EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
Celebrate February Holidays!
Set up a lamp or
other bright light and place your hands between the light source and a plain
wall. Make hand shadows by placing your hands in various positions. Try
making your shadow animals move. Make vocal sound effects to go with them.
Let children stand in front of the light and watch their own shadow as they
move. Have a discussion about the idea that shadows aren't scary when you
know what is making them. (You can also talk about the groundhog, Punxsutawney
Phil, and the various folklore stories that connect his shadow with the
beginning of spring. Here in Arizona, we have a rattlesnake named Agua Fria
Freddy who looks for his shadow, but we know it will be hot soon whether he
sees it or not!)
Discuss Ways to
Stand-Up for Yourself
Research in the
library or on-line and get the story of Rosa Parks. Then discuss ways that
children can stand up for themselves in a positive way. This can range from
dealing with bullies to any other conflicts children might have in their
lives. You can also talk about how a simple action can have profound and
long-ranging effects just like the simple action that Rosa took made major
changes and helped many people.
National Weather Person's Day
Make a Rain Gauge
Celebrate the weather by making a rain gauge that is equivalent to those
used by the weather bureau. Use a tall, thin jar (like the type that
holds green olives). Place masking tape vertically on the side of the
bottle. Take a #10 tin can and fill it with 1 inch of water. Pour the
water in the the tall, thin bottle and mark 1" on the masking tape
at the top of the water. Measure the distance and use the same
measurement to mark 2", 3", 4" etc. on the masking tape. If you divide
each of the segments equally into 10ths, you will be able to measure the
rain in tenths of an inch.
Place the #10 tin can
outdoors, in a pail, that is a couple of feet off the ground in a
location where it will get rain. After the rain, pour the water from the
tin can into your bottle and measure it based on the markings on the
Anniversary of the Constitution
Read the Constitution of the United States of America
Read the Preamble and discuss it. Talk about the reasons, the risks, and
the incredible results associated with this history-changing document.
Over a period of time, you could read the entire Constitution and have a
series of discussions about the contents.
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Birthday
Read a Little House on the Prairie Story.
Most people are familiar with the television series based
on the author's books and watching a video of an episode is one way to
celebrate Laura's birthday. However, reading one of the stories together
(even over a period of days or weeks), is a terrific way to build
relationships, make some memories, and learn about history too.
Boy Scouts' Day
Do a Good Deed
Whether or not you have a child who is a Scout, it's always a good thing
to do a good dead. Teach children to be considerate and look out for the
needs of those around them. A good deed is something that is done to
help someone with no expectation of recognition or reward.
Make a Tooth-Brushing Chart
The best way to avoid having a toothache is to take good care of your
teeth. Encourage children to develop good dental habits by making a
chart where they can check off a box when then have brushed, and flossed
during the day. You can include other hygiene habits or foods to eat for
good health on the same chart.
Take a walk
with an umbrella
Even if it isn't
raining--or if, perhaps, it's snowing--just take a walk and take an umbrella
with you. Make it fun. Laugh and tell jokes along the way. Use your umbrella
to pretend you are a tightrope walker and are using it for balance. You
might pretend you are a "Southern Belle" with your umbrella. Close it and
use it as a cane to do a dance along the way. Of course if it IS
raining, you will be protected while you walk and splash in the puddles.
(However, if there is lightning, take the walk another time, for safety's
Fill an empty box
with "stuff" from which inventions can be made. Include pieces of wire, wood
scraps, drinking straws, string, push pins, safety pins, various nails,
screws and small pieces of hardware, tape, pipe cleaners, buttons, plastic
spoons and forks, paper plates and any other miscellaneous supplies you
might have. Then give a child the box and suggest that they might see what
they can invent using the materials provided.
Lincoln's Birthday Dinner
You can keep it
simple and just have children use Lincoln Logs™
and make a log cabin centerpiece for the table or you can include other
activities and make it a special and educational activity.
Serve a meal that Lincoln himself might have enjoyed. It could include items
such as turkey or chicken, boiled vegetables, stew, biscuits, cranberries,
pickled beets or apple pie.
If you have any decorations
such as an old-fashioned hurricane lamp, or other items, use them to
decorate the table.
Have children research interesting quotes
or facts about Abraham Lincoln and discuss them at the dinner table.
Click here for
and Toothpicks as a Building Set
Get a bag of
gumdrops. You can use small gumdrops or an assortment of large, small and
"orange slice", long thin, or funny-shaped gumdrops. Add a box of round
toothpicks (colored ones are fun) and see what a child can build using
gumdrops. (Monitor to make sure that only a few construction pieces
turn into snacks; and don't give toothpicks to very young children for
safety reasons.) Make buildings, bridges, animals or toys from gumdrops. Use them
as dinner favors to celebrate National Gumdrop day.
Random Acts of
Since it's not the
time of year for flowers to be growing in a garden outdoors in most places,
find creative ways to give a gift of flowers. Draw pictures of flowers. Cut
flower shapes out of construction paper and put them on pipe-cleaners stems
to make a sweet bouquet. Make flowers out of clay or salt dough. Give
someone a package of flower seeds with a promise to plant and care for them
when the season is best for planting.
Year of the Water
Make a Chinese
with a piece of 12" x 9" construction paper. Use a ruler to mark 1/2" spaces
along the 12" side of the paper. Fold the paper in half. From the folded
edge, at each 1/2" marl. make a cut up to 1" from the open edge. Open the
paper. Glue the 9" sides together to form a lantern. Attach a strip of
colored paper to make a handle. Hang lanterns from a string or sit them on a
table. Have a snack of fortune cookies.
Kids' Craft of the Month
For more family activities and winter fun, check out Kas
Winter Fun for Families.
Biography of a President or Choose Either the Washington or Lincoln Birthday
Suggestions on this Page.
Date Varies each
Make Mardi Gras
Use poster board, a
paper plate or a plain half mask as a base. Decorate the mask with paint,
markers, crayons, feathers, beads, stickers, felt pieces, fabric scraps,
silk flowers, ribbon, sequins, beads, glitter or bangles. Attach a wooden
stick or a drinking straw to one edge of the mask to make a handle to hold
it or attach ribbons or an elastic band to wear the mask.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Creole-style dinner or pancakes and wear masks
at the table.
If this is a day
that your family observes, go to church together and spend some time talking
about the purpose of Lent.
ready-made graham cracker crust tart shells. Fill them with canned cherry
pie filling and top with whipped cream.
Even though the story of the cherry tree is a legend only, it makes a point
about the character of George Washington. Use this as a starting point for a
conversation. Invite each family member to contribute one piece of
information about the life of George Washington.
Play a Quiet
Play a game and see
who can be quiet for the longest time. Play a card game or other simple game
that is not too noisy. Put a jigsaw puzzle together. While you are being
quiet, listen to things that are making noise. Are there birds singing?
Flies buzzing? Motors running? Sirens out in the street? Radios playing?
Vehicles driving down the road? People sneezing or couching? Focus on
Polar Bear Day
of Polar Bears
Look in magazines
such as National Geographic or wildlife magazines. Got to the library or a
bookstore. Search on-line for photos of polar bears. Once you have
pictures, enjoy looking at them together. Using a photo as reference, try
drawing a cartoon of a polar bear.
Put the FUN in Parenting!
Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
Ideas for Tots through Teens
By Kas Winters