Workshop #10 Wholesome Family Entertainment - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 82 Old 01-17-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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Board games are great in the evening and a fun way to connect.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#32 of 82 Old 01-17-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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For older children, read aloud a book that excites them, a few chapters a night -- maybe the latest book in a series they love? Have everyone take turns doing the reading!

Read a play aloud together -- a screenplay, even, if you can find one. Maybe one connected to schoolwork?

Listen to a book on cd.

Plan a family vacation together -- maybe do an exercise challenge. Pick a destination and find out how far away it is. Have all members of the family log their exercise miles -- walking, running, biking on an exercise machine or using pedometers. When you have "reached" your destination, book a real trip there....
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#33 of 82 Old 01-17-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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My oldest is 9, and then I have a 7 year old and 5 year old. They love love love the Redwall series so much and there are lots of them. Dh reads the books to them every nights and it's just a fun way to hang out.

Also, we have been doing family back rubs. It sounds weird, but it came out of a night when my oldest, who has some special needs, was just really reactive and volatile. I started rubbing his shoulders and then everyone got involved. I even got a nice shoulder and back rub. We tried to come up with new names for each different kind of massage: so far we have the spider, the squeeze, kneeding the dough, and the boys seem to come up with a new one each time! It's fun, relaxing and it seems that the kids like to talk about their day through the whole thing, and we change partners so the everyone has everyone else for a few minutes. It's nice that way because everyone connects.

 
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#34 of 82 Old 01-18-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by beansricerevolt View Post
There are a ton here!

http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/f...s-for-kids.cfm


This month, for us, has been very very cold here in Chicago. We've been spending many afternoons indoors doing lots of knitting. DD is 10 and is a beginner where as DS is 3 and has not yet grasped finger knitting. Each DC has their own basket of goodies (wool, yarns, needles and notions). DS spends lots of time making little homes for his "guys" within the wool and hanging his toys on the yarn while sticking them with "the little swords", while DD and I knit and listen to books on CD. Right now we are listening to The lion, witch and the wardrobe.

In February, we are planning on making tree blocks, fencing for their play barn and doll house furniture with our christmas tree. Im on the look out for some hand tools as we speak.
Thanks for the fingerplays.


Have you made tree blocks from your Christmas tree before? We got a Christmas tree specifically for the purposes of making blocks out of it, too, but I read in a Waldorfy book about what kinds of wood are best for this (not pine) and wasn't exactly sure what seasoning is. If you know more about this, I'd love to hear where you've learned.
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#35 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 05:24 AM
 
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I am so excited about this thread! soooo need ideas! I've really been feeling like I'm not a very fun or creative mom, but we really want to be doing more stuff like the things mentioned in this discussion.

I wasn't really raised by parents who did anything fun or creative with us, and we were by no means an outdoor family. My only memory is that my step-dad and I used to play spaceship in our laundry room; we would close the door, shake the dryer, and fly among the other planets in the milky way! Other than that, I can't remember anything, not even my parents reading with me. I was an only child until I was eight, so I didn't have siblings to make stuff up with either; I did a lot of self-entertaining, which is probably why I was a bookworm!

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I've posted this before but I thought it would be great here too-

If you're looking for something to get out & about, this is something really cool we did with our kids:
http://www.atlasquest.com/
http://www.letterboxing.org/

We found several first to get the hang of the different ways people do them & then we placed some of our own. Some are really cool to try to figure out & it's a fun thing to do as a family. When we placed ours the kids really got a kick out of going to check on them to see how many people were able to figure out their clues & what sort of nice comments were left for them. Mine also think it's fun to look them up when they go like to grandma's or something.

You can buy pre-made stamps to use too but we carved our own.
Oh wow, letterboxing looks SO cool!!!

