EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
April Fools Day
It's always amusing to me that my children and even grandchildren come
up with many of the same jokes I heard when I was their age. There is
something about humor that is perpetuated throughout generations. Have
each person tell a joke, read some out of a "good, clean joke book" or
try your hand at making up some of your own.
Have some silly fun with your family. Wake members up early and make it
seem like they've overslept. This can be especially fun this year
because April Fools' Day falls on a weekend. You can tell them they are
late for school. Or look at them strangely and ask what the funny rash
is on their face.
Serve tacos for breakfast and cereal for dinner. At dinner time, serve
dessert first and end with a salad. You can also mix and match your menu
and serve Chinese egg rolls with pizza, tamales and sauerkraut or some
other odd combination. Serve it on the bottom of a plate instead of the
Oh, and don't forget to giggle when they come back at you with an
April Fool's Day trick of their own. Keep it safe and never let tricks
get mean spirited or harmful. The idea is to have some fun.
Have children help with the preparations, especially making the sweet Charoset,
which is a paste made by mixing finely chopped apples, almonds, raisins
and cinnamon. It can all be done "to taste" with lots of grated or
chopped apples, a smaller amount of raisins and almonds and enough
cinnamon and a little sugar to make it sweet and flavorful. You can mix
everything in a food processor to make it more like a paste. Charoset
represents the sweet things in life.
If Passover is part of your family tradition, invite friends to join you
for a Seder meal. Children can help to set the
table, prepare the Seder plate and more. Get them involved, teach them
the meaning of each part of the ceremony. If this is not part of your
family tradition, you might take time to learn a little about Passover
and use what you discover to help you and your family understand a
tradition of others.
FOR A CHILD
The Boy Who Found Hashem
by Fangette Willett
International Children's Book Day
Read with a Friend
Read with a stuffed
toy or character from a story. Share a story with a teddy bear or read to
dolls. Use puppets to tell stories and make them more fun.
"Gertie Doll" (click for pattern) to go
with the book Gertie's Christmas Magic. (Click
for book information.)
Pamper Your Pet
(Real or imaginary)
Give your pet an extra treat, a new toy, more attention than usual, provide
a bath, a walk or whatever your pet enjoys most. If you pet is imaginary or
a stuffed animal, have a pet party, a teddy bear picnic or tea party. Give
it plenty of "pet hugs".
Make "Bear-Hugs" for friends
Make simple bears using felt, fabric, construction paper or craft foam.
Give these "Bear Hugs" to friends as a surprise for Hug-a-Friend Day.
For a special touch, put a bear in a can, add some Hershey's Kisses™
and a label that says, "Canned Love, Contents: Hugs and Kisses; Net Weight:
a Bushel and a Peck."
Click for Teddy Bear Books
Your Own Adventure
stuffed animals or draw your own polar bears and create a "north pole" area
that includes them. Place an old white sheet (Does anyone actually use
white sheets anymore?) on the floor for pretend snow. Use your
imagination if one is not available. Put on gloves and a ski cap and create
your own adventure of searching for the North Pole. Plant a flag when you
Get outdoors and enjoy nature.
Take a walk together. Great conversations
can happen when you are walking. Look for signs of spring. Kick a stone
while you are walking and see if you can kick the same stone throughout
the entire walk. Count the number of animals you see on your walk. Plant
something. Nurture it and watch it grow.
DO Something to Protect the
Talk to children about
recycling things like aluminum cans, papers etc. If you already do this,
discuss why it is a good idea and involve them in helping to do it.
Pick-up litter. (Do this safely and avoid anything that could be a
potential bio-hazard or sharp and dangerous.)
Make a point of turning off lights and electrical equipment that is not
Have Fun with April Showers
As long as there's no lightning, splash
in the puddles. Float boats in the puddles too. Make simple boats using
folded paper, float toy boats, float leaves, or make a boat from
aluminum foil. You can wear rain boots and a raincoat, or just go
barefoot if it's warm.
