Workshop #10 Wholesome Family Entertainment - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 82 Old 01-10-2009, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Workshop #10 Wholesome Family Entertainment

Welcome to our Tenth Natural Family Living discussion: Wholesome Family Entertainment; This discussion will key in on
Part 5 – Family Matters from Peggy O’Mara’s book Natural Family Living.


Some of the topics we'll discuss are;


Chapter 20 - Wholesome Family Entertainment


The Magic of Books


Lost Art of Storytelling
  • Cull from your own childhood
  • Involve your children as characters
  • Use characters from your childhood
  • Modernize familiar tales
  • Don't Preach
  • Tell ongoing tales
  • Take turns doing the telling

Storytelling springboards
  • Places
  • Magical Beings
  • Magical objects
  • People
  • Creatures


Poetry Fun With Words
  • Creating Poetry
  • Start a line
  • Pick a subject
  • Pick a letter
  • Describe an image


Making Music
  • Do fingerplay songs
  • Dance together
  • Take music classes together
  • Form a family band
  • Sing Sing Sing


Nurturing Your Budding Artist
  • Paints
  • Drawing and Coloring
  • Paper
  • Sculpture
  • Art Appreciation

Discovering the World of Science


Getting Down and Dirty
  • Playdough
  • Uncooked playdough
  • Baker's clay
  • Sand Dough
  • Peanut Butter playdough
  • Slime


Good Clean Fun
  • Bubble soap
  • Bubble paint
  • Monster bubbles


Sports and the Great Outdoors
  • Exploring the Night
  • Creepy Crawlies
  • Forts and Playhouses
  • Sewing Projects
  • Children's Museums and other child-friendly places


On the Road: Traveling With Children
  • Involve your children in the planning
  • Take the back roads
  • Pack distractions
  • Pack snacks
  • Plan travel times around your children's rhythms
  • Take school with you
  • Keep lasting memories of your trip


More Ways To Have Fun With Your Family






Please join us in discussion on Wholesome Family Entertainment. We welcome everyone to share their personal experiences, what works for your family, your struggles and your ideas. This is an open dialog and we ask that everyone be respectful of others' opinions. Take what feels right to you and leave the rest behind. Please be respectful to all our members so that the workshop can be a place of meaningful and respectful discussion for all our members. If you have a favorite quote from Natural Family Living, please share it.

We would like to invite everyone to join us no matter where you are in your thinking or feelings. These discussions are meant to be nonjudgmental so please keep in mind when reading members' responses that this is a true discussion based on Natural Family Living and not a place to debate or criticize. For more ideas and information, please see our Parenting or Ages and Stages.

We’re excited to offer this workshop and hope it will give our members a glimpse into the grassroots of Mothering magazine and Natural Family Living.

This workshop will be facilitated by QueenOfTheMeadow, MamaMonica and Abimommy. They are here to guide the discussion and keep it on topic. They will occasionally post references or ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. Please feel free to contact them at any time with questions, suggestions or concerns. Please keep in mind our workshop guidelines and current user agreement at all times.

We are compiling a Natural Family Living Resources Sticky which we will update with each workshop. Please feel free to refer to it for more information.

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#2 of 82 Old 01-10-2009, 01:13 PM
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Yay! This looks like a lot of fun
My ds will be two in April and we have another due in a few weeks....:
Im wanting to home school and looking for ideas for educational/mind expanding books to read, songs to sing, crafts, ect. This would be a great place to share resources for ideas of the sort.... although I dont really have any... ... at this time anyway, I lost my entire list of bookmarks
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
Also we are planning to take them to a music festival this summer, three days long, 8 hours away, so I will be very interested to read what/if anyone posts about travelling with kids. Car songs and games.... maybe ideas for cassettes or something. I remember when I was little and we travelled by car we would play a game where when you saw an animal you'd state the name and make the sound, get one point. But that was in Canada and we had more animals visible by road! It's pretty boring here just saying "cow, MOooO" over and over
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#3 of 82 Old 01-10-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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The alphabet game in the car has saved my sanity many times. We drove across the US with a 2 year old and 5 year old listening to Wee Sing Fun and Folk over and over. That's a good car CD. Looking for excavators, trains and unusual trucks is also fun. When ds was two, he lived to see road construction

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#4 of 82 Old 01-10-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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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.
jammomma likes this.
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#5 of 82 Old 01-11-2009, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebirdiemama View Post
Yay! This looks like a lot of fun
My ds will be two in April and we have another due in a few weeks....:
Im wanting to home school and looking for ideas for educational/mind expanding books to read, songs to sing, crafts, ect. This would be a great place to share resources for ideas of the sort.... although I dont really have any... ... at this time anyway, I lost my entire list of bookmarks
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
Also we are planning to take them to a music festival this summer, three days long, 8 hours away, so I will be very interested to read what/if anyone posts about travelling with kids. Car songs and games.... maybe ideas for cassettes or something. I remember when I was little and we travelled by car we would play a game where when you saw an animal you'd state the name and make the sound, get one point. But that was in Canada and we had more animals visible by road! It's pretty boring here just saying "cow, MOooO" over and over
You can find fun songs on scout websites.

http://dragon.sleepdeprived.ca/songb...book_index.htm
http://www.boyscouttrail.com/boy-sco...cout-songs.asp

I know a shocking number of these due to years in Campfire.