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My ideas for this spring and summer include laying in the hammock with my babes reading them chapter books (ds loved the chronicles of narnia), baby in the wrap while ds and mommy garden... we got him a wagon for his bday in april so he can help move stick and dirt, etc. I dont know if Ill actually give him a space in the garden this year to manage.... although it might be necessary to save what I actually want to keep intact! We love to cook over an open fire in the back yard so maybe we'll keep it going and tell stories after it gets dark
DS is just getting into conversations so I bet he'll like this
Thank you for the reminder that I need to give DS1 his own garden space this year! I'm hoping that DS2 can safely explore in the garden (read: not put everything in his mouth), because gardening with a baby on my back just hurts too much.

Cooking over an open fire is a fantastic idea!

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#36 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 07:39 AM
 
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The library is a great source of entertainment-- books, videos, dvds, books on tape. Books on tape with many tapes or CDs are the best in winter! When we were snowed in fortunately we had just checked out "Wind in the Willows" with 11 cassettes.


Yeah, we love the library, too.
We often play chess there, too. : And read, and borrow books/dvds etc. And sometimes we just sit there and watch people go by. Yesterday LoveBug just sat at the floor in the library, reading a book about dogs. :

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#37 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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Something else we have always done is cook/bake together. My kids love to watch cooking shows on Food Network & then explore how to do things in our kitchen. When my dd was little she got this book and this book for Christmas one year. It was a fun novelty for a while but then she really wanted to make "the real thing" so she started joining in with the boys & me. The boys got one called Family Fun Cook Book. It has some cute things for kids but mine aren't really into cutesy stuff so they never really used that one. This year one of my boys got a signed copy of Cat Cora's book & he was so excited.

Sort of related to their love of cooking, they also think it's cool to explore all the cool stuff at the farmer's market and at the specialty grocery stores where we don't usually shop but that have more unusual items. Sort of funny that the market could be a cool field trip.
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#38 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Another fun thing that can be a little dangerous is woodworking. My kid love to pound nails and make things, often just conglomerations of boards. We have kid-sized hammers- the last one was under $2 in the bargain bin at Ace. They've also collected small crewdrivers and saws.

Sawing up fallen branches is fun and good exercise. I feel safer if they wear gloves.

We also built birdhouses, sawhorses and boats together using this book .

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#39 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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Something else we have always done is cook/bake together. My kids love to watch cooking shows on Food Network & then explore how to do things in our kitchen. When my dd was little she got this book and this book for Christmas one year. It was a fun novelty for a while but then she really wanted to make "the real thing" so she started joining in with the boys & me. The boys got one called Family Fun Cook Book. It has some cute things for kids but mine aren't really into cutesy stuff so they never really used that one. This year one of my boys got a signed copy of Cat Cora's book & he was so excited.

Sort of related to their love of cooking, they also think it's cool to explore all the cool stuff at the farmer's market and at the specialty grocery stores where we don't usually shop but that have more unusual items. Sort of funny that the market could be a cool field trip.
We do a lot of cooking together, too. I never really thought of it as entertainment; I don't know how I'd get the cooking done without her "helping" me. Even though she's not yet two, she can still be really involved in the cooking process - mixing, pouring stuff in bowls. I even let her help me cut things up (I still help her hold the blade even though she seems to have a really good grasp of knife safety already).

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Another fun thing that can be a little dangerous is woodworking. My kid love to pound nails and make things, often just conglomerations of boards. We have kid-sized hammers- the last one was under $2 in the bargain bin at Ace. They've also collected small crewdrivers and saws.

Sawing up fallen branches is fun and good exercise. I feel safer if they wear gloves.

We also built birdhouses, sawhorses and boats together using this book .
How old are your kids? DD loves the hammering toys we have for her. She's probably too little for this, but I tend to underestimate her skills.
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#40 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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[QUOTE=boigrrrlwonder;13024410


How old are your kids? DD loves the hammering toys we have for her. She's probably too little for this, but I tend to underestimate her skills.[/QUOTE]

I know that preschools often have woodworking centers -- mostly hammering, but sometimes cutting wood held in clamps.