You can also play in the mud and make
villages, roads and more.
Take a walk in the rain with an umbrella.
Smell the rain. Watch to see if earthworms come out to play in the rain.
(They do around here.) Put an empty can outside and see how much rain
you can catch in it.
A rainy day can also be a great day to
play inside in a sheet tent.
Have a Raindrop Race
When raindrops are hitting a window, get a friend or parent to join you
in this game. You each choose a raindrop at the top of the window and
watch your drop as it moves to the bottom of the window. The first
raindrop to reach the bottom is the winner. Then choose another set of
raindrops and do it again.
Thomas Jefferson's Birthday
Try some Calligraphy and Read the Declaration of
Try some simple calligraphy with chisel-tipped felt markers
or, for older children try Speedball pens with bottled India Ink. If you can
get a feather quill pen, try that for fun, it will give kids a better idea
of the history of the Declaration of Independence. Write on plain
paper or sheets of parchment paper. Use your skill to make your own greeting
cards, place cards or even certificates of appreciation.
Read the Declaration of Independence. Discuss
what you have read. Do a little research and find out about Thomas
Jefferson. He was 33 years old when he wrote it.
Make a Flower Puppet
(Idea from Linda Brittain, author of several puppet
Start with a paper plate and a paper cup. Trace the top
of the cup onto the center of the paper plate. Cut the circle shape,
slightly smaller than the traced circle, in the middle of the
plate. Cut the plate so that is has petals all around. Color or paint
the plate and the cup. Draw eyes on the plate above the cut-out circle.
Cut the cup in half (vertically).
Trace the shape of the half cup twice onto a piece of
poster board or index card. Cut the shapes out and glue them to the cut
edges of each of the two pieces of the cup. Hold the cup together (with
the new pieces glued in place). Place the cup through the round hole in
the center of the plate. Tape the cup in place. Use it as a flower
puppet. Put your hand in the mouth, made of cups, to make your puppet
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
We no longer ship outside the US.
Kids' Craft of the Month
Tell a Story Day
Tell a Continuous Story
Make up a progressive story. One person starts the story and then stops
and the next person adds to the story and stops. Keep going until
everyone has had a turn or someone puts an end on the story. It's
Take story-telling one extra step. Use a puppet or puppets to tell the
story. Have a child or children add sound effects to the tale. Use a
doll or stuffed animal to tell the story. Have children draw their own
pictures of what the story is about. (Don't let them look at pictures in
the book.) Tell a story of your own.
more puppet information click here.
Play a Game of "Gossip"
Learn the value of listening and paying attention to what you
hear by playing the game of "Gossip". It takes several players--the more
people--the better the result. The first person whispers a sentence or two,
quickly, to the second person. The second person passes it on to the third
in the same manner. This continues to the last person in the game. The last
person states aloud what was heard. It's usually quite different from what
was said in the first place.
Encourage Young Writers Day
Let Your Words Take Flight
Write something about flying. Fill a single sheet of paper with a
short story or poem about birds, planes, rockets, bumblebees or an
imaginary flight. Once you have written it, fold you paper into a
paper airplane and send it flying around the room.
Make Your Own Book
Tell Tall Tales and Discuss Telling the Truth
Read some tall tales like the story of Paul Bunyon and Babe
the Blue Ox. Make up some exaggerated tales of your own for fun. Then
discuss what happens if "tall tales" are presented as truth, when they are
CHILD SAFETY IS IMPORTANT TO
A responsible adult should
supervise any child or children taking part in any of the activities
listed on this website in order to avoid potential dangers or
injuries. Their are no activities for children that are completely
safe. Children are experts at finding ways to get hurt that never
occur to adults. All activities should be supervised. The
author/publisher of this site does not assume any liability for
damage caused by injury sustained by conducting any of the projects
on this site. The adults who are working/playing with children are
the only ones who are able to discern whether a specific situation
is safe or appropriate for a specific child or children.