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#6 of 82 Old 01-11-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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I'm so excited about this workshop! I need help. I can't play monopoly one more time. Though today we had some wholesome family entertainment today by playing hide and seek in the snow!

Oooo! I know a good one for the long car rides. We either do the game where you each get to tell a story up to a certain point and then switch and let someone else continue the story. Then when we finish that, we listen to books on tape.

 
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#7 of 82 Old 01-12-2009, 12:33 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+
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#8 of 82 Old 01-12-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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If Monopoly gets to boring, there's Birdopoly, Horseopoly and Bugopoly The bird one is really fun.

Creativity is big on wholesome family entertainment, don't you think? Telling a fun story in the evening, inventing a goofy game and acting like a kid.

What's the goofiest game you invented or craziest story you told?

Yesterday we spent a half hour on our hands and feet racing around the house like crabs singing "crabs around the house" and everyone was tired after that.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#9 of 82 Old 01-12-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Its winter here in the Chicagoland area. We had close to 10 inches of snow in the last 3 days or so. On Sunday we walked to church while we pulled the girls in the sled. I also take dd1 to school this way when we have fresh snow. We have to go over a path w a hill so the kids love sailing down that before we get to school.

But we pulled them to church then on the way home there was a "mountain" of snow in a parking lot the girls wanted to climb. So we spent some time doing that with both waving at cars driving along while atop the big mountain. We then went sledding in the later afternoon. My ILs still live in town so we went to the park behind their house with the huge hill. After sledding we went to their house for hot chocolate. This activity resulted in a hungry appetite for dinner plus an early bedtime since they were exhuasted from all the fun! Of course we were too from climbing up that hill.

For us, wholesome entertainment means no scheduling, no rushing, just taking in the day with each other and seeing where and what it takes us too. We are going on vacation next week. The only thing scheduled is an amusement park one day but the rest of the time is just to kick back and let the day happen. I know families who are scheduled to the max and sometimes they thrive on that. We cannot live like that and enjoy just seeing how things unfold and just enjoy the ride instead of worrying about getting to the station. Besides, the station will come soon enough!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#10 of 82 Old 01-12-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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It's funny you should mention the scheduling thing. It's so hard, because I like to be a bit of a fly by night kind of mom when it comes to entertainment. Unfortunately, with ds1 having special needs, I've had to learn to schedule things so he knows when and where things are coming. It's kind of like one of those, "mommy will be cleaning the bathroom for the next 45 minutes. Then mommy will sit down and play a game with you for an hour. Then mommy has to clean the kitchen. Then we'll read for 30 minutes."

Reading is my favorite form of entertainment. It's dh's too. I'm hoping that my kids will learn to love it too. Ds1 loves it and he's 9. Ds2, 7 years old, is struggling with reading a bit, but as he develops his skills I hope he'll enjoy it more. ds 3 is only 5, but loves to be read to. Dh reads to them for about an hour every night before they go to bed. I often sit on the floor of their room and listen too. It's nice to spend that quiet time together.

 
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#11 of 82 Old 01-12-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bluebirdiemama View Post
(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!
Wow. My DD is so not where yours is developmentally even though she's older. I can't imagine her sitting through the Chronicles of Narnia, though I'd love it if she would! At the end of last summer, she was just getting to a place where she could "help," so I'm excited to see where she will be this year - though I can't imagine giving her space to garden (though part of me was tempted to say she was going to garden, since we get it through the park district and maybe then I could take another spot!)

I would love recommendations on more fingerplays. I don't remember a lot of them from my youth, but DD loves the ones I know.
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#12 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bluebirdiemama View Post
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+
I love Apples to Apples.


I also like Fluxx by Looney Labs.

http://www.looneylabs.com/

Settlers of Catan is also fun

http://www.settlersofcatan.net/

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#13 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaMonica View Post
The alphabet game in the car has saved my sanity many times. We drove across the US with a 2 year old and 5 year old listening to Wee Sing Fun and Folk over and over. That's a good car CD. Looking for excavators, trains and unusual trucks is also fun. When ds was two, he lived to see road construction
Hm, I meant to quote the post this quoted. Anyway.

