Recreation at Home Activities

Learn some fun activity ideas that you can do at home with your family!

What
The City of Hamilton Recreation Division will share activities for you to try at home with your family.

Who
Kids of all ages

Why
While we are all doing our part to stay home and practise physical distancing, the Recreation Division wants to remind families of the role that active and creative play have in helping to keep us all healthy.

How
By posting a variety of activities that you can try at home. We encourage you to check in regularly to see what activities/challenges are posted. New activities/challenges will continue to be added to this page on a regular basis. So, keep checking back for additional programming ideas and opportunities. Post pictures online to show everyone what you have accomplished!

Reminder
Like all of us, children do well when the general flow of their day is somewhat predictable. A rigid schedule isn’t necessary or recommended but establishing a usual order of events can be helpful for everyone. Plan your day in chunks rather than hours and minutes.

You may choose to offer a different variety of play experiences in the afternoon than morning.  If there is a baby or toddler in the family that sleeps better in the morning or afternoon, offer arts, crafts, Lego and other types of play with small parts during that part of the day, and experiences such as dress-up, pretend play, music, dance, exercise, when the younger child is awake and taking part.

For young children, visuals such as photographs can help them to know what to expect and what is coming next.  Some suggestions for visuals are photographs of the child and family engaging in activities or images found online or cut from flyers, magazines or the visuals could be arranged on a timeline. Remember that flexibility is important!  Having visuals will help your young children to adjust if the usual routine is not possible. 

  1. Getting started - Time devoted to breakfast, getting dressed and other usual morning routines.
  2. Indoor time for play
  3. Snack
  4. Outdoor activity
  5. Lunch
  6. Calming, reading and resting time
  7. Snack
  8. Time for play

For school age children, you may want to consider adding in a school/ learning time during your daily schedule.  Remember it is important to set a schedule that works for your days so please adjust the schedule as needed.

Watch a video to get started!


Video National Health & Fitness Day


Video Singalong


Video Playing Cards


Video Spell Your Name Exercise


Video Active Simon Says

Physical Activity

Physical Activity
These physical activities will get you moving!  It’s important to stay active and keep your body healthy!

Creative Activity

Creative Activity
These activities will help you to make things using your own ideas, creativity is important!

Mindfulness Activity

Mindfulness Activity
These activities will help you to think positively and celebrate things that make you happy!

Pre-school Activity

Preschool Activity
These experiences invite children to engage and explore the world with their body, mind and senses. Have fun together!

sun and water drops

Stay Cool without a Pool
These activities encourage Water Play and Safety without the use of a pool. Stay cool when the heat hits and have fun together.

Activity Activity Details
Animal HIIT Workout

Do each movement for 45 secs, with 15 seconds of rest in-between! Do as many rounds as you can!

  • Frog Jump - Hop from one end of a room to the other like a frog!
  • Bear Walk - Walk on all fours like a bear from one end of the room to the other!
  • Gorilla Shuffle - Sink into a low squat, hands hang in the middle like a gorilla, and shuffle in this position from one end of the room to the other!
  • Starfish Jumps - Jumping jacks as fast as you can!
  • Cheetah Run - Run on the spot as fast as you can, how fast can you move your feet?
  • Crab Walk - Sit on the floor, place your palms flat on the floor behind you, lift up your body and crawl around like a crab!
  • Elephant Stomps - Stand in place and lift your knees one by one as high as they can go and then stomp them to the ground like an elephant, see how fast you can go!
Colour Run Relay
  • Pick your relay starting point
  • Pick 8 of your favourite colours
  • Yell out each colour and run to something around you that matches the colour you yelled out (Example: Brown – run and tag a brown couch cushion and run back to your relay starting point)
  • Time yourself to see how fast you can get through all the different colours, switch up the colours whenever you like!
Indoor Obstacle Course

Examples of some obstacle course items

  • Crawl under a string or a sheet like a limbo
  • Crawl under or over some chairs
  • Walk one foot in front of the other on an imaginary balance beam
  • Run while balancing a beanbag or a stuffed animal on your head
  • Somersault from one area to another
  • Throw a sock into a laundry basket
  • Crab walk
  • Bear walk
  • Slither like a snake
  • Walk backwards
  • Walk sideways
  • Dance move, strike a pose
  • Pile some pillows to turn them into a “mountain” you must climb over
  • Use a toy car on the floor to challenge your child to push it from one station to the next without using their hands

Have your family create different ones each day, time yourselves to see how fast you can do the obstacle course!

