Easter party game – fitness, not candy!

This was a big hit during Zumba® Kids in the Spring.

Fill eggs with strips of paper, each with a different way of moving.  Place 2 baskets – one with eggs, one empty for eggs/paper already opened- at either end of gym/studio/yard/classroom.  Kids take turns opening the eggs and calling out what to do.  As a group, they do whatever the eggs says to get to the other basket.

I played the Bunny Hop jazz song while they played.

Tooth Fairy Pillow for a Boy

My dog-loving son finally has his first loose tooth at age 6-1/2.

Easy Readers for Boys

Our 6-1/2 year-old son is reading now - so cool!  But it was easier to find beginner books for our daughter.

The summer before his kindergarten year, we tried BOB books.  He liked those for the sheer number of tiny books in each set.  But he preferred the stories in the Brand New Readers series, especially those about the worm, monkey and dragon.  We found those locally at The School Box.

Elephant_Piggie1But most of the credit to igniting Sam’s reading spark goes to Mo Willems.

His Elephant & Piggie books were the first to get our son excited about being able to read.  We Are in a Book!, I Am Invited to a Party!, Watch Me Throw the Ball! and I Will Surprise My Friend are favorites.

We still hear Sam cackling in his room at night as he rereads them – often using the super-soft stuffed characters to act out the stories.

Here are the others he found interesting enough to read himself, roughly in the order that he was able to read them:

Now, the summer before 1st grade, he’s reading these chapter books:

  • Roscoe Riley Rules.  Great beginner chapter books.  My daughter loved them, too.
  • Encyclopedia Brown series.  My husband loved these as a kid.  Each book is divided into several mini mysteries to solve.  Good for read-aloud, too.
  • Magic Tree House series, which we also read aloud to both kids a few years ago.

100-Mile Bags

Brilliant idea for entertaining kids on long car trips.  And for helping them understand “how much longer.”

It’s not mine – I found it online 3 years ago when I went looking for “car activities for children” before our first 552 interstate journey with 2 preschoolers.  It’s worked every year since (“when are we going on a long trip again, Mom?”), and now they count down the mileage between bags on the GPS.

It’s simple, as most great ideas are.  Put a treat/toy/activity in a paper sack to hand out to each child every 100 miles.

Here’s our 6-year-old son with a 3D Drawing Pad (note that a lollipop was just as well-received).  He’s about 301 miles from home and couldn’t be happier.

Tips for 2nd Grader from American Girl

My 7-year-old daughter and I both like this book, Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends, published by American Girl.