must make sense.

NURSERY RHYME MIMES – Each person in turn mimes a nursery rhyme, and the others try to guess which one it is.

ONE LETTER STORY – Make up as long a story as possible with each word in the story beginning with the same letter e.g. ‘Goodness gracious gasped Gertie grinning gruesomely …’ See who can use the most words.

ONE-MINUTE WALK – Start at one end of the room and aim to reach the wall at the other end in exactly one minute. See who can time themselves the best.

RISING CIRCLES – The group sits in a circle, everyone cross-legged with their arms round each other’s shoulders. At a signal, they all try to stand up without breaking hold.

SAUSAGES – One person is the questioner. She asks each girl in turn a question. Whatever the question the answer must be ‘SAUSAGES’. The aim of the questioner is to get everyone out by making them laugh. The last person in becomes the next questioner.

SILENT K – Each person writes down as many words as they can that begin with a silent ‘K’. Give points for words that no one else has got.

SING A SONG – Pick a subject e.g. food, girls’ names, towns countries, etc. Each person in turn has to sing part of a song that mentions a town (or whatever your subject is). anyone who can’t drops out until the next round. The winner chooses the next subject.

SKINNING THE SNAKE – Everyone stands in a line, with legs apart. The right hand is passed between the legs and linked with the left hand of person behind. The person at the back starts to crawl through the legs of those in front, and the others follow, without letting go, until everyone is standing in a line.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – One person goes out and changes one aspect of her appearance. The others then have to identify what has been changed e.g. earring taken out pin turned upside down etc.

TEBAHPLA – Challenge each other to see who can say the alphabet backwards in the fastest time.

TELEMESSAGES – Each person in turn calls out a letter of the alphabet which everyone writes down, until you have at least 6 letters. Then each person makes up a ‘telemessage’ one word beginning with each of the letters in the order they were called out. The messages must make sense!

THUMBS UP – Without using your thumbs try some everyday tasks e.g. fastening a button, unfastening a badge, tying or bucking a shoe undoing a zipper etc.

TWO FEET, TWO HANDS – Play this in groups of 3. The challenge is for the group to get themselves from one end of the room to the other, with only one pair of hands and one pair of feet touching the floor.

TWO HANDS KIM – Each person puts a small object in each hand. All show them and everyone looks at them for one minute. Then close hands. Leader then asks questions to each person in turn e.g. “What has Jane got in her right hand?” or “Who had a pencil sharpener?”

WATCH MY LIPS – Try to say something without moving your lips and see if the others can tell what you are saying.

WORMS – Each person holds the waist of the person in front to form a ‘worm’. The first person then breaks free and tries to tag on to the back of the ‘worm’ while the rest try to prevent this.

 

Ideas for great sleepovers

39 Ideas for great sleepovers

39 “Overnight” Party Ideas To Help

You Throw The Best Sleepover Ever

1.Transform a room in to a cozy fort.

A

 

B

C

2. Or make these easy DIY pup tents.

D

3. These glitter balloons could provide a sparkling
sky for them to fall asleep to

E

Instructions HERE!

4.Gift guests matching pajamas…

F

5.…And setup a photo booth.

G

See more at Kara’s Party Ideas.

6. Get activities going with a balloon schedule which

“pops” on the hour revealing what’s on the agenda.

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Keep the kids counting down to their next adventure!

7.Set up eye mask customization stations.

 

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Instructions HERE.

8.PlayTwister with a messy twist!

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9.Or settle for musical manicures.

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Discover the party game HERE.

10.Personalize pillow cases.

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11.Make these simple ribbon wands.

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Add glow paint for an enlightening dance party!

12.And send them off to sleep with DIY

dreamcatchers.

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A great craft activity for older kiddos! Instructions HERE.

 

13. You can DIY these lanterns out of glow in the dark paint and mason jars.

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14…Or mix up some glow in the dark bubbles.

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Instructions at Growing a Jeweled Rose.

15.Go all out and make it a blacklight party.

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More ideas HERE!

16.Provide plenty of glow in the dark accessories and goodies.

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H

17. Wrap up Mad Libs and give guests their favors as they arrive

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18.Throw around a “toss and talk” ball.

