It’s the beginning of both TV Turnoff Week and Earth Week. I’d say they go hand in hand, don’t you?
My boys are never thrilled with the idea of not being able to watch any shows for the whole week, but we always manage to stay occupied so they don’t even notice it too much. I definitely think it has more to do with consciously thinking about not turning in to whatever the favorite show is at the moment since we often go with no tv for several days.
And this week we will have plenty to do to celebrate Earth Week that I know we won’t even have time to think about what we may or may not be missing out on.
Throughout the week, I’ll be exploring different things to do with your kids. The following is a list of ten (2 for every day!) activities to try this week.
- Make a weather book: Have your child take a look outside at the weather and determine if it’s rainy, cloudy, sunny, etc.? Choose a style of book to make (I love the set of bookmaking instructions at Making Books with Children), from simple to more elaborate. Then come up with ideas for each page based on age: photos or drawings, weather facts, weather songs or poems, observations, or anything else you like.
- Ride bikes: Or at least let your kids ride, whether in a trailer behind or on their own bikes. We actually did this today, well the boys rode and I walked, but I hope the weather will be good enough to go out again one more time this week.
- Go on a nature walk: This is always a hit here. Luckily we have a couple of wilderness parks within walking distance. There are so many ways to make a walk more interesting: count the animals you see, find as many colors of flowers, jump in puddles, tell a story along the way, run, collect rocks (depending on where you are there may be rules against that).
- Art projects: From simple free coloring to more elaborate projects, kids love art.
- Find a library storytime: This is one of the best free events for this week. It’s fun for the kids and great on the environment to utilize the libraries resources. Try walking, biking, or bussing for an extra point!
- Play a board game or jigsaw puzzle: This is something fun for us if we need a quieter activity, which all too often does not happen. My 4 year old loves sitting down with a memory game, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, or Squiggly Worms and jigsaw puzzles. My 6 year old likes more active games like Hullabaloo or Hyper Dash. My 20 month old loves the Candyland Castle Game and wooden puzzles. Don’t have any? Make your own!
- Get in the kitchen: Salad People by Mollie Katzen has been a favorite here for a few years now. Of course, anything you make or bake with your child will be fun. My boys always love to help in the kitchen and with our busy lives they don’t always get the chance.
- Try a science experiment: With so many to try, it can be hard to choose one, but for this week I am going to suggest the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment. My dad did this when he came to visit and my kids went crazy over it. I am also loving “What’s That Smell?” from PBS’s Sid the Science Kid.
- Plant: Plant a tree, plant a garden, plant something. Whether you volunteer with a tree planting organization in your state, work in your own backyard, or help out in a community or school garden. I believe this is incredibly important for children to experience, particularly if you can reap the benefits of a vegetable garden. We need more connection to the foods we eat and it just tastes so much better, even my boys say so!
- Read: It’s simple, but oh so crucial for our kids. Wherever they are in their own literacy, being read to and reading to their parents is one of the most important things you can do with your children. Daytime reading can also be very different than bedtime reading. There is more time for questions, discussions, laughter, and ideas that come from reading time during the day.
Full disclosure… I will be using the computer this week. However, I am not going to be on during my children’s waking hours. So, if you try to contact me via email, Facebook, or twitter, I won’t be getting back to you until the evening. I also plan on blogging each day with ideas and book reviews for this week…
Now. What are you planning for this week?