I actually got my younger kids some good safety goggles for Christmas in anticipation of doing something like this with them (age 2.5 and almost 5)
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#41 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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I love all these ideas. What about on days when you are just sick or just really tired and want something that you can get your kids involved with that doesn't require a whole lot of prep or energy from you? This one is always really hard for me, and we end up watching a lot of tv on those days. I'd love to hear of some more wholesome things to keep them busy. My kids are 5, 7, and 9.

 
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#42 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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I love all these ideas. What about on days when you are just sick or just really tired and want something that you can get your kids involved with that doesn't require a whole lot of prep or energy from you? This one is always really hard for me, and we end up watching a lot of tv on those days. I'd love to hear of some more wholesome things to keep them busy. My kids are 5, 7, and 9.
This is me, too. I need a fun activity for anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours (and anywhere in between) that doesn't require lots of effort and clean up/set up for the weekdays after work/homework/dinner and before bed.

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#43 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Thanks for the fingerplays.


Have you made tree blocks from your Christmas tree before? We got a Christmas tree specifically for the purposes of making blocks out of it, too, but I read in a Waldorfy book about what kinds of wood are best for this (not pine) and wasn't exactly sure what seasoning is. If you know more about this, I'd love to hear where you've learned.
We've never made tree blocks with pine but have made other things with it. We've done twig carving, which was a tad hard because of the soft wood. But for DS, its mostly doing & not the product he is into. DD, who is older (10 yrs.), has made other things like bell rings with ribbon and bells and carved notched out of thicker twigs to make a musical instrument by rubbing a thinner stick along the grooves.

Wood can be easier to work with before it is sap filled. Spring brings the sap as winter "freeze-dries" trees and bushes from its frost. It can be harder to work with pines. It dents and scratches easily but ive read that if you leave it to dry indoors for about 2 weeks that that should help.

We are working with pine as it was our christmas tree. We live in the city and have no way of giving it back to the earth. I want the DC to treasure natural materials and learn that trees are life-giving and not a commodity.
Hence the choice of pine. Its not ideal but it will totally be fun

Im hoping to show them how we can listen to the wood with all of our senses and recognize its hardness, weight and flexibility and how wood invites us to follow its direction of growth with our eyes, hands and with tools. Im hoping that this will lead to an understanding that even after wood is cut, it is still "growing". It is a renewable resource and a growing work of art.
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#44 of 82 Old 01-19-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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How old are your kids? DD loves the hammering toys we have for her. She's probably too little for this, but I tend to underestimate her skills.
They're 9 and 6... my oldest started building when she was seven, and ds started sawing and and pounding when he was 5. They only use hand tools.

I thik it depends on the kid when they can start, but probably not before five or 6.

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#45 of 82 Old 01-21-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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I am always looking for ideas for DD(3yo). We read a LOT. She loves to read to herself and asks mommy to read evey book over and over.
We have really been working hard with letters lately(her current inerest),so I am trying to find fun stuff to do with letter learning.
She loves to bake, draw, paint, play with sand(thats her favorite, even over playdough and bubbles), and just loves pretend play with dolls.
We do a lot of cooking here and gardening when we can.
This will be the first year coming up that DD has her own garden. She made it clear last season that she is more than ready. Knows how to seed, water, and pick her garden-She has already picked out her seeds...

DD is very artsy. So I am trying to encourage that by finding new and interesting art activites. This year we plan on taking her to a local farm to show her how they operate. She has this new interest in how milk comes from cows, eggs from chickens, and what pigs are for(that subject makes me nervous since she views them as cute). We have been fielding questions like "who makes bacon?, "why is it flat?", " "Do chickens make different colored eggs?" and "does chocolate milk come from chocolate cows?"
So we figured a visit to a local farm was in order.

Things are harder in the winter. She asks if she can go for a walk, but with her having breathing problems, im more inclined to keep her in doors as much as I can. We do the library as mush as possible.
I will definetly be taking notes here. Excellent ideas so far! Love this discussion!:

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#46 of 82 Old 01-22-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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Trips to local farms are a lot of fun. Soon, it'll be Spring and baby animals born- it's fun to find a local farm where you can see the spring babies-- chicks, calves, lambs or goats. We went to a local goat farm last spring to buy milk and got to pet the baby goats. The kids (human ones that is ) loved it.