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19.Learn to chalk hair like a pro.

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Instructions on Momfluential.

20. Teach guests to make their own flavored lipgloss.

 

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Coconut oil + Kool Aid.

21.Set up a mini spa.

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22.Let them make some natural facial masks for a night of healthy spa fun.

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Make sure to check with parents for possible allergies beforehand. Recipes HERE.

23.Or test their agility with a crepe paper maze.

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It’s like their own super spy laser maze! (Instructions HERE.)

 

24.The food possibilities are endless…

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25.You could serve pancake poppers as a midnight snack.

HH

Recipe HERE!

26.Set up a concession buffet for movie time.

LL

27. …Don’t forget to provide personal lap trays!

JJ

28.Set up a hot cocoa bar.

TT

29.And then you could make s’mores.

Y

30. …Or blow minds with cupcake fondue.

UU

More at Hoosier Homemade.

 31.These fuzzy slipper cookies are fun and easy.

II

Recipe HERE.

32.And definitely make a cake out of candy.

DD

DD

33.In the morning, set up a waffle bar.

J

More waffle bar ideas HERE.

34.Make fast-food perfect breakfast sandwiches using a muffin tin to bake your eggs.

PP

A genius hack for any day, really. Instructions (and recipe!) HERE.

35.Or go for individual cereal boxes with milk.

P

L

36. Bonus points if you send guests home with toothbrushes

I

37.Or a craft for the road.

R

38.So many activities can double as take-homes.

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39.And if nothing else, dollar store fuzzy slippers for all!

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kids-playing-board-games

37 Quick Games to Play

37 Quick Games to Play – (that require no special equipment!)

Wow!! Thanks very, very much to Trudy Haughland, who posted all these ideas! These games are all so short I decided they didn’t need their own individual pages. For most of these games you need no equipment – just players. Perfect for those 5-minute gaps between activities!

A.B.C. GUIDES – The first person says, “A Guide is. and adds a word beginning with A that describes what a Guide/Scout is (or should be). The next person repeats this and adds another word beginning with B. The third person repeats the A and B words and adds a word beginning with C. continue through the alphabet. Each time remembering the words that have gone before.

ADD TO IT – Sit or stand in a circle. One person makes an action, the next person repeats the action and adds one of her own. The third person does the first two actions and adds another of her own etc. When someone forgets an action the next person starts a new sequence off.

ALPHABET STORY – Make up a story with each word beginning with each letter of the alphabet (in the right order) e.g. ‘Anne Brown Came Down Every Friday..etc’ Share stories.

BLOWING IN THE WIND – Put markers round the room to show 8 points of the compass. Decide which is north and write ‘N’ on the marker; do not label the other markers. One person is chosen as the ‘Wind’ and the rest are ‘Yachts’. The ‘Wind’ calls out a direction and the ‘Yachts’ have to sail in the direction to which they are being blown i.e. in the OPPOSITE direction to the direction called out.

BOATING – Play this in pairs. 2 people sit on the floor with their legs straight and the soles of their feet touching. They lean forward and grasp hands. Keeping their legs as straight as possible. Each person then tries to pull the other person to her feet.

BUZZ! – Patrol sits in a circle. They start counting out loud in turn, but whenever a 2 occurs in a number, they just say ‘Buzz’ e.g. 14 = Ten Buzz, 24 = twenty buzz, etc. Later when any multiple of 4 occurs e.g. 8, player just say ‘2 times Buzz’. When you have mastered this, you could try adding “WHIZZ” for 5 and multiples of 5

CATCH THE HANKY – Play in pairs. One of each pair stands in a space with feet slightly apart, and holding a clean hanky, which they must wave about their head and change from hand to hand without moving their feet. The partner dodges about and tries to catch the hanky. They then change places.

CENTIPEDE – Everyone gets in a line on their hands and knees and links up by holding the ankles of the person in front. Try crawling together, then doing an obstacle course.

CREEPY CRAWLERS – All but one stand in a line with legs apart, either blindfolded or with their eyes shut. The one person then has to try to crawl through the legs of the others without touching.

