Learn More Parent-and-Child Bonding Activities
To stay abreast of more activities throughout the year, check this page frequently for new activities.
It’s Spring! What’s happening with the birds?
It’s spring in the northern hemisphere! Snow is melting, grass is starting to turn green and the summer birds are returning. Here are some springtime/bird activities for you to do with your kids. Have fun.
You can find more Spring/bird activities as well as lots of other activities to do with your child in the eBook “Healthy Kid Play” available for purchase at healthykidplay.com.
First, here are some questions to ask your child to lead into the activities:
- What are we talking about when we talk about spring? (Winter’s over, snow melts, flowers start to grow and bloom, leaves begin to grow on the trees, etc.)
- When is the first day of spring? (in March in northern hemisphere, usually Mar. 21 or 22)
- What did some of the birds do for winter? (They flew away to where it is warm, they migrated).
- What do those birds do when spring arrives? (The birds that migrated come back. Birds begin to build nests and then lay their eggs in the nests.)
Baby birds in a Nest – Art Activity
1. Draw and cut out an oval or round shape from the brown paper. Spread thickly with white glue. Sprinkle the crushed shredded wheat cereal onto the glue. Cover it well. This makes the baby birds nest.
2. Cut egg cups from the paper egg carton, leaving some of the edges to give you something to fasten the egg cups to the “nest” later. Let your child choose a colour to paint the baby birds. Let me suggest you let them choose any colour, it doesn’t have to be a “natural” colour. Paint the eggs cups and let dry.
3. Cut small triangles from the yellow or orange paper to be the bird beaks. Cut small white circles and draw black dots on them for eyes, or use googly eyes. Glue the eyes and beak onto the baby birds.
4. Staple the birds onto the nests using the edge pieces if possible. If you don’t have enough to catch in the stapler, you can use the white glue, but you might need to clean away some of the cereal to be able to get the egg cup to stick to the brown paper.
Matching Birds and Nests – Math & Language Activity
Materials: felt or paper to activity shapes: 1 set includes mother bird, baby bird, egg shell, and nest . Make 5 – 10 sets of the shapes for this, each set must be a different color.
Preparation: Make the sets ahead of time or have your child help you cut these out.
1. Let your child count the shapes (number of each shape; ie mother birds; number of all birds, other shape combinations)
2. Let your child match the items that are the same color – ie. blue birds, blue nests, blue egg shells
3. Suggest other color combinations (i.e. Brown mother, blue baby, yellow nest, green egg shells) and let your child put those items together. Click on this link to find the full size template for this activity (like the image here) or draw your own.
Little Baby Robin Eggs – Physical Activity
Materials: adult size white or pale blue t-shirt
1. Tell your child that they are going to pretend to be a baby robin hatching from its egg.
2. Put the t-shirt on your child and have him/her crouch down and tuck their body inside the shirt – the head just inside the head hole, arms tucked in with hands just inside the arm holes, and knees bent toward the stomach so child is close to the ground so the entire body is encased inside the shirt.
3. Coach your child on how to hatch: they should slowly poke out their head, then their arms, then their legs. Then they can stand up.
4. Once “hatched” they can fly around the room and back to their “nest” to do the activity again if they wish.
Halloween is just around the corner!
If you want to make a simple costume for yourself or your kids, I’ve got some ideas for you. Some of these are ideas that I have used myself. Some of these are taken from the magazine “Parents” Oct. 2019.
An important part of the costume, which can be used as a base for other elements, can be made with simple clothing items. Pajamas, sweats, t-shirts, and leggings are all pieces of clothing that can become the foundation of a costume. Most of these items can be found in many different colours. Or if not, they could possibly be dyed. Add a few store-bought supplies to help make the costume. Felt, faux fur, Halloween decorations and face paint can all help to make a costume. Items like a hot glue gun and sticks, self-adhesive Velcro for fabric, zip ties, hemming tape, and duct tape are all ways to fasten items together without having to sew.
Consider using face paint instead of a mask if possible. It is safer than a mask because it doesn’t obscure sight or breathing and makes it easier for your child to move around and play.
Some Costume Examples
Batman could be made with long grey or black underwear, both top and bottom. Or use a hoodie for the top. Otherwise you will have to create a hood for the hat. The ears of the hood can be made with duct tape and taped to the hood. Wear a black eye mask to complete the head. Put some dark coloured underwear or shorts on for the briefs. A wide belt will serve as his belt, or just use felt to make one to wrap around the waist. Make a cape with some black material, cut in a cone shape. Cut the bottom like Batman’s cape. A quick way to fix the edges is to use iron-on hemming tape. Use more material, ribbons, laces, etc. to tie the cape on or pin the cape to the neckline of the top with safety pins. Use felt to make the batman logo on his chest and use a hot glue gun, hemming tape, or Velcro to fasten the logo to the top.
