Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Memorial Day Fun With the Kids

Memorial Day is a time to honor our nation's fallen heroes and many activities are planned for this patriotic holiday. It's also a long weekend for us to find things to do on Memorial Day with the kids; quality family time with our children without the usual interruptions of phones and household chores. Let's welcome the first inkling of summer with outdoor activities where parents and children can enjoy each other, the sunshine, fresh air, food, games and just "fun, fun, fun!"


Picnic Basics (Preschool +)

Children love picnics! And picnics are even more fun-and full of learning when your child helps with the planning and preparations. Talk with your child about the picnic so the excitement begins and enlist her help in the planning. As you pack, remember the extras like tissues, wipes, bandages, and something to sit on.

You can carry food in a basket, bucket or backpack. If you are not traveling far, your child could pack her own finger foods in the compartments of an egg carton. It often works well to have one blanket for food and another one or two to sit on. Small children love to crowd to the middle of a blanket of food, and it is discouraging to have someone sitting on the bananas. Just remember today is a day of fresh air, fun and happiness. This song should set the mood. (Tune: "You Are My Sunshine")

I AM SO HAPPY, SO VERY HAPPY
I WANT TO SING ALL DAY LONG.
I AM SO HAPPY, WE'RE ON A PICNIC,
WON'T YOU COME AND SING ALONG?

Let your children fill in other reasons of their happiness, maybe they are happy to eat "hot dogs" or "playing baseball". Make this song open-ended and sing as many verses as you can dream up.

After the picnic, bring out the crayons, markers, and some extra picnic supplies to make simple puppets. Your child can add pipe cleaner arms and a face with markers to a plastic or wooden spoon. With small paper plates, she can draw a face with crayons and then attach the plate to a plastic fork by weaving it through the tines. The fork becomes the handle for the puppet-or the whole plate can become a mask if you cut out holes for the eyes. Encourage your child to put on a puppet show for the entire family.


Enjoy your holiday weekend,
Tania

This article was originally posted on Yahoo Voices.

Craft photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved