Sneak Through Laser Beams

Sneak Laser (5).JPG

Travis returned home from school to discover that, in order to reach his lunch, he’d have to sneak through laser beams!

To set up the surprise, I set out stools and chairs and wound yarn in and out, up and down. For the best results, vary the height and width between your “lasers”.

Sneak Laser (2)

Travis practically dove at the setup when he walked in from school, barely sparing a moment to take off his shoes.

Sneak Laser (3)

On the first attempt, he got nipped slightly by one of the lower “lasers.” I challenged him to think of how he could go over it, since under hadn’t worked, but this would mean ducking his head from those above.

Sneak Laser (4)

Soon there was lots of slithering and maneuvering about. This one will have the kids delighted and sneak in some exercise: a win-win.

Sneak Laser (6)

Finish up by sharing this clip with your kids!

Button Toss

Button Toss (6).JPG

This fun game (another winner from Highlights magazine) involves crafting on the front end and then becomes a sport with some math involved by the end!

To put it together, you’ll need 3 boxes, ideally of different sizes and heights. Paint each box a different color, for the best contrast.

Button Toss (1)

We also squirted on some puffy paint because, puffy paint.

Button Toss (2)

Note: If you don’t have paint, you can wrap them with wrapping paper instead. Glue the boxes together in any configuration and let dry.

Button Toss (3)

To play, I cut out paper circles and marked each with a different score for each box. The easiest was worth a 1, the second was a 2, and the hard one was a 5. (Note: Big kids can skip count by 5s, labeling the boxes 5, 10, and 15).

Button Toss (5)

In an empty egg carton, add paper circles numbered 1 through 12 (or 5 through 60, if skip-counting).

Button Toss (4)

Each player now needs 2 buttons – one to toss and one as a score piece.

Travis took his first toss – a lucky 5!

Button Toss (8)

I helped him count his button five spaces forward through our scoreboard.

Button Toss (7)

He loved the challenge of the game, and the challenge of counting his score each time.

Button Toss (12)

The first person to 12 (or 60) wins!

Button Toss (11)

 

Penny-Eating Monster

Penny Monster (11).JPG

Roar! This terrifying monster craft is a blast to put together, and then the game you can play with it is great for hand/eye coordination.

First, we needed a tissue box. Ours had a few tissues left in it, but I let Travis go to town ripping them out (and making them part of a super hero game), so already the craft was a hit.

Penny Monster (1)

Next, he decided what color our monster should be.

Penny Monster (3)

Travis dabbled in silvers and yellows, before declaring it was a wood monster. So mostly brown it was! Let dry.

Penny Monster (4)

Then it was time to put his scissor skills to the test. He helped cut out triangles for the teeth, while I made shapes for spikes and eyes.

Penny Monster (5)

Glue on all your monster’s decorations.

Penny Monster (7)

Now gather some pennies, and stand back! Because this monster wants to gobble them up.

Penny Monster (8)

The goal is to work as a team, and toss in as many pennies as you can from a few feet back.

Penny Monster (9)

If more pennies land inside the mouth than outside, you all win!

Penny Monster (12)

Travis loved the game, and we had to fill the monster’s belly and empty it over and over. It was also great for counting practice, since he made sure he and I started with the same number of pennies each time.

Penny Monster (10)

All in all, frightfully good fun.

 

Exercise Cube

Exercise Cube (4).JPG

Stuck inside on a winter day and need to get moving? Look no further than this game to get those kiddos some exercise, no playground required!

I gave Travis an empty tissue box, and told him we needed to think up an activity for each side of the cube. This was a nice quick math lesson, since we counted to see how many sides our cube had: 6!

Exercise Cube (1)

Travis was really into brainstorming the activities, and actually came up with some I wouldn’t have thought of, including… yoga! Great idea. By the end, our list included:

Yoga

Jump up and down

Run in a zig-zag

Touch your toes

Roll onto your back

and Spin in a Circle

Older kids can have fun drawing a picture to go with each caption. Travis liked my little drawings; no points for artistry here, I stick to stick figures, but these got a giggle.

Exercise Cube (2)

We used a glue stick to attach one activity per side of the box. It dried in no time, and then it was time to play.

Exercise Cube (3)

Travis loved it! We took turns tossing the big dice, and got quite silly, especially when mommy had to spin multiple times in a row, or when he got to run in a zig-zag (his fast favorite).

Here he is spinning:

Exercise Cube (8)

And rolling over:

Exercise Cube (9)

Uh oh, toe touching was tricky for mama…

Exercise Cube (7)

…but a cinch for Travis.

