April 6th — Here’s some more off-line fun! Give them a try.
Choose the oldest or youngest to start this drawing game and then have players draw in order of their birth date. Find a fairly large piece of paper and get out colored pencils, crayons, or markers. The first player begins by drawing a line, circle, or other piece of a picture. Each player adds to it. Keep having players add to the picture until everyone has a turn, if you have many players, or until the players have had a predetermined number of turns. See what type of interesting drawing results.
Choose some of your kids’ favorite music and have them dance until the music stops, at which point they must freeze. You can have them freeze in whatever position they are in when the music stops or specify a position. Some good choices are the shapes of:
- Expressing an emotion
- Plants, trees or flowers
- YOga positions
A dictionary game for older children, word whiz can be played indefinitely. Provide each player with a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Pass around a dictionary and each player in turn chooses a word the meaning of which they believe the other players do not know. Players read words aloud and spell them if necessary. The players who have not chosen the word write down what they believe the word means. All the definitions are read and the players vote for which one they think is correct. The player with the word gets one point for each vote and then reveals the real definition. The player with the most points at the end of a set number of rounds wins the game.
April 1st — No fooling! Here are some more off-line activities (some old and some new) to do at home. Check back tomorrow for some more off-line games.
Kids love finding hidden objects and although this fun game to play at home does take a bit of preparation, the fun it provides is worth it. Begin by writing clues on small folded slips of paper. Each clue leads kids to the next place with an additional note. When the kids reach the end, they find a prize. Alternatively, leave coins in each spot, beginning with pennies and working up to the end and a larger amount of money.
An old favorite, play begins with everyone sitting in a circle on the floor. Turn on music while players pass the “hot potato” – a bean bag or small soft ball – around the circle as quickly as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the hot potato is out. When only one player is left, you have a winner of the game.
Guess the Sound
Gather several items that produce some sort of sound. Blindfold players and have them guess the item from the sound it makes. Some suggested items:
- A stapler – staple the paper
- A glass – tap the side of the glass with a spoon
- A piece of paper – tear it
- A comb — rub your fingers along the teeth of the comb
- Wood blocks – bang them together
- A pot with a lid – place the lid on top noisily
March 31st — Going away from on-line activities again, today we are taking a look at some old and some new games to play at home with kids. Here are a few ideas. Check back tomorrow for some more.
Dots and Boxes
A pencil and paper game for two players, Dots and Boxes begins with an empty grid of dots. Players take turns adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two un-joined adjacent dots. The player who completes the fourth side of a 1×1 box earns one point and gets another turn. Players write their initials in the boxes to indicate who completed each. The drawn “board” can be of any size. If you have little time to play or are just learning how to play, try a 2×2 box. A 5×5 box works well for experts. Dots and Boxes ends when there are not more lines that can be placed. The winner is the player with the most boxes completed.
A challenging two-player word game, Hangman challenges players to complete the spelling of a word before a drawing of a hangman is finished. The first player thinks of a word or phrase and writes a blank for every letter below a drawing of a gallows with an empty rope. The second player attempts to spell the word by guessing letters. Each wrong guess gives the guessing player a body part added to the swinging rope – a head, torso, two arms, and two legs. If the hangman is completed before guesses provide the correct word or phrase, the player who chose the word wins. To stump an opponent, use short words or words with repeated letters.
Tic-Tac-Toe is one of the first pencil and paper games a child learns. To begin playing, draw a grid of two horizontal lines dissecting two vertical lines. Players take turns choosing a box and placing either the letter 0 or the letter X to mark their box. The goal of the game is to fill in three marks in a row or block your opponent from doing so.