DANGER MIMES – Each person takes it in turn to mime a danger in the home e.g. leaving a frying pan unattended, putting too many plugs into one socket, not wiping up a spill on the kitchen floor etc. The others have to guess the danger.

DROP IT – Play in pairs. Partners face each other. One holds an object in each had, outstretched at shoulder level and the suddenly drops one of the objects. The other person has to catch it before it touches the ground.

EAR AND NOSE – Group sits in circle. One person starts off the action by (gently!) pulling the ear or nose of the person next to her, who then does the same to the next person, etc. As soon as the first action is passed on, the first person starts another action e.g. stroking the cheek or pulling the hair. This carries on until someone laugh, smiles or makes any other sound. The person next to the culprit then starts off the actions.

ELEPHANT WALK – All but one get down on hands and knees, in a line, alternately in opposite directions, they then begin to sway forwards and backwards gently. The extra one then tries to crawl along the line without falling off.

FIND YOUR SHOE – Each person puts one shoe in the middle. In turn each person is then blindfolded, and has to find their won shoe, with instructions shouted out by the rest of the group.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU – Each person tells the rest of the group about themselves for 2 minutes e.g. their address, family, pets, school, hobbies, likes and dislikes etc. Then write each person’s name on a slip of a paper and fold. Everyone then picks one piece of paper and writes down as much as they can remember about the person named on the slip of paper.

GUESS THE STEPS – Everyone estimates how many heel-to-toe steps they will need to take to cross the room. then see who is nearest to their own estimate.

I WENT TO THE SHOPS – The first person starts by saying ‘I went to the shop and bought a toothbrush’ and mimes the action. The second person repeats this with the mime then adds another object and mimes it. The third person repeats the first two mimes and adds another and so on.

JAN-KEN-PON – Play this in pairs. 2 people face each other with hands behind them. Together they say ‘Jan-Ken-Pon’ which is Japanese for stone, paper or scissors. As they say it, they must bring one hand forward to represent either ‘stone’ (clenched fist), ‘paper’ (open palm) or ‘scissors’ (first two fingers out). Decide who is the winner – stone beats scissors (blunts them), scissors beat paper (cuts it) and paper beats stone (wraps it). 1 point for the winner each time.

LETTER CHALLENGE – One person calls out a letter and second person has 30 seconds to say as many words as they can think of, starting with that letter. Others keep count and check that no word is repeated. Second person then challenges the next person with another letter until everyone has had a go.

LETTER HUNT – Choose a letter from the alphabet. Each person has 3 minutes to find and bring back as many objects as possible beginning with the chosen letter. Score 2 points for any object that no one else has, 1 point for objects other have.

NAME SENTENCE – Think of a sentence using each letter of your full name as the first letter of each word. All the letters must be in the right order and your sentence must make sense.

NURSERY RHYME MIMES – Each person in turn mimes a nursery rhyme, and the others try to guess which one it is.

ONE LETTER STORY – Make up as long a story as possible with each word in the story beginning with the same letter e.g. ‘Goodness gracious gasped Gertie grinning gruesomely …’ See who can use the most words.

ONE-MINUTE WALK – Start at one end of the room and aim to reach the wall at the other end in exactly one minute. See who can time themselves the best.

RISING CIRCLES – The group sits in a circle, everyone cross-legged with their arms round each other’s shoulders. At a signal, they all try to stand up without breaking hold.

SAUSAGES – One person is the questioner. She asks each girl in turn a question. Whatever the question the answer must be ‘SAUSAGES’. The aim of the questioner is to get everyone out by making them laugh. The last person in becomes the next questioner.

SILENT K – Each person writes down as many words as they can that begin with a silent ‘K’. Give points for words that no one else has got.

SING A SONG – Pick a subject e.g. food, girls’ names, towns countries, etc. Each person in turn has to sing part of a song that mentions a town (or whatever your subject is). anyone who can’t drops out until the next round. The winner chooses the next subject.

SKINNING THE SNAKE – Everyone stands in a line, with legs apart. The right hand is passed between the legs and linked with the left hand of person behind. The person at the back starts to crawl through the legs of those in front, and the others follow, without letting go, until everyone is standing in a line.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – One person goes out and changes one aspect of her appearance. The others then have to identify what has been changed e.g. earring taken out pin turned upside down etc.