Exercise Cube (6)

The only note of caution here: He wanted to keep playing long after I was winded! Needless to say, we got in our exercise on this gray cold day.

Exercise Cube (10)

Early Explorers Sports

 

IMG_0002

This month’s offering from Early Explorers, all about sports, was a fantastic one for getting active and introducing new games that even mom and dad didn’t know about! The booklet not only had us doing normal preschool activities – mazes, matching, patterns – but also brushing up on yoga poses and learning about neat new sports.

LP Sport (18)

And of course putting stickers on our map.

LP Sport (3)

Sports Craft: 

First up was making a game of tabletop soccer. First, glue green construction paper down into the bottom of a shoebox. We actually found that the shoebox lid worked better, since the sides weren’t as high.

LP Sport (5)

Use white paint to mimic the lines of a soccer field. Travis liked watching and naming the shapes I painted (which bigger kids can do themselves). 

LP Sport (7)

Fold pipe cleaners into the shape of goals and tape down. Now all you need is a pom pom and two straws to play. Players take turns blowing toward the opponent’s goal, while the person on defense tries to blow the pom pom away.

LP Sport (8)

Great fun!

Sports Science:

Ok, perhaps the following activity isn’t science, but since the booklet didn’t have anything that properly fit into this category, this will do: learning new games from around the world. The first, Semut, Orang, Gajah sounded like the Sumatran equivalent of Rock, Scissors, Paper but we got to learn cool new words and hand gestures. Here’s Travis with his semut (ant!) ready to defeat my gajah (elephant).

LP Sport (13)

The next game was a bit of a pickle: an Armenian form of egg jousting (!) played around Easter, where children crack hard-boiled eggs together until the loser’s egg cracks. How to veganize such neat sounding fun? I needed a food that would crack easily… So here we are chip jousting!

LP Sport (16)

It might not have been authentic, but it was certainly a delight.

LP Sport (17)

Sports Keepsake:

Travis loved the paddle ball from “Max and Mia” that came in this kit. He was determined to master the game, and I liked that it introduced him to a new activity.

LP Sport (1)

Sports Field Trip:

We had to go see a sport being played, naturally! Looking for cheap family fun? Check out minor league teams in your area. You’ll get great seats right up close to the action but minus the crowds, prices, and noise of major league parks. If you can’t make it to a local sporting event, tune into something on TV as a family and discuss the new game.

Ducks (1)

Sports Further Activities:

We wanted to take the booklet’s suggestion and try a game we’d never played before. Little Passport’s blog post on games from around the world was the perfect resource. Okay, so we didn’t have enough players for a true game of Egyptian Drop the Handkerchief, but Travis loved diving in to catch it before the count of 5.

LP Sport (15)

We also got a great dose of physical activity with a family obstacle course. Stops along the course included: navigating a crepe paper spider web;

LP Sport (11)ball and spoon races;

LP Sport (12)

and paper cup golf.

LP Sport (14)

As always, we hit up the library to further our exploration, opting for books on sports not featured in our packet.

IMG_0003

We talked about our favorite and Travis said his was baseball.

Finally, hit up the park and just play! Toss a football, kick a soccer ball, play a game of croquet, or whatever else suits your family’s fancy. Many thanks to this kit for getting us moving.

LP Sports final.jpg

 

 

Football Fever

Football Fever (5).JPG

Travis might not care much about his dad’s team yet, but Sunday football is a tradition in this house, and this mini version makes it exciting for even the littlest fans.

To make our footballs, I cut brown construction into strips that were 2 inches x 11 inches.

Football Fever (1)

Starting at one end, fold up in a triangle, and repeat until you reach the end of the strip, tucking in the last bit of paper; glue to seal. Let dry and then decorate like a football with marker.

Football Fever (2)

To prepare the field, we covered an empty snack box with construction paper. Before sealing off the box completely, add a few pebbles inside to weight it down.

Travis had fun scribbling a decoration for the top of the box; older kids can make it look like a real end zone!

Football Fever (3)

To make the goal post, fold a pipe cleaner in half, twist the bottom a few times. Bend the top ends to look like a goal post. Poke a hole in the top of the box and insert the pipe cleaner. I added a drop of glue to keep it more firmly in place.

Football Fever (7)

Now “kick” your footballs into the end zone for a field goal! Little kids can have fun tossing about the paper footballs, even if they can’t reach the goal. The game is also great for talking about shapes.

Football Fever (6)