Having a two-year old is like owning a blender that you don’t have a lid for.
Something in the dancing
Brings me home again-
A prodigal come to myself,
Too long gone among the corn cobs.
Don’t have much time to be amazing today? Pull out the Halloween bin! If your kids are like mine, they plan their costumes for months. (Maybe their mom does, too…). If you don’t keep costumes around, maybe they can dress up in YOUR clothes!
Snap some pics, tell them they are adorable, and have a great time. If you want a dose of extra-amazing, dress up with them!
10 minutes/babies and toddlers/elementary/
When one of my teenagers was little, his favorite game to play with me was to pretend he was a lost puppy. I would find him lonely on the beach, ask if he had a family, and take him home with me. (Don’t even try to psychoanalyze that one. I don’t think I’ll come out looking very good…)
To add to the game, I would make peanut butter play dough into the shape of a dog bone for him to eat…puppy style…on the floor. All my Littles are too big for much dog role playing, but they still love PB play dough!
Wash the table and their hands, and let your kids play with their food at snack time!
Peanut Butter Play Dough
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup honey
Mix well until the mixture resembles play dough.
This is a dairy-free version we usually make now…but it sometimes still makes it into a dog bone shape on their plates!
Power Play Dough
1 cup coconut
2 cups rolled oats
Pulse in food processor until fine. Add…
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey, real maple syrup, or agave
Mix in food processor until it all comes together.
Whole Family/Under 10 minutes/
How we love to play Sardines! Grab flashlights for the weak-hearted, turn off the lights, and have a great time before bed with this reverse game of hide and seek. We had a great time playing tonight, except for our spoiler kitties. They kept stalking the hiders and alerting everyone to where they were!
- One person hides, while others count to 30 in another room with the door closed.
- When you find the hider, quietly join them!
- Once everyone is packed…like a sardine…into one hiding spot, repeat with another hider.
10 minutes/Elementary and up/
This is a family favorite! Pass papers around and watch as a twisted story unfolds.
Hand out paper and pens
Write down the following parts of the story, folding the paper over the previous line, so that no one sees what has already been written. Pass to the next person.
A girl’s name (any female, real or fictional, known by everyone in the room)
A boys’s name (any male, real or fictional, known by everyone in the room)
Where they were (Wal-Mart, Disneyland, the backyard…)
What they were doing (Making bracelets, shining their shoes, making sushi…)
What she said (“You look like you’ve had a bad day.” “This girl is on fire!” etc.)
What he said (“I caught you a delicious bass.” “You have big ears.” etc.)
What the result was (They bought a motor home and toured the West. They launched a new line of lipstick. etc.)
Pass the papers once more.
Read one at a time, adding phrases to connect the story. “She said…” “The final result was…” Enjoy the story!
Whole Family/5 Minutes/
Don’t smile or don’t blink…it’s your choice. Go for a whole-family round robin tournament and see who has the most willpower.
Bedtime songs on Christmas Eve,
I hardly see him in the light-
My little boy who fell asleep
As I was singing “Silent Night.”
My thoughts go to another place,
Another night, another bed,
Another boy whose mother watched
As He laid down His little head.
He soon would know His Father’s voice
And He would feel the angel’s hands.
But as a boy, I think it was
His mother’s voice He’d understand.
I can see them by a fire,
Reading scripture, learning prayer.
As He grew in grace and truth,
I imagine Mary there.
Spirit-led, she taught her son
With faith so bright and words so mild.
He learned his mission at her knee,
As she nurtured God’s own child.
I still forget my little one
Has also walked on clouds above.
And, trailing glory, looks to me
To show him all his Father’s love.
God could thunder through the skies
And send His angels flying near
To spread His word in strength and power…
But that’s why He sent mothers here.
Like that mother long ago,
I’ll teach you truth and show the right.
So sleep my child in Heavenly peace
And know you’re loved this Silent Night.
Elementary and up
Paper and pens
This easy activity always brings giggles, especially right before bed when everything is silly.
Cut small papers that cut be seen through
Sit in a circle
On one side, each person writes any WHY question.
(Why is the sky blue? Why do Dad’s feet smell? Why do they say “Eh” in Canada?)
They turn over their paper and pass it to the next person.
That person writes any BECAUSE answer. It can answer the WHY they wrote, or be random.
(Because of global warming. Because someone let the dog out. Because sugar makes you hyper.)
Go around the circle and read the questions and their crazy, and sometimes very funny, answers.
Elementary and up
What do you get when Yoga Magazine meets Sports Illustrated…with the help of some scissors and creative kids? Magazine Mash-up! Have fun swapping heads and bodies in magazine pages or newspaper ads. This can be done in as little as 10 minutes, but mine spent at least 45 minutes laughing over this project!