Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sending an email.

If this sounds simple it's because it is. My four year old loves to send his dad emails at work. And he's not just hitting a bunch of random keys, he's actually typing stuff.

Most for year olds' know the alphabet. Some can even write their own names. My son has a hard time writing his name. His fine motor skills are just not that great. But he can type his name. A few days a go I was writing a blog post and left to go check on one of my other kids. When I came back my son was "writing a letter to dad" He had typed his name and a some other letters.  I asked him if he wanted to send his dad a real email. He said yes and I opened up the composition page on my email account.

He typed the word  dad and his name and then proceeded to ask me how to spell other words and the names of some of his favorite toys.  I would spell them slowly so he could locate the letters. Occasionally he needed some prompting but for the more part he was able to find the letters by himself.

This is a great activity to develop those pre-academic skill's like letter recognition your child will need for kindergarten. It also encourages communication between child and parent at a young age and may payoff when your child hits those horrible teen years.

It's important that whomever received the email writes back and you read the reply to your child. Sending a picture will make it funner.

Just a tip hit the cap lock button to start since children usually learn to recognize capital letters first.

Facebook slide show

One of my husband's favorite things to do with our kids is to have a facebook slide show. They sit on his lap while he clicks through the photos of Grandma and Grandpa, aunts  and uncles and friends. I love this, because it helps the kids learn about family relationships, and helps them learn the names of people who love them. this activity can be especially helpful your child is shy or has a speech delay. Each picture can be a catalyst to initiate conversation. Ask questions like who is that? and what are they doing? Get them to tell you a short narrative. Yes and no questions are okay but to really have a conversation ask questions that take more to answer. If your child is shy then this is a good importunity for him or her to become more comfortable around the extended family before the next trip to grandma's. And if you live far away from family it's an especially good way for young children to remember cousins and extended family members between visits. 
I know not all facebook pictures are appropriate for kids so this activity should be done with a parent at the controls.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to make Jack Sparrow's tricorn pirate hat.

So your kids want a hat like Captain Jack Sparrow?
I wanted to learn how to make an authentic tricorn hat but the cost was just to high and the process to long.  but after doing so reading and looking up how to make different hats i came up with this.
The following is directions on how to make a tricorn hat from cheap materials that can be found at your local fabric store and even some wal-marts.
Felt (wool would be awesome but i just used the regular craft stuff)
White glue
needle and thread
ribbon or bias tape
rubber band
First measure your head circumference and find a bowl or a ball that has a slightly larger circumference.   This will be your hat form.   I used a bowl.
Next cut two pieces of felt that are large  enough to be pulled down over the hat form. Run the first piece of felt under the facet until it is soaked.  Stretch it over the hat form  and secure it with a rubber band.  Keep tugging on the felt until you get it as stretched as possible.  Let the cloth dry for a few hours.  It doesn’t have to be dry just make sure it’s not soaking.  You could seed up the process by putting it under a fan.
Next, cover the hat with glue and stretch a second layer of wet felt over the hat securing it with the same rubber band.  Let the hat dry completely.
Trim the hat to about an half inch below the rubber band.
to make the brim of the hat cut two large circles of felt.  then cut a hole in the center about a half an inch smaller in diameter than the hat for.
take the hat off the hat form and place it on top on one of the circles centered above the hole.  Put the other circle on top of the hat and gently pull it down.  Stitch the two circles together at the opening, catching the hat in the middle.
Glue the to circles together forming the brim of hat.  Pin the ribbon or bias tape along the edge hat and sew. (I think bias tape would work better.)
If the brim of your hat has dried so that you can’t bend it get it damp until you can.  position it with three edges up and pin it.  let the hat dry.   Try it on and you’re done!

Play Purse

Pretty Pink Play Purse 
Pattern available here.
Cut one of everything of the outside fabric (except the strap cut two) and then one of everything (except the strap) of the lining material.   I also cut a layer of felt or interfacing and basted it to the back of the outside fabric to make the purse stiffer, but that is optional.
Basically you sew two different purses one of the outside fabric and one of the lining. For the strap you pin the right sides together and sew turning the strap right-side out when you are done an attach it to the outside layer fabric.  Then sew the the two purses right sides together leaving a small 2 inch hole to turn the purse the right side out.   then use a needle and thread to stitch it closed using a hidden stitch.
For the purse I made for my daughter, I made a braided yarn strap instead of  cloth one. Depending on the material you use and if you have a serger   you may not have to make a lining.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Counting, Potty training and Stickers!

Most kids are potty trained around age three. Around age three is also the time kids start getting an interest in numbers, in counting. Why not combine it?  For my kids after that initial day where you take them every 20 minutes, I make them ladder charts. I start with charts that count to three. Each chart has 3 squares. Every time They go I place a sticker in a square. After three stickers they get a prize. I usually get dollar store prizes or make them friendship anklets. Some people use candy but i prefer not to. If my child needs a little more intensive then a sticker each time they go i'll give them a grape. (just make sure you don't give them grapes any other time) They can have other fruits for snack.
Once they start burning a whole through your pocket going three times in a row, make the ladder taller with more rungs. Five, seven, up to ten rungs.
Be sure to write the number in each square so they start to associate the oral number with the written form. They won't get it right away (unless you have a little genius) but it's good to provide them with lots of exposure so they can learn those pre-academic skills for before kindergarten.

"A watermelon party."

If you're a germaphobe stop right there. Don't read on. If your okay with you're kids sharing a glass of water this will be fun. Maybe not homemade clean fun but homemade messy fun.  Find a place like you patio or the kitchen table that you can get messy. You could even throw down a tarp over the carpet. Just make sure your kids are eating over something you can clean afterwards. Or better yet throw down a plastic table cloth you can throw away afterwards.  You could even cut up a few garbage bags.  You may even want to do this as a nutritious dessert and throw the kids straight into the tub when your done.
    Cut a large watermelon in half. Put half in the fridge you can use it for that fruit salad you want to make later. The other half set on the tarp or plastic table cloth or whatever.  Have your kids sit around the "watermelon  bowl" and hand each of them a spoon. Then let them dig in. It's fun! you might even want to try a spoonful. 
My kids loved this and your's will too! You can even turn this fun into an opportunity to teach your kids about taking turns and sharing.  This activity is probably better for younger kids. Mine range from 1-5. Yes even my one year old was trying to participate. She had a blast and worked on her fine motor skills at the same time. My five year old called it. "a watermelon party" and repeatedly asks if we can do it again.   
   When you're done toss them in the tub or spray them off with the hose and throw them in the pool.
Now go have some homemade fun with your own kids!

A tip: If a half is too much cut a smaller bowl.
Also for my real young kids I strip them down to their diapers. 

Play with your kids!

Turn off the TV and get ready for some good wholesome homemade family fun. With kids it's about time not about what fancy toy or high tech gadget you can buy them.  So i'm starting this blog to help inspire parents come up with fun games and crafts for good clean homemade inexpensive fun. I'll even throw in free patterns tutorials to help you make homemade toys and gifts for your child.
     Most of all i'm starting this blog as an excuse to play with my kids. So for those of you who think, I can't be that parent, I'm not creative or I don't have the time. I'll you have to do is check back often. I'll supply the ideas to get you started. I'll help you turn regular chores into games. Turn the things you already have to do into fun quality time with your kids. So that everyone has time to play with their kids!
Copyright 2010 Homemade Play for Kids. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by
Wordpress by Wpthemescreator
Blogger Showcase