TEBAHPLA – Challenge each other to see who can say the alphabet backwards in the fastest time.

TELEMESSAGES – Each person in turn calls out a letter of the alphabet which everyone writes down, until you have at least 6 letters. Then each person makes up a ‘telemessage’ one word beginning with each of the letters in the order they were called out. The messages must make sense!

THUMBS UP – Without using your thumbs try some everyday tasks e.g. fastening a button, unfastening a badge, tying or bucking a shoe undoing a zipper etc.

TWO FEET, TWO HANDS – Play this in groups of 3. The challenge is for the group to get themselves from one end of the room to the other, with only one pair of hands and one pair of feet touching the floor.

TWO HANDS KIM – Each person puts a small object in each hand. All show them and everyone looks at them for one minute. Then close hands. Leader then asks questions to each person in turn e.g. “What has Jane got in her right hand?” or “Who had a pencil sharpener?”

WATCH MY LIPS – Try to say something without moving your lips and see if the others can tell what you are saying.

WORMS – Each person holds the waist of the person in front to form a ‘worm’. The first person then breaks free and tries to tag on to the back of the ‘worm’ while the rest try to prevent this.

 

Rugby Frisbee Rules

Rugby Frisbee Rules

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Photo credit: Rommi Saar (source)

Ultimate Frisbee is now known in many countries simply as the less-catchy “Ultimate” due to the fact that Frisbee is a registered trademark. It is a fast-paced sport with similarities to netball, football (soccer) and American Football. Played by around five million people in the US and with leagues in the UK and other European countries, Ultimate is a far cry from the humble origins of the Frisbee.

As with many inventions there are multiple reported variations on how Frisbees came to be, but the commonly agreed version is that it comes from the Frisbie Baking Company, whose empty metal pie tins were thrown by college students in the 1920s. Subsequently, in 1948, Walter Morrison invented a plastic version with improved aero-dynamics, and then followed the Pluto Platter.

Ultimate was created in 1967 by students at Columbia High School and in 1979 the Ultimate Players Association, now USA Ultimate, was formed. The sport has grown from its early years as a relaxed sport played for fun and increasingly attracts better athletes and is played more competitively.

Object Of The Game

The object of Ultimate is to pass the flying disc to a player in the endzone of the pitch and in so doing a goal is scored. As in rugby and American Football the ends – the last 18m in this case – of the pitch are the scoring zones. The winner is usually decided by whichever team is first to score a specified number of goals or whichever team scores the most goals in a given timeframe.

Players & Equipment

One of the beauties of the sport is that very little equipment is needed, with an inexpensive disc and an open space sufficient for a rudimentary game. Ultimate is contested between two sides of seven players with substitutions permitted and so with a disc, seven bibs and a field you’re away!

The pitch is 100m long with the endzones, as said, 18m deep at either end. It is 37m across and a regulation disc is 10.75 inches in diameter and weighs 175g.

Scoring

Points are scored by getting the disc to one of your players in the end zone by passing it through the air. That’s the only way to score, making the game a very simple one to understand and play.

Winning The Game

Games are usually played as the first side to reach 15 or sometimes 17 goals, although any number can be agreed between the teams. Sometimes games are played over two 15 minute periods with a five minute half-time break. In these games the side with the most goals at the end is deemed the winner.

 

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Storytelling tips

Storytelling tips

 

Children of all ages love stories, and being read aloud to can be a special treat,

particularly for older age groups. We hope the following storytelling tips will help you

and the children to get as much out of the experience as possible.

 

PRE-EVENT PREPARATION

 

Selecting books to read aloud

Try and ensure that the stories and activities you have planned are appropriate for

the age group you will be reading to (for example, picture books with limited text are

likely to appeal to children between 4 and 7, stories with short chapters to 6 to 8

year-olds, ‘choose your own adventure’ work with 9 to 11 year-olds). A list of tried

and tested books for reading aloud can be found at the end of this document for

inspiration, but feel free to find your own.

The most important thing to remember is that enthusiasm counts for more than

experience.

