By Rebecca Lee Allen
Publisher of South Shore & Cape Cod Metaphysics
It's our third big storm in less than 2 weeks and the kids have spent a lot of time inside. They are going to be begging to play in the snow, but we all know that isn't safe until the winds calm down. So as the mother of a 8 year old and 16 month old I get how tough another school day home can be! Especially if we lose power. So after making sure the tablets and 3DS are plugged in I started thinking about what the heck I was going to do to keep them entertained, again. The board games, card games and books are all becoming old news. But then a few idea's popped in my mind.
Now I can't say the majority of these will entertain my 16 month old but they will be fun for my 8 year old! Some I have used before and some I thought of in the last few days. So I can't vouch for them all, but with all this trapped inside time it will be worth picking a couple new games to try out on this "lets not all go crazy" day.
Take a trip:
Get out a piece of paper and ask your kids some questions and let their imagination run wild. This can be done one on one or with all the kids at once. With multiple kids set a few rules first, like raise your hand and stay seated. This will just help you keep it going and give everyone a turn to speak.
Add in any types of questions you like. When you feel like you have enough to work with ask them to go get their favorite pillow and blanket and to find a nice spot to lay down in the room you'd like to hold this activity.
While they are off getting their things together start to make up a story using the information you just gathered. Make it full of twists and funny turns to keep them interested and hanging on to your next word.
Once they are laying down tell them to take a nice deep breath and let it out slowly, have them repeat this three times, it will help if you do it with them to show them how slow to breath in and out.
Now ask them to close their eyes and take a few more deep breaths. You can have light music on in the background if possible, but it is not necessary. Now ask them to pay attention to their body and relax anything that feels tight, have them relax their head, and arms, and belly and legs, move through the body parts to help them relax but don't spend too much time on anything, as you want them to stay focused. Now one last deep breath and you get to start your story. Take them up on a cloud (rug, frisbee) into the sky and have them land on a magical island, take them to visit some of the places they mentioned to you earlier, have animals come chat with them, let them build a castle or swim in a lagoon. You can pause when a new element in the story shows up and ask them to talk to their new friend, or give them a few quiet minutes to ride a wave. Let their imagination take over from time to time. If you notice they start moving around it is most likely time to end their magical trip. Ask them to get back on their transportation and fly them back home. Ask them to wiggle their fingers and toes and open their eyes.
Now you can let them tell you about the parts they made up, or better yet ask them to draw you a picture of this magical place they visited. This is sure to be a favorite for many and you may notice they have calmed down slightly with this soothing and still exciting activity.
What am I thinking:
This is a fun game for kids and adults. Get a piece of paper write down a color, do not let anyone see what you wrote. Sit facing away from each other and focus on the color you wrote down. Ask them to focus on you and to take a deep breath and "see" what color comes to mind. Let them yell out what they thought it was. Now switch and you guess while they focus. Explain to them to only think of the color, either the word, an object that is that color or even just a crayon. You can continue this activity by changing it to numbers, letters, favorite season or sports. What ever you come up with can keep this game going for a while, and not get old.
This activity is wonderful with getting kids to focus their attention on one thing for longer periods of time and is a fun way to test their intuition and build it up!
This is a fun art project for everyone. You can use a simple sheet of paper, construction paper or poster board. Have your children write "My Dream Board" on top, or you can write it for them. Now ask them to hunt down, some crayons, markers, stickers and scissors. You can pull out some old magazines, torn up books or anything else you don't mind them cutting into. Ask them to think about things they would really like to have in their life. Help them out by asking a few questions.
Keep the questions age appropriate, for older kids you could even ask what does their first car look like, or college they want to attend. Now let them free to draw, cut out and create their dream board. Let them tell you all about their dream board when they finish. Help them hang it in their room. This is a great exerciser in imagination, thinking forward, and focus. While they are at it, create one for yourself too!
Let us know if you tried any of these ideas out! What did your kids think? Share pictures of your dream boards!
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