Planning Playtime

Planning Playtime: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - I Wanted to be a Cake Decorator when I Grew Up

Cakes for my Kids

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Monday, July 29, 2013

30 Minute Playtime Ideas - Week 5

It's time to play again:)  This week I included several singing games, but if you can't stand singing just sub out those activities for some of your favorites from past weeks.  Either way, play and have some fun with your kids this week.

YouTube Karaoke - My girls love finding their favorite disney songs or other silly songs on YouTube.  Often you can find them with the words so your readers can follow along.  We click full screen, turn up the volume and have a fabulous few moments of Karaoke in the kitchen.  For best results have something to use for a microphone.  We often use the whisk.  It works great:)

Charades - My children love to act, and if I let them dress up for the activity that is a complete bonus.  They choose a favorite story to act out, plan it upstairs and then come down and act it out for me not using any words.  I have to guess what it is that they are acting out.  This is a great activity if I do not have a lot of time because they spend most of the time on their own planning while I do dishes or make dinner.  Then I only have to spend 1-2 minutes watching and guessing before I get another break.  If you have lots of time that day then take turns guessing so you can act out too.

Mother May I - I always love this game, and it works indoors or out.  One person is it and the rest line up at a distance from that person.  The Mother (it person) takes turns telling each player to take so many steps, jumps, mini steps, backwards steps or leaps forward.  The player must remember to say, "Mother may I," before taking the steps.  If they remember to say it the Mother says, "Yes you may," and they can take the assigned steps.  If they forget they have to go back to the beginning.  The first person to reach the Mother is it.

Sing Off - One person starts by calling out a common work, usually a noun.  The other players have to quickly think of a song that has that word in it.  Whoever starts singing their song first gets to choose the next word.  My girls favorite words were Jingle and Pumpkin.  I like that we can play this one in the car or waiting in line somewhere if we aren't too loud:)

I'm Going on a Trip... - The first person starts by saying, "I'm going on a trip, and I'm bringing ______."  We often follow the alphabet so the first item would start with the letter A like "an apple."  The next person then says, "I'm going on a trip, and I'm bringing an apple and a ______."  Their item must begin with the letter B.  The game continues with each player having to remember all of the previous items on the list and adding a new one of their own.  This is also a great traveling game for the car or airplane.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

30 Minute Playtime Ideas - Week 4

It's summer which means I like to spend as much time outside as possible, so a lot of the activities my kids and I are doing this week are outdoors.  Still all of these fun things can be done in 30 minutes or less, and it is such great bonding time with the kids.

Badminton - I recently purchased a set that came with a net, birdie and rackets so we have the entire set up to play easily.  However, you can often find a set with just rackets and a birdie at the dollar store or some other inexpensive place.  If you aren't looking to become professionals and just want to have some fun in the lawn this may be a great option for you.

Bike Rides - One of my daughters has just learned how to ride her bike without training wheels and since the other two will both fit in my bike trailer it is the perfect time to head out and hit the sidewalk.  Make sure to wear helmets:)

Frisby Golf - This game is great because you don't have to be good at it to be able to participate.  Each person participating needs a frisby, or we have found that plastic lids from large plastic containers work well for younguns.  You all start at the same place, select a target to hit with your frisby and then count how many throws it takes you to get there.  Everyone should be able to reach the target eventually, and hopefully they practiced their counting skills along the way.

Family Pics/Videos - While I often find it obnoxious that all of our family pictures and videos are on the computer instead of printed somewhere, it is very convenient for a quick bit of family viewing fun.  I sit at the computer chair and all the kids grab a stool around me and we watch funny video clips and look at photos of trips and holidays.  It's easy, it's fast and it's a great bonding moment with your kids.

Balloon Wars - My kids really love this one even down to the 1-year-old.  Everyone gets a balloon to blow up and tie.  Then we pull the rubber tied part back, let go and shoot them at each other.  As the balloons are being shot you reach down to get whatever one is closest to you and continue the battle.  They don't shoot very far, and they don't hurt at all, but the kids have a great time ganging up on mom and dad.