 

Practice makes perfect

Make sure that the stories you choose are ones you yourself like and will enjoy

reading. Also be sure they are good stories to read aloud. It is essential to

practice reading any books you intend to use aloud a few times in advance

of the session. This will make your reading voice more confident and improve

the children’s experience of being read to.

 

Try them out several times on your own first – how do they read? Imagine the

characters, their intonations and so on. If you feel you need to differentiate

between the voices of different characters, you need not change the accent or

pitch of your voice, but instead might want to talk more hesitantly for a timid

character, more confidently for a hero, and so on. You could try to think about

yourself telling a favourite anecdote to your friends, and apply that style to the

stories you’re reading. Practising on friends, colleagues or younger relations will

provide you with valuable feedback.

 

Once you start to gain your confidence in front of children, try a bit of dramatic

acting – if there’s a scary moment, try gasping and looking frightened – children

will think it’s funny if you look more frightened than they are. You could also use

silly voices for different characters (kids will love it) or change the tone of your

voice (shouting, whispering, singing) wherever relevant. This really keeps the

children’s attention and should be more fun for you!

 

As you practice reading, look for parts of the story that children can join in with –

for example, repetitive phrases such as “There’s a shark in the park!” or “I don’t

like peas!” Also, look out for themes you can ask questions about – for example

“Who’s seen a shark?” “What’s your favourite thing in the park?” and “What food

don’t you like?” (More suggestions can be found in the ‘START STORYTELLING’

section below).

 

If you have a long story and some sections seem

unnecessary, it’s fine to skip them, but decide

exactly what you’re missing out in advance. Try and

find stories that are no more than five or ten

minutes long, to keep children’s attention. It is

easier to read three stories of five minutes each,

than one of fifteen minutes.

 

ON THE DAY: SETTING THE SCENE

Make sure that there are as few as possible distractions around you – if inside,

sit in front of a wall rather than an interesting bookshelf or a window, if outside,

find a spot on the grass away from fountains, picnic benches or similar if possible.

Place your chair on a level slightly above that of your audience and make eye

contact with everyone. You should be able to see all the children from where you

are sitting or standing. Move them around if necessary – ask the teachers if there

are any particularly disruptive children, and sit in the front row so you can keep an

eye on them. Paying them attention before you begin the story can help them to

feel less like they need to compete with you for attention during it.

 

It is important to let children know whether and how they are expected to interact

with your story. Some storytellers like to have complete silence before they

begin, so that the children are concentrating and focused on the story and the

person reading it. For small children, you can encourage them to be quiet by

using imaginative props – for example, a little bell can be effective. Say that

before you begin, you’d like everyone to be able to hear the story, so you’re going

to try a “quiet spell”. Get children’s attention and cooperation by saying that

everyone needs to concentrate for the magic to work, and once you have relative

silence, ring the bell and begin the story.

 

Alternatively, if you prefer the children to feel relaxed, or you have a very quiet

group, you can begin the session by letting them make some noise! This will

help children to feel less shy and more confident about speaking up with

questions and comments later in the session. A great opener is to introduce

yourself by name, then ask the children to shout “Hello James!” (or whatever your

name is). Afterwards, tell them you think they can do better, and get them to try

again, louder this time. If you’re feeling very brave, you could try telling them that

you have incredible hearing, and that they should all shout their name at once –

count them in; one…two… three…. and prepare to be deafened!

 

START STORYTELLING!

Generally speaking, the more interactive you make the session, the more children

will enjoy it. They will love being given the chance to speak out, and this will also help

keep their attention focused. Be as expressive as possible – if you’re having fun,

the children will too!

 

Don’t feel that you have to stick purely to the text on each page. Talk about the

pictures, what they can see (take time to hold the book up for everyone to look), what

they think is going to happen on the next page and so on before you read them the

actual text. You’ll find this very easy once you get started. For example, when

reading Marvin Wanted More by Joseph Theobald (ages 4 to 8), you could try asking

children what their favourite foods are, if they’ve ever eaten so much they felt sick,

and if they can name some of the famous landmarks that appear as Marvin

regurgitates the world!