If you're allowed chickens, raising a few chicks in the backyard is fun.

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#47 of 82 Old 01-22-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Thanks abimommy for those great sites. My ds is all about the songs lately, he's going to LOVE this new development
That car game is a lot of fun, sharing in the storytelling. Another good one is start at the A and name a food, Apple, the next person says Apple, Banana. Third says Apple, Banana, Cherries, and so it goes through Z. Oh yeah, we played it as, I went to the store and I bought...A-Z so it doesnt have to be food.
If you need a new board game to play my brothers (9 and 12) recommend Apples to Apples, there's a junior's version for 9+
What's Apples to Apples?

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#48 of 82 Old 01-22-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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What's Apples to Apples?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples

It's a fun game.

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#49 of 82 Old 01-22-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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Our most wholesome family fun has been centered around camping. We bought a pop up camper two years ago and have been having the most amazing experiences together. We go about every other weekend in the later spring & summer. We do not bring any electronics - no TV, DVD players, computers, etc. (That may sound like a given, but you'd be surprised at the amount of technologogy that some folks bring camping.) We swim, hike, bike, explore, sightsee, fish. When we want down time we play board games, read together, and of course sit around the campfire singing & telling stories. The kids get along better than ever when we are camping & come up w/all kinds of fun imaginitive games to play together. It's great for dh & me bc there are no telephones, computers, or household demands to distract us. It's just all family, all the time. Can't wait for spring to start camping again!!!

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#50 of 82 Old 01-22-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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We played this this weekend! It was so much fun!

 
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#51 of 82 Old 01-24-2009, 04:34 AM
 
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Another fun one is Mystery Garden. It's good because you don't need to read, so little ones can play, too.

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#52 of 82 Old 01-27-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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Ooo, that looks great! My sister just got the most wonderful books for my kids for the holidays. They're by Holling Clancy Holling. They were for my 5 year old, and when I first opened them I thought 'no way! Not enough pictures.' Then I started reading them, and I ended up with all 7 grandchildren from ages 3 to 9 sitting around wide eyed listening to the story. They are long books, and so far we are only on chapter 7 in Minn of the Mississippi, but they combine such amazingly descriptive language that it's captivating to child and adult. Yes, I'm totally in love!

http://books.google.com/books?id=xg8...result#PPP1,M1

 
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#53 of 82 Old 01-28-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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How cool! We loved Minn of the Mississippi, too. It was educational, too... I read it to the kids when they were littler. I had never known about the source of Mississippi- it was great for me to learn, too. It's one of those books I won't forget.

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#54 of 82 Old 01-28-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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This is me, too. I need a fun activity for anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours (and anywhere in between) that doesn't require lots of effort and clean up/set up for the weekdays after work/homework/dinner and before bed.
Play-doh and Yoga (not at the same time)

Play-doh does make a mess, but it dries up and vacuums up easily. And just rolling around and doing yoga with my girl is always a hit!

For more planned stuff, we have been going on toddler walks a lot. We don't get far but I can tell that Akasha gets so much out of it. We hike her into the woods on the ergo, and then let her loose to explore. Dh and I usually bring coffees and talk while we shadow the little one. I try to not guide or interrupt her flow with this. I mainly just intervene if something goes into the mouth

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#55 of 82 Old 01-29-2009, 03:12 AM
 
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I'm also enjoying reading this thread - as my son is only 4 months, I have a ways to go until we can do a lot of these activities. However, I'm back to work, and seeing how time flies when we reunite at 5 PM, I'm wanting to get the most out of our time together. We're used to sitting down and watching the local and national news before getting dinner started, but it's scarry seeing how his little baby eyes zone in on the lights of the TV for such long periods. I'm enjoying our walks in the woods together already, and excited for spring to come and all the activities that are just around the corner, but I'm afraid of getting in bad weekday habits so early.