Have fun playing this week!!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kidknows Thermometer Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Kidknows Thermometer Giveaway!  Our 3 lucky winners are:

Tammy Brunn
Sue Schmidt &
Karlene Hamm.

Congratulations!!  If you did not win and would like to purchase this thermometer for a child or teacher in your life you can go to

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy 7/11 - Free Slurpee Day

Free Slurpee Day

Today we went to the library where my children were able to participate in storytime with our storytelling neighbor.  They did the story of the Tortoise and the Hare complete with actions and songs.  They didn't want to leave until I told them they could get a Bill Nye the Science Guy dvd and a book called Pirates don't take Baths.  We try to mix up our fiction and non-fiction and get a little bit of both:)

Then we went to 7-11 to get our free slurpees for 7-11-13 day.  I was expecting a long horrible line, but the store had it all planned out and we were in and out within 5 minutes.  My kids each got to choose their own flavor, and there was only one that was out of service.  I was totally impressed and my kids are determined that this should become our new 7/11 tradition.  They've been saying "Happy 7-11 Day"  ever since.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baptism Photo Shoot and Photo Memory Book

Baptisms are a big deal in our family, and when my oldest daughter was preparing for her baptism we had to some up with the traditions we wanted to start.  In our primary, when children get baptized, they try to have some kind of place for people to write messages, memories and testimonies for them.  Traditionally they had used a blue back Book of Mormon, but since our daughter was getting her own new set of scriptures I was afraid that the book would be unused and get lost along with all of the messages.  I decided instead to create a special photo book for her with baptism photos on one side of the page, and a blank page for people to write on on the other side.

Some pages from the book...

My husband is a photographer so it wasn't too difficult for us to decide that we wanted to do a baptism photo shoot.  We didn't want to spend a lot of time on the actual baptism day taking photos because there would be a lot of family there, her hair would be wet, and we wanted the focus on the baptism itself.  Besides, we needed the pictures in advance so we could print the book.  He ended up taking the pictures about 1 month before her actual baptism.  She and I picked out the dress and accessories, and he choose the locations and poses.  They turned out beautifully, and now she had a beautiful book filled with pictures of her in her special dress and messages of love and faith from her family and friends.

The Book

The Photo Shoot

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

KidKnows Learning Thermometer Giveaway for 3 Lucky Winners

It drives me crazy when my kids come down in the morning, in the middle of winter, in shorts or a summer dress.  They will also put their coats and sweaters on when its 70+ outside and getting warmer.  They all want the independence of choosing their own clothes, but the weather around here can be somewhat unpredictable from day to day.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way they could make smart clothing decisions without mommy regularly having to tell them they were wrong and to get redressed.

That's why I was so excited to receive this award winning Kidknows TM Outdoor Thermometer.  It easily installs on your window, and it shows the outdoor temperature.  The best part is that next to the temperature levels are clothing options that match the weather.  The clothing is even pictured in color levels that change as the temperature increases.  The idea is for your kids to learn about weather and temperature and to be able to make their own intelligent decisions about what to wear.



So for the last several mornings, after we installed the thermometer, my kids have run down the stairs to see where the red line is on the thermometer and what clothes they should put on for the day.  It has been so exciting for them, and they are actually choosing clothes that are appropriate for the very hot summer weather we've had.  It has been a learning tool in our house as well as a convenience item for me.



This thermometer is great for a classroom as well.  Teachers could make use of it while teaching students about weather, and then when it is time for recess, children could quickly look at the thermometer to know if they were required to wear either a coat or sweater outside.  This would have been helpful at our school during this past spring.  Mornings were still nippy so my kids would wear a coat to school.  Without thinking they would put it on for recess, and then when they got outside it was too hot.  They would take their coats off on the playground and then forget to pick them up and bring them back in the house.  As a result I spent a lot of time after school searching for coats, and one of them we never found.

If you are looking for a fun and unique teacher gift this year, this is just the thing.

Kidknows is giving 3 of our readers the chance to win their own thermometer to use in your own home or to give to a teacher you love.  Enter to win below.

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