 

Sound effects, actions and repetition

Farmyard or jungle stories are an obvious opportunity for sound effects – ask

children to make the noises of each animal as they appear in the story. Other good

sound effects to demonstrate for children before asking them to help are the wind

(whistling and blowing), somebody or something running (stamping of feet), sudden

loud noises (hand clap or shout “bang!”), aliens (high pitched beeps and gurgles) or

cars (brrrm brrrm sounds) – use your imagination or even any props you might have

available.

 

Some good books that encourage sound effects include:

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (ages 4 to 6). As a small child receives various boxes

of potential pets from the zoo, children can make the noise (and action) of each

unsuitable offering as you lift the flaps. After trying out all the jungle animal noises,

see if children can guess the pet that will be kept at the end of the story, and let you

know just by making the animal’s noise. You can also ask children what their ideal

pet would be, or ask them to draw a picture of it (if resources are available).

 

Books that have actions that children can join in with include:

There’s a Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt (ages 4 to 7). Jonathon Pope goes

to the park with his new telescope but each time he looks through it he thinks he can

spot a shark. Repeated throughout the book is the line “He looked left, he looked

right, he looked up, he looked down, and he looked all around…” accompanied by

pictures of Jonathon doing just that. Get the children to make their own telescope by

forming their hands into a tube they can look through, and off they go! (It helps if you

do the actions too so they have something to follow.)

A lot of books for younger children contain repetition. Children will love being asked

to join in with these phrases, especially if they’re told to shout them as loud as they

can! Books that work well for children aged 4 to 8 include:

 

Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray. Daisy’s mum promises no end of rewards if Daisy

will just eat the last few peas on her plate. Get the children to pretend to be Daisy as

she dismisses each bribe with a cry of “I don’t like peas!” You can also ask children

what their favourite dinner would be, or ask them to draw a picture of it if resources

are available – this works really well on a paper plate!

 

Good News, Bad News by Colin McNaughton. As a young boy’s day turns from

good to bad to worse, get the children to cheer and boo in response to each page’s

opening phrase “Good News” (hooray!) or “Bad News” (booo!). If the children really

enjoy this book, you can show them how to make up their own version of the story

called ‘Luckily/Unluckily’ afterwards. Begin with a first line like “One day, a little girl

called Ruby woke up and found a horse staring at her from the end of her bed.

Luckily, it looked like a very friendly horse…” before passing on the story to the next

person, who starts their line with the word ‘unluckily’ (for example, “Unluckily, the

horse seemed to be eating her school uniform!”). You can involve the whole group

(including teachers and other adults) or children might prefer to do this in smaller

groups of twos and threes.

 

Dirty Bertie and Pooh! Is That You, Bertie? by David

Roberts. Bertie has a lot of nasty habits. Get the children

to join in with his family’s disgust as they repeatedly tell

him, “No Bertie, that’s dirty, Bertie!” or “Pooh! Is That

You Bertie?” Be aware that some adults may not

necessarily approve of the type of humour in these books

(but most children love them!)

 

Storytellers’ Top

Tip:

“…any books in which

the storyteller has to

do funny/rude noises

always go down well!”

 

Good books to read aloud

The following list includes a selection of titles that NYRP project coordinators have

recommended, the NYRP team have enjoyed reading aloud, or titles that are

recommended on the Great Books to Read Aloud website

Please note that all age ranges given are approximate – many children will enjoy hearing stories

for younger children (or extracts of stories for older children) read aloud.

 

Ages 5 to 8

Cinderboy Laurence Anholt

Revolting Rhymes Roald Dahl

Diary of a Killer Cat Anne Fine

Wonder Goal Michael Foreman

Eat Your Peas Kes Gray

The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr

Good News, Bad News; Goal! and Suddenly Colin McNaughton

Big Bad Raps Tony Mitton

The Worst Witch Jill Murphy

The Adventures of Captain Underpants Dav Pilkey

The World Came to My Place Today Jo Readman

Mixed Up Fairy Tales Hilary Robinson and Nick Sharratt

Squids Will Be Squids or The Stinky Cheese Man

and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

John Scieszka

Shark in the Park Nick Sharratt

Horrid Henry’s Big Bad Book Francesca Simon

The 100 Mile An Hour Dog Jeremy Strong

The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson

 

