Clapping Games

All you need are your hands and a little memory!

Most of us have used Patty Cake with babies, but much older kids can also enjoy the more complicated songs. Some of these songs have been around for hundreds of years, and others are recent nonsense fun.

Teach your kids a clapping game, and be amazing today!

This site has videos of some favorites.

This site has some great new clapping songs. We are so totally learning Four White Horses from her list. It’s an old Caribbean song with lyrics that make no sense, but I love the clapping pattern.

Four white horses on the river,
aye, aye, aye, up tomorrow,
up tomorrow is a rainy day.
Come and join our shadow play.
Shadow play is a ripe banana,
aye, aye, aye, up tomorrow,
up tomorrow is a rainy day.

While you are clapping away, try making up individual handshakes with each child. See the post here.

Have fun!

Individual Handshakes

Some simple hand action can go a long way to help your kids feel loved! 

I struggle sometimes with lumping my kids all together in our experiences. It can be hard to maintain those important individual relationships with lots of kids! When I saw this video of Barry White, Jr. welcoming his students to class with an individualized handshake, I knew I had to try it!

So. Much. Fun. Be amazing today and create a secret handshake with each of your kiddos. You could start by showing them these handshakes to get their ideas going!

The cool Baymax fist bump from Big Hero 6 here.

The cloud guy handshakes from Trolls here.

Then, let THEM develop a fun handshake you can use together in greeting, goodbyes, or when your kid needs a smile.

*Hint* Most kids will want this handshake to be home use only, so don’t pull out your moves at the school carnival or as you drop your child off at a birthday party unless they initiate it. (It may just come up with their therapist 10 years later.)

Have fun!

Dandelion Curls

I’ve said it before, but some of these ideas seem too simple to even post. But aren’t those simple things usually your kid’s favorites? I totally loved making dandelion curls when I was little, and my kids love it still.

Many of us have dandelions this time of year. My sister once had a door-to-door lawn guy ask if they needed some help with their yard, which happened to have more than its fair share of dandelions. She told him with a straight face that she was growing them on purpose for her kids and they didn’t need weed control. Most of us can find more than we need, but if you happen to have great weed control, you may have to pick a neighbor’s dandelions when it’s dark.

Let your kids pick dandelions, then peel the stem into several strips, stopping at the flower. Put them in cold water and wait for a few minutes. The dandelion strips magically curl up like little ribbons!

Good, cheap, fun…and great weed removal!

RC Obstacle Course

10 minutes/elementary/

Most of us have an RC vehicle lying around from some past Christmas or birthday. It seems like they get played with for a few days and then it gets a little old. Jazz it up today by making an RC obstacle course with your littles! You could build fancy structures to go around with Lincoln Logs or blocks…or just raid the plastic container drawer like we did. Time each other to see how long it takes everyone to make it around the obstacles. Have fun!

Dress-ups!

10 minutes/toddlers/elementary

Don’t have much time to be amazing today? Pull out the Halloween bin! If your kids are like mine, they plan their costumes for months. (Maybe their mom does, too…). If you don’t keep costumes around, maybe they can dress up in YOUR clothes!

Snap some pics, tell them they are adorable, and have a great time. If you want a dose of extra-amazing, dress up with them!

Sardines

Whole Family/Under 10 minutes/

How we love to play Sardines! Grab flashlights for the weak-hearted, turn off the lights, and have a great time before bed with this reverse game of hide and seek. We had a great time playing tonight, except for our spoiler kitties. They kept stalking the hiders and alerting everyone to where they were!

  1. One person hides, while others count to 30 in another room with the door closed.
  2. When you find the hider, quietly join them!
  3. Once everyone is packed…like a sardine…into one hiding spot, repeat with another hider.

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Body Builders

Whole Family
10 Minutes or Less
Paper and pens/markers

This is one of our favorite quick games that all ages can play together. As you can tell, any artsy-ness I have is with words and music, NOT with visual arts.

Sit in a circle

Draw a head on your paper, ending with the neck20170105_105346

Fold paper down, showing only the very end of the neck

Draw the torso and arms, ending with the waist 20170105_105541

Fold paper down, showing only the belt or end of  waist

Draw the hips and legs, minus feet

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Fold paper down, showing only the tips of the ankles

Draw the feet

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Fold paper down

Give them a name

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Toss papers in the middle and everyone take one

Go around the circle, unroll your creations, and have a good laugh!

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