If you are looking for a little entertainment some time, try asking your little ones to tell you how to cure hiccups or a cold. My 6 year old told me that if you eat peanut butter, it sticks to the hiccups and cures them. Who knew? Don't forget to write down their ideas for future fun. Then if that gets boring, try out the following activities. Some of the activities listed for C week work well with young preschoolers and some of them are better for older children. If you are beginning with a very young child, don't be afraid to teach them what a letter C is. They are learning the words for all kinds of objects, why not the letters too? Show them a C with sidewalk chalk or in the sand or maybe in their chocolate pudding or make a C out of mini-marshmallows. Before long, they will be able to recognize the letter and until then you will be having fun.
C Week Activities:
· Buy a bag of M&M's™ or Skittles™ and sort them into piles of different colors. Then go on a walk to look for the same colors in your neighborhood. If you see something brown, eat a brown M&M™, if you see something red eat a red one, and so forth. Don't worry about eating too many, the walking cancels out the calories.
· Clap some short, simple patterns and have the kids clap the patterns back to you. Then let them have a turn starting the pattern. Sing, "If You're Happy and You Know It" and clap on your head or your tummy or your knees.
· Talk about animals that camouflage themselves and why they do. Think of some of the animals that live in this area, like jackrabbits, grasshoppers, deer, and snakes, and talk about how they use camouflaging to hide. Maybe go on a safari to look for them. Then decide what clothes you would wear if you wanted to be camouflaged at the North Pole or in a jungle or here in the desert.
· Find a picture of an animal in a magazine; cut it out and paste it on a white sheet of paper. Then color the white part of the paper to camouflage the animal in the middle. You can do this with objects other than animals too (for example, my 8 year-old tried a picture of a checkered oven mitt and had a lot of fun camouflaging it).
· Read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Gather each of the foods that the caterpillar ate and eat a bite of each of them. Decide if you are as full as the caterpillar was. Why or why not? Now make your own edible caterpillars by slicing carrots, cucumbers and celery. Pour a little ranch dressing on a plate in a caterpillar shape and then arrange your vegetable pieces in the dressing. Mmmmm…edible caterpillars…enjoy your snack!
· Last of all, since you're out here where you can "see the stars", go out at night (even if it's past bedtime) and look for some constellations like the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and Orion. Teach them the word 'constellation' and impress Grandma. The book Find the Constellations, by H.A.Rey (the author of Curious George) is a good reference.