Ages 9 to 11

Awful End Philip Ardagh

Seriously Silly Stories collection (Cinderboy and

Rumply Crumply Stinky Pin are particular favourites)

Laurence Anholt

Cloudbusting Malorie Blackman

Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer

Millions Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Giggler Treatment Roddy Doyle

Aesop’s Funky Fables Vivian French and Korky Paul

Falcon’s Malteser, Granny and Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz

The Thief Lord Cornelia Funke

Thirteen Unexpected Tales Paul Jennings

The Killer Underpants Michael Lawrence

Wolf Brother Michelle Paver

Short and Shocking Maggie Pearson

Clockwork and I Was a Rat Phillip Pullman

Mortal Engines Philip Reeve

The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket

The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson

DIY Projects That Will Blow Your Kids

23 DIY Projects That Will Blow Your Kids

23 DIY Projects That Will Blow Your Kids’ Minds

DIY yourself into the best parent ever.

 1. Transform an old entertainment center into a kid’s dream play kitchen.

 

01

2.Thrill your little Anna, Elsa, or Kristoff with a batch ofFrozensilly putty

02

Learn how to make some here.

3.Turn travel into a blast with this portable Lego kit.

03

mamapapabubba.com

Check out the tutorial here.

4.Lego loving kids will flip over this wall storage, too.

04

I don’t know if everything is awesome, but this certainly is. Find the DIY here.

5.You know what else is awesome? This Lego table!

05

6.Is your kid a fan ofThe Little Mermaid? If so, their jaw will drop over this decoration.

06

Learn how to make a room look like it’s under the sea here

7.Whip up some glow in the dark playdough.

07

It’s all natural, too. Find the how-to here.
8.Turn a regular fan into an amazing rainbow one.

08

diyhomestips.com

Rainbow or not, your voice will still sound like Darth Vader. Find the how-to here.

9.Ediible playdough is pretty incredible, too.

09

smartschoolhouse.com

Find the tutorial here along with a link to a how-to for making ice cream playdough.

10.This indoor baby swing is guaranteed to impress your toddler.

10

babyecochic.com

Not feeling this ambitious? You can buy something similar here.

11.This airplane swing for the backyard will seriously impress little ones, too.

 

11

ana-white.com

Find out how to build one yourself here.

12.Older kids, meanwhile, will want this skateboard swing in their yard. Like, now.

12

Why didn’t our parents think of this stuff? Learn how to DIY your own here.

13.Make this fluffy stuff so even California kids can experience a snowball fight this winter.

13

playcreateexplore.org

Learn how to make it here

14.Set up a robot building play station.

14

pinterest.com

Perfect for parties or an afternoon activity.

15.Confetti paint takes painting to the next level.

15

learnplayimagine.com

Find the how-to for this awesome paint here.

16.This pumpkin moon sand DIY is a total win this time of year.

16

growingajeweledrose.com

Learn how to make it here.

17.Making a bucket’s worth of sand slime will win you some serious cool points, too.

17

blogger.com

Find the tutorial here.

18.Turn a regular bath into a super cool polka dot one.

18

playcreateexplore.org

Don’t tell your kids, but there’s an educational component to this one, too. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

travelingwith

Number Plates

Number Plates

What You Need:

  • Two or more people
  • A car trip

Instructions:

  1. When you are travelling in a car and getting bored, read the back of someone’s license plate and say all the letters out loud.
  2. You then make up the silliest sentence you can think of using those letters
  3. Everyone in the car gets a chance at creating the silliest sentence
  4. Once you’ve all had a turn, vote on the silliest sentence and they are the winner!
How to make your ladybird

How to make your ladybird

How to make your ladybird

  1. Carefully cut out one section from the egg box (an adult may need to do this as it is quite fiddly).
  2. Paint the whole thing red.
  3. Use black paint to paint the face and the spots. Top tip – a cotton bud is great for printing the spots all over the ladybirds body – just dip it in the paint and print.
  4. Add a smile using white paint and glue on some googly eyes.

Your child might come up with other ideas to transform your egg carton shapes – maybe they could become aliens, hedgehogs or several threaded together could make a wiggly snake? As ever let your children come up with their own ideas too.