May 27, 2020 – Our matched Bigs are very important to our Littles – just like family is important in times like these. So for today’s Off-Line Activity suggestion, how about creating OUR FAMILY MAGAZINE (hint: Matched Bigs & Littles can adapt and do OUR MATCH MAGAZINE).
Let your child assign someone to draw the illustrations and take pictures; someone to design the cover and layout of the pages; and someone else to conduct interviews and write articles. What topics would the family magazine cover? Perhaps news about the family’s favorite outings or movie reviews. They could include recipes or snack tips. How about some family history or personality reviews? Would there be advertisements in this magazine? If so, what might they want the family to advertise? Does someone babysit or run a dog walking business?
Let your child control the production of the magazine. How many copies would they need? Would relatives, family friends, or neighbors want a copy of the completed publication? If so, help them photocopy or use a computer printer to create multiple copies.
May 20, 2020 – John Lubbock said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” With that said, today’s Off-Line Activities take a look at Points of View…how do things change when you look at it from a new point of view.
Up, Up, and Away! – Have your child imagine they are traveling high in the sky with a hot-air balloon. Ask them what they see when looking down. Have them draw the neighborhood from a bird’s eye view. What different types of landforms and waterways do they see? How do rooftops, swimming pools, cards, and people look different from this point of view.
Color Changes – How about looking at things through so-called rose-covered glasses (or yellow or green or whatever color)? Have your child imagine everything turned a shade of their favorite color. They can paint a landscape where everything is a shade of that color. Or for an alternative…what if the colors all switched around where greens turned to red and yellows turned to blue, etc.? Ask them to draw a scene where all the colors switched.
Follow an Ant – On a warm day, go on a walk with your child and find an ant outdoors. Follow this tiny creature for a while until it enters a space you can’t peek into. Then ask your child to imagine how the world looks to the ant. What would our shoes look like to the ant, as it scurries away? What does a big juicy watermelon look like to an ant that is so tiny? Have them draw a scene from that ant’s point of view.
May 18, 2020 – Time for some more Off-Line fun at Home! And it’s time to get those imaginations going!
Dream Car – Have your child design a new car that fits your family’s wildest dreams! Love the beach? Then maybe design a car that surfs the waves. Always in a hurry? Maybe a flying car will help. Worried about gas prices? Your child could maybe design a car that runs on alternative fuels. Tell them to use their imaginations to design the shape and functions of this special Dream Car.
Our Money – So I guess you will need some money to buy that Dream Car. Well, have your child create your own family currency. What do your dollars look like? Ask your child to make some family money and create a playful way to buy & pay for that dream car or maybe some special services. For example, how much family fun money would you get for going out to bring the newspaper or mail into the house? How much would the kids pay to pick out a movie to watch? Teach math and budgeting skills with a creative flair!
Sometimes money is no object, particularly when it is those special things we do for each other…so how about trying Wrapping Special Wishes. The best gifts we can give family members and close friends are those special wishes we have for them. Have your child draw or write special wishes for a Wish Exchange. Tuck them in a box and create personalized wrapping paper that hints at the kind thoughts inside. Share these treasures.
May 13, 2020 – What if pets ruled everything? That’s the basis for our first activity today: Pets In Charge! Imagine if dogs ran the schools and cats ran the grocery stores. What pet would be President? What if humans’ jobs were all focused on serving the pets that were in charge? Have your kids draw a picture of how they think things woudl look for Pets In Charge.
Speaking of our favorite creatures, how about trying Curious Creatures. Ask your child to take an imaginary adventure exploring some unknown part of our planet. To their surprise, they discover a creature that is unlike anything seen before! What does it look like? What does it eat? How does it move? What is it called? Have your child draw a picture to show what this new curious creature looks like, and maybe write a newspaper article announcing the new discovery.
Finally, some of us have heard the saying “If pigs could fly…” Well, what if pigs everywhere sprouted wings and learned how to fly? Your child could draw a pig with wings and write a story about the bizarre flight the pig experiences. What out birds and airplanes, there’s a new creature taking to the sky! Kids can imagine what farmers have to do to keep their livestock on the farm. What if a pig landed on a rooftop for a rest?
May 11, 2020 – “A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” So let’s Wake Up and Smile! If your child could invent a new way to wake people up — to help those who aren’t early risers or who are grumpier in the morning — what would it be? Remember happy places or special days that your family enjoys. How can those ideas, sounds, or pictures help people wake up happily with a smile?
Maybe it’s music that makes you smile, so try Drawing to the Music! Use crayons or markers and a big piece of plain paper. Turn on music that has various styles and beats. Try some classical, jazz, rumba, and salsa. Move your arms to the beat of the music while drawing. How do the lines and patterns look different, based on the musical inspiration?
When talking about smiles, we can forget Mona Lisa — so here’s an activity for you: Mona Lisa Smile! Find a picture of the Mona Lisa for your child to examine. What could she be feeling? Then let them paint a portrait of a family member or close friend capturing the feelings they think the person shows.
As you do these SMILE-themed activities remember this: never under-estimate the importance of having a person in your life who can always make you smile! 🙂
May 6, 2020 – One thing we know during the current times, there are so many everyday heroes out there: our Big Brothers and Big Sisters who continue to their contact with Littles despite social distancing; teachers who continue to work with students; doctors & nurses who help those with COVID-19; grocery store workers who help keep us fed; and so many more. So let’s start our Off-Line Activities out with showing the hero inside of each of us…
COMIC STRIP HERO — Have your child pretend he/she is a superhero! Ask them to draw themselves and create a unique costume. What superpowers do they have? Who helps them? Who do they triumph over? Have children draw a few comic strips that show their special powers and the problems they solve.
But you don’t actually need superpowers to have an adventure, do you? Maybe, your child would rather be a secret agent. For SPIES “R” US, get your child to create a mystery mission. If kids had to save grown-ups from getting too serious or working too hard, what could they do? They can pretend they are secret agents working on a special mission; even develop codes for written messages. Challenge them to know how and when the mission is accomplished.
The point of both activities…we can all be heroes in our own way!
May 4, 2020 – Dress up and cooking…now, that’s an activity that everyone can enjoy! It’s called The Stars Come to Our Restaurant. Have your child imagine your kitchen is transformed into a fancy restaurant. What is the name of the restaurant and what is its cuisine? Ask your child to draw menus, help prepare the food, then serve the meal. Pretend you are famous guests. Who would you like to be…a movie star, a celebrity musician, historical hero etc.? Dress the part and enjoy your fancy meal!
If dinner isn’t your favorite meal, try New Super-Healthy, Best-Tasting Breakfast! Have your child imagine they are responsible for inventing a new breakfast food that is highly nutritious, fast to fix, and — most importantly — kids’ favorite. What would this new food be made of? What would it be named? Create an advertisement that will show other kids how good it is.
Since we are on a food theme, our final activity recommendation…You Are What You Eat. Every child has at least one or two favorite foods. Tell them to draw a person made up of their favorite foods. Perhaps one has pasta hair and donut eyes. Would the arms be ice cream cones or chicken drumsticks? How would his/her self-portrait be different if only healthy foods were included?