A baby Shark can be made with grey pants, and hooded top. Add some pink felt gums around the edge of the hood, with white felt teeth on the gums. Add some felt eyes to the hood and some white felt to make the belly and you’re done. For an infant, or younger child that will need to be moved around in a stroller you would leave the back clean. If you want, for an older child, make a fin from felt (2 layers at least) or cardboard to attach to the back of the outfit.
Maybe you or your kids would like to be a donut. Cut some large rings of cardboard (big enough to cover their whole torso). Cover with felt, stuff a little batting underneath to give it some shape. Use more felt or craft foam items to make icing and toppings like sprinkles. Wear this over pj’s or simple t-shirt and pants. Fasten a strap made from ribbon or seam binding to the top to drape around the neck, or to top and side to create a loop around shoulder. Or maybe even make a front and back to wear like a “sandwich” board with straps for the shoulders and possibly a strap at the sides to keep them together.
How about a dinosaur or dragon. Find a top and bottom of the same colour – whatever colour you would like the dinosaur to be. Use felt to cut out the spikes and tail – could be the same colour or different. Fasten spikes/tail to the top on the back with tape, glue gun, Velcro etc. Use facepaint to make the face fancy or scary. If you want you can make jaws similar to how they are described for the Shark costume if you use a hooded top. You can even make some “flames” attached to a stick for a dragon to hold up to look like its blowing flames from its mouth.
Simple outfits can be made with Halloween decorations. Necklaces of snakes or spiders fastened together with tape or zip ties can be made. Snakes, spiders, rats, etc. can be fastened to headbands or old hats or toques. Monster type hands can be made with fake nails either stuck on or hot glued on to gloves. Use fake cobwebs to drape around the body or head.
Think about favourite book characters as well as movie characters that you or your child might like to dress up as and use your imagination to create the costume!
September Leaf Activities
In September, at least in the northern part of the world, the season of fall begins. Leaves on the trees and bushes and even the weeds, may begin to change colour. This is a perfect time to take your child for a walk around your neighbourhood, and/or to go to a park to collect leaves of all sizes, shapes and colours. These leaves can be used for many different types of activities – math, language, and art to name a few. Try to get an assortment of sizes and colours if possible. You might even be able to get some leaves from your garden if you still have any plants left in it. Have fun on the walk, and you could talk about reasons why the leaves change (see below for that information), while you are collecting them.
Why leaves change colour
The green colour of leaves hides the other colors in the leaf. Leaves get less light each day in the fall and stop making food, so they can prepare for the winter. The green color fades and other colors (mainly red/yellow/orange/tan) in the leaves begin to show. This is a very simple explanation but basically gives the important information.
Math/Language Activity – Sorting Leaves by Size
Note: you could also sort by shape – round, long, those with jagged edges, etc.
Materials needed: leaves, crayons or paint, glue (a gluestick will work well with “fresh” leaves, a bottle of liquid glue for drier leaves)
1. Put down a large piece of paper, possibly a full sheet of a newspaper, and dump all your leaves on it.
2. Take a large piece of plain paper and let your child draw a line down the middle (from one long side to the other) dividing the sheet in half.
3. Write “smaller” at the top of the paper on one side and “bigger” on the top of the paper on the other side.
4. Looking through the leaves you’ve collected pick a leaf that is medium sized. Glue it to the top of the paper on the line in the middle.
5. Have the child take one leaf at a time from their collection. Have them guess whether they think if will be smaller or bigger that the leaf in the middle. Then let them hold their leaf by the medium sized leaf to compare.
6. Have the child place the leaf on the paper under the correct word describing their leaf. They can just lay it there or glue it on.
7. Let the child do this with the other leaves. As you do this, you can use other words to describe their size: little, tiny, big, huge, large, etc.
8. You will need to either save some of the leaves for the other leaf activities or go on another walk to collect more.
Math Activity/Language – Sorting Leaves by Colour
Materials needed: leaves of different colours, glue (gluestick or liquid glue), large sheet of paper,
- On a large sheet of paper, have the child sort the leaves by colour. If you start with red in one corner with yellow beside it, leaves that are sort of both colours and/or kind of orange can go between them. Brown could be next. Then on the bottom of the page put green under the red with leaves that are yellow/green beside them. It will look a little like a rainbow when you’re done.
Art Activity – leaf collages
Materials – leaves of different colours, sizes and shapes, paper, glue, crayons or paint if desired
Let your child make pictures with the leaves. Depending on the age and agility of the child, they could use them to create shapes, like people, or they can just make a collage of gluing the leaves on the page how they like. If they desire they could use crayons to add to their picture. They could also use other natural items, like twigs, small rocks, etc. in their pictures.
I have a great summer activity for you to do with your kids. The two main things you need is a little plaster of Paris and some sand and water. This idea is something I have done myself with kids, but it was an article by Donna Erickson who has a syndicated column with family…Read More
Science activity – Give Dad a Beard – (balloon activity) Material: balloon (lighter colour will work best), black (or dark) permanent marker, cracked black pepper (ground black pepper might work as well), plate, sweater, or blanket, or towel Blow up balloon and tie closed. Draw a man’s face on the balloon – keep the drawing…Read More