We did a lot of car games, starting when I was five or so (and we still play them), and ones we liked were:

"Aunt Agatha went to Africa and with her she took..." (a memory game: Person A says "...an apple!" Person B repeats the whole spiel and "... she took an apple and a banana!" etc) My mom and I actually took this to an insane extreme on our last car trip a couple months ago, with the second line being "Brother Bob when to Buffalo and with him he took a Book". That took a while.

"I'm thinking of something" (aka True, False, or Ambiguous): it's like 20 questions but without a set number, and the answer can be T/F/Ambiguous. Excellent logic game -- and it can be anything. pi and unicorns and "that last rest stop" were all things we thought of.

"I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with:" and then rather than guessing the word, each player tries to DESCRIBE the word ("I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with tree" "is it a flying insect?" "no it is not a bee" "is it a large body of water?" "yes it is the sea!"). Rules are words of one syllable, and if someone describes a synonym, that counts as guessing the word. Game is over when the thinker gets stumped (if it's deemed a fair description) or when the guesser gets the word. Great for expanding vocabulary (I know what a scree and a czar are thanks to this game! )

And I Spy of course, though that wasn't as popular as the others.

I love car games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I love Apples to Apples.


I also like Fluxx by Looney Labs.

http://www.looneylabs.com/

Settlers of Catan is also fun

http://www.settlersofcatan.net/
I love all those!


I'm trying to figure out things I can do with my toddler. Or rather, I feel like I SHOULD be doing more, since his exposure to, say, art consists entirely of finding him a pen and a piece of paper when I'm trying to write something. I did make playdough the other day when his world had ended because his dad had driven off with his in the car! It was actually really easy. But I'm not really in to doing things with him (I try to set him up with things while I do my work or reading), and so we don't Do Art. Am I ruining him? Can I let it go? Can anyone suggest anything that isn't going to take all my time or ruin our walls?
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#14 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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Good old fashioned coloring books and crayons are non-destructive (as long as the crayons stay off the walls and windows...) You can also tape a large piece of packing paper or paper from a roll to the wall and let him go at it with crayons.

There's also chalkboard paint you can paint a wall with and turn it into a giant chalboard.

An easel with a chalkboard and chalk is fun...my kids loved that. The easel can also be used with a sheet over it to become a hideout, especially when combined with a couch and kitchen chairs.

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#15 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 02:44 AM
 
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*I* love Apples to Apples and Fluxx. We also really dig SET around here - however, the pipsqueak is too young still. I so can't wait until she's old enough for these kinds of games. I went to board game parties up until she got too mobile.
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#16 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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We love the outdoors, but I hate hate hate being cold. It makes the winter a bit difficult. We go for walks and look for prints. There are a lot, since we live on a wildlife refuge. But I get cold. Any suggestions?

 
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#17 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Getting cold stinks. Have you considered those little foot warmers you can buy? I find if my feet can stay warm I will stay warm.
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#18 of 82 Old 01-13-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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I hate being cold, too. We invested in really warm gloves, wool socks, etc. I don't know what else to do.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#19 of 82 Old 01-14-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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#20 of 82 Old 01-14-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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What a great thread!!

LoveBug is very, very active, and looooves to be outside. Right now it`s winter here in Norway, and pretty cold. We often go iceskating. And we often just play in the snow. When it`s warmer, we just stay outside playing soocer, I sit on a bench while he rides his bike, we go to the nearest park and play, we go for a walk etc.

Indoors we used to play boardgames ALOT. Now we haven`t done that in a while, but it might be time to start doing it again. LoveBug doesn`t like to draw/paint/craft much, so that makes things a little harder when we are indoors, actually. He also doesn`t like books much, to my great sorrow. I`m trying to think of a way to make that more fun for him, cause I think books and reading is sooo important. I always thought that when he started reading on his own, he would finally start loving books. But it hasn`t happened yet, and he reads pretty good.

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
 
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#21 of 82 Old 01-14-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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Our family spends a lot of time outdoors, regardless of the season, even though I am also one of those easily cold types. I bundle up ridiculously, with layers and layers. It takes me longer to get ready than it takes me to get them both ready! But at least I can stay outside almost as long as they want to.

Last summer we spent a lot of time identifying trees and plants. DH likes to look for fossils with the kids. This summer, I'd like to spend time drawing outside with them. Everyone will be able to bike ride by then but DS (now 3.5yo) won't be much into drawing but will no doubt find other ways to keep himself busy.

We also got into board games in the fall. I don't like to buy things we can make, so we made our own game. My niece had just sent us a gift in a box that we were able to unfold and make into a game board. The game is pretty much a version of snakes and ladders, but much more intricately decorated! We also enjoy Cariboo and the Orchard game.