I was raised in a super wholesome, no TV household (until age 7? 8?), so I certainly know how it's done. Now, we just have to find our own way. DH has fond memories of watching the news with his father, so I may have some resistance on that front.

Some of my favorite memories growing up:
- music parties with friends and lots of kids and kid's songs (throwing quilts over the piano and pillows underneath for a tent once we got tired but were resistant to leaving the party)
- dads and kids camping / canoeing trips
- reading together (me and brother 20 months apart probably helped) - favorites - "My Side of the Mountain", "Watership Down", "The Hobbit"
- my brother loooved to "paint a board" when he was small - a board and a brush and a bucket of water, he would carefully paint the whole thing, and they would flip it and he'd paint the other side while the first side dried. I was probably to wild for that game to work long on me. sweet boy.
- "building forts" in shrub / hedge / the woods
- selling things! a lemonade and popcorn stand, handmade crafts, etc.

I can't wait to have fun with the new little fam. :
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#56 of 82 Old 01-29-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Play-doh and Yoga (not at the same time)

Play-doh does make a mess, but it dries up and vacuums up easily. And just rolling around and doing yoga with my girl is always a hit!

For more planned stuff, we have been going on toddler walks a lot. We don't get far but I can tell that Akasha gets so much out of it. We hike her into the woods on the ergo, and then let her loose to explore. Dh and I usually bring coffees and talk while we shadow the little one. I try to not guide or interrupt her flow with this. I mainly just intervene if something goes into the mouth

Do you just do Yoga on your own or do you have a tape that you do together? I'd love to find a kids tape that would be fun for me too.

 
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#57 of 82 Old 01-29-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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antibelle, building forts is a great idea. Mine love to build forts out of old boards and things, too. They used to hollow out a place in the rohodendrons for a fort. The forts they build are not "aesthetically pleasing" but fun.

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#58 of 82 Old 01-29-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post
Do you just do Yoga on your own or do you have a tape that you do together? I'd love to find a kids tape that would be fun for me too.
I just move through basic asanas and she will follow along. I actually thought she was too young for yoga until I saw her spontaneously getting into down dog I think it is pretty instinctual for the little ones. I bet this is why some say that yoga was created by watching children and animals.

DH is a martial artist and the babe will also follow his movements along. So sweet!

I'd love to hear other folks recs for family yoga videos too though, if anyone has some. Locally, we have a family yoga class that we are all going to try out together this summer. Anyone done anything like this together?

Grace Comes.

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#59 of 82 Old 01-31-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dancebaraka View Post
Anyone done anything like this together?
Prebabe, I was a professional dancer and did a lot of work with contact improve, lifting and carrying partners, and I also taught children's creative dance. We like to turn on music and free flow with each other's bodies. Kinda like you do your movements around their movements. It doesn't take long before the child begans to also move with you and take cues from your body positioning. Sometimes it looks sort of like mom's trying to do yoga and toddler thinks she is a jungle gym. Sometimes it turns into an exploration of touch and rolling. Anyway it ends up, it has always been a wonderful experience together. We usually don't talk and not be/c we ever discussed not talking, it just seems right. Sometimes we have some music, sometimes only the sound of our breath. It is an awesome way to connect with all parts of your child... physical, mental, spiritual. It is truly awesome to be completely insync with your childs breath and body, moving through space.
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#60 of 82 Old 02-05-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaMonica View Post
antibelle, building forts is a great idea. Mine love to build forts out of old boards and things, too. They used to hollow out a place in the rohodendrons for a fort. The forts they build are not "aesthetically pleasing" but fun.
When I was growing up, we would use anything and everything to build forts...nothing was off limits!

I was a big chalk child too. My dad and I used to build 'towns' in our driveway, park our bikes in the parking lots, and make stores to sell things (usually bark, rocks, and sticks). Builds creativity.
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