Monday, August 18, 2008

Playing Olympics

Not only are the Olympics invading our bedtimes around here, but they are invading our play time too! We spent a morning last week "playing Olympics" with a couple neighborhood friends. We used hand-me-down army combat dudes as our athletes. Barbies could be used too, really any type of figure although plastic would be best for swimming I suppose.
They did gymnastic routines .

And they swam.

and then my memory card was filled up. The athletes ran races and did the long jump. We put on music for floor exercises. It was hilarious to watch these army-type dudes get all gymnastick-y.

We didn't do it, but diving would be fun. Synchronized diving would be even more fun with a friend. Make up a dive and practice it until you can do it perfectly.

Another thing to do it hold your own olympics with your REAL kids and the neighborhood kids. Assign countries, run races, put out a 2x4 "beam", if you have a pool you could run real swim races, you can do long jump, shot put, discus (frisbee).

the kids will love it. Even better would be to have them organize it all. Planning it is half the fun and older kids will really enjoy hosting a neighborhood event like this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who knew Canadians were this cool?

I came across a website that was a list of online kids computer games. I will just start by saying that as a general rule, I do not like video/computer games. Ask any former student of mine.

Some, I would concur with them, are educational, but the majority (at least the ones that they play) are not. So, on this site Max and I messed around and I got him playing a few of them. I originally got on to find a game that would encourage his current love of letters. Well, we weeded through the muck and found a gem.

A Canadian site developed by a kids tv network called tvokids. Maybe you know about it, I didn't. The games are great, have cute artwork and are seriously so funny. Maybe I am a nerdy mom but this one makes me laugh out loud. I dare you not to laugh. I loved this one (the bird's voice is so cute - OH - DID YOU HEAR THAT???) and this one too. Max loved this one as well.

So I mention that it's Canadian because you will hear a couple Canadian-ish things, like zed, which is what they call the letter z apparently. Maybe my Canadian brother-in-law can clarify that for us -- what's up with zed? and you will also hear a bit of Canadian accent, like the word out sounding like oot. Cute little Canadians.

Have fun! Let me know if you find any other favorites!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tickle Contests

I grew up with a father who hosted tickle contests on Sunday afternoons. It is a great activity if you need the kids to stop running around the house and just be still. A great transition from noisy, busy activity to quieter...

How it works:

Have your child/children lay on the ground all in a row on their backs. Tell them that the two rules are that they have to stay still and they can't laugh.

Start at the feet. Tickle the bottom of the feet for about 3 seconds. Do the next kid's feet, and the next until all the feet are done. Next do the knees. Tell them to bend them and then you start at the top and run your spreading fingers around their kneecap. Do one knee at a time and then move to the next victim. Next - thighs (that was always my worst) Next tummies. Next armpit. Next neck. I think we may have done ear every once in a while, maybe he blew in it or tickled it with a feather. Do them all for about 3 seconds. Don't do it until they laugh - that's not fair.

You will be surprised at how much kids get into this. Every kid I have ever played this with has loved it.

If you really want to make it a contest then you can say the first one who laughs is out or you can award points for passing a "level". They didn't laugh on knees, armpits and neck so they get 3 points. Highest points win.

It's fun to do it with a lot of anticipation. Start wiggling your fingers and saying "here I come" much before you actually do tickle. Sometimes they will bust out laughing even before you tickle them. It's so funny to see them writhing and squirming and tight lipped to suppress the inevitable laughter.

You can make it last longer by starting at the feet and going up and then working your way down until you lastly come to the feet again. You could also pull out a body part out of a hat and do whatever you pull. Put them in back again after they are picked. Some child may get feet over and over. You could even have the children write the little papers or have them draw a picture of the body part to be tickled.

With a younger child you can even practice body parts wen you tickle. Command at your child - "Tickle mommy's arm" "Tickle mommy's foot" "Tickle mommy's hair" you can also say to them - "I am going to tickle your nose!" "I am going to tickle your tummy!"