Our children's favourite family time is going to a "magical world" with Daddy. The three of them (and sometimes a cat) climb under the blankets in a bed and it becomes their space ship. Off they go to a different world to discover what is there.

I don't spend a lot of time playing with my children; less now that they are so good at entertaining themselves. I am always close by and we spend hours of the day together doing things, just not often play. They help me with my chores (cooking, cleaning, feeding the chickens, shovelling, etc). We do spend time together everyday reading. I love discovering new books with them.
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#22 of 82 Old 01-14-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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Looking for fossils is so much fun. I did that for hours and hours, too as a child. It's a great way to open up to the mystery of the world. The fossils we found as kids were from an ancient sea even though we were thousands of miles from the current ocean.

Anything natural that embraces the deep mystery of time, space and life itself is wonderful. Other things we like include- staring at the night sky with endless stars and recognizing constellations, looking at birds, and of course gardening- planting seeds and nurturing them to maturity and then through death as they die back and get composted.

Raising or working with animals can also be entertaining, meaningful and therapeutic for the whole family.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#23 of 82 Old 01-15-2009, 05:31 AM
 
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For going outside in all weather, I really want to do that, but DD wants to nurse within five minutes of when we get outside. : She then has a fit and we end up going home. She'll spend time outdoors with DH, but I'd love to see us get some regular outdoor time.
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#24 of 82 Old 01-15-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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I try and read a minimum of 4 longer picture books a day with my 4 and 2 yr old, and I love the way they play with and enjoy books on their own, too.

We hit the library last night -- one of our most frequent family trips -- and loaded up on children's books.

I'm going to try a 10-book-a-day challenge for a week and see what happens. And let the boys know about the challenge, too. They can count to 10, lol!

Maybe after that, I'll systematically work through all the books in our three bookcases full of children's books. Why own 'em if you don't read 'em?

We are also looking forward to a stretch of warmer weather -- freezing or slightly above after weeks of minus 20-35. So a challenge of 2 hours a day outside. ETA we've been making a pile of snow in the middle of our back yard for sliding and we're going to make it as big as possible and dig a fort in the side
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#25 of 82 Old 01-15-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Speaking of playing with Daddy, very popular games here are:
*Blanket Monster (Daddy under blanket, growls and chases kids around the house)
*Making a Pizza (Daddy uses terrible Italian accent while tossing and rolling the "dough" (kid) on the bed, wrapping the dough with cheese (kid in blanket), etc. I think he bounces them while adding pepperoni or something.

We took a long road trip and I can not say enough about the books on CD from the library. We loved "A to Z mysteries" and "Magic Treehouse". They are big series, so you can listen to them as long as you can stand.

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#26 of 82 Old 01-16-2009, 01:57 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.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#27 of 82 Old 01-16-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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I would love recommendations on more fingerplays. I don't remember a lot of them from my youth, but DD loves the ones I know.

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.
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#28 of 82 Old 01-16-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I try and read a minimum of 4 longer picture books a day with my 4 and 2 yr old, and I love the way they play with and enjoy books on their own, too.

We hit the library last night -- one of our most frequent family trips -- and loaded up on children's books.

I'm going to try a 10-book-a-day challenge for a week and see what happens. And let the boys know about the challenge, too. They can count to 10, lol!
Maybe after that, I'll systematically work through all the books in our three bookcases full of children's books. Why own 'em if you don't read 'em?

We are also looking forward to a stretch of warmer weather -- freezing or slightly above after weeks of minus 20-35. So a challenge of 2 hours a day outside. ETA we've been making a pile of snow in the middle of our back yard for sliding and we're going to make it as big as possible and dig a fort in the side

Ooooo! My 5 year old would love this!! Not to mention I would too!

I think I'm going to have to invest in some of those foot warmers. My toes are the part that get ice cold and then I end up not being able to get them warm again without getting in the tub, no matter how I bundle up.

Does anyone know any good fun yoga tapes for the whole family? I think the boys had one when they were a lot younger that they loved, but they have since grown out of it. I'd like one that we could all do together.

 
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#29 of 82 Old 01-16-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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I just rediscovered Draw and Tell stories. I used to use them in my classroom but forgot all about them until I saw a book at the library. The kids love them though they caught onto the gimmick pretty quickly. I remember there are also cut and tell stories, too.
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#30 of 82 Old 01-17-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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These are all great ideas, but I'd like to hear some for older kids (8+) that are calmer and really suited for evenings after work. We don't do TV during the week, but sometimes after dinner we have a bit of space that would be great to connect with each other. I'm just so exhausted and can't muster up a ton of enthusiasm.

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