Dice Work Out

Use a dice to create workouts for you and your family! Assign each number an exercise, roll the dice and complete the exercise! Switch up the exercises each day! For example:

  • 1 - 5 Wall push ups
  • 2 - Run in place for 30 seconds
  • 3 - 10 Jumping jacks
  • 4 - 20 Toe touches
  • 5 - Give yourself a hug
  • 6 - Balance on one foot for 10 seconds each foot

You can also use 6 small pieces of paper (write numbers 1-6 on each of them), put them into a basket or hat and shake them around, pick one piece of paper out and do the exercise!

Shake it Out

Use an old tissue box and get a piece of rope or string and attach it around your waist so it fits. Fill this box with a bunch of small objects and when you're ready try to get them out by shaking and moving around.

Spell Your Name Workout

Spell your full name and complete the exercise listed for each letter! Challenge yourself by doing middle names too, repeat 3 times!

  • A - 10 jumping jacks
  • B - 5 push-ups
  • C - 1 burpee
  • D - 20 high knees
  • E - 5 crunches
  • F - 10 mountain climbers
  • G - 5 squats
  • H - 10 front lunges
  • I - 10 side lunges
  • J - 10 second wall sit
  • K - 5 calf raises
  • L - 5 second plank
  • M - 3 squat jumps
  • N - 10 second jump rope
  • O - 10 sit-ups
  • P - 5 wide leg squats
  • Q - 10 arm circles
  • R - 10 froggy jumps
  • S - 10 second jog in place
  • T - 10 butt kickers
  • U - 5 tuck jumps
  • V - 5 tricep dips using couch or chair
  • W - 5 star jumps
  • X - 10 second skip around
  • Y - 10 leg raises
  • Z - 10 second air punches
Spoon Balance Relay

Set up a race track inside or outside your home. Next have each participant put a spoon in their mouth handle first. Now find some objects you can balance on the spoon. Some examples would be a small ball, eggs, candy etc. 

Now you're ready to race! Race against someone else or have someone time each person and see who can complete the course the fastest

Activity Activity Details
Pick It Up

In this challenge you're going to need;

  • a laundry basket or a box
  • a bunch of rolled up socks.

Have each participant lay down on their back with the laundry basket or box where their head is. All of the rolled up socks will be near their feet. Now when ready pick up all of those rolled up socks by only using your feet and place them in the basket.

To add more of a challenge add more socks or smaller objects that would be more difficult to grab with your feet.

Fitness Tag

Tag you're it! In this game of tag you're going to need to sweat it out when caught. To continue in the game you must pick one of the fitness exercises to join back in the game. See our example or create your own!

  • 5 Ab Crunches
  • 5 Laps Around Area
  • 5 Donkey Kicks
  • 5 Hops
  • 5 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Bridges
  • 15 Squats
  • Butterfly Stretch 5 seconds
  • Tree Pose 10 seconds
  • Butterfly Stretch 10 seconds
  • 15 Side Lunges
Create your own circuit

You have learned a lot of new fitness moves from week one, put them all together and create your own circuit using your favourite moves!

  • Try to do as many of the exercises in 20 second intervals with 10 second rest in between each one.
  • Have a someone keep track of the time and total completed for each interval.
Plank Challenge

Start a plank challenge with the people around you! Start by trying to hold a plank for 30 seconds. Record your time, and each day challenge each other to beat your personal records each day.

Planking exercise illustration

Active Simon Says

In this version of Simon Says we want all the participants to work up a sweat with the instructions. Use such phrases as Simon Says....

  • Hop like a frog
  • Balance on your left foot for a count of 10 seconds
  • Bend down and touch your toes 10 times
  • Pretend to a ride like a horse
  • Pretend to shoot a basketball 10 times
  • Walk like a crab
  • Show off all the muscles in your arms
  • Modify for each participant if needed.
Stuffed Animal Relay

Gather up all your favourite stuffed animals, action figures or dolls and create a relay race! 

  • Find an open space inside or outside and create your very own relay race.
  • Select a starting point, and place all items there.
  • Decide on an ending point.
  • The goal is to race back and forth picking up items from the starting point and bringing them to the ending point!
  • See who can collect them the fastest! 
  • Think of different ways to adapt the relay (move on one leg hops, crab walk, two foot jumps etc) to make it more fun!
Animal Parade From SO PUMPED Fitness!

In this fun workout you will get moving by replicating various different animal movements.

Draw the following animals:

  • Turtle
  • Frog
  • Bear
  • Crab
  • And grab a laundry basket!

Watch the video and play it an area that you will be able to follow along! Or watch it first, and play it on your own!

Activity Activity Details
Dryer Sheet Figure Skating

In this fun activity all you need is a smooth surface, dryer sheets and let your creativity run wild.

  • Make up a fun routine to pretend your figure skating and perform it to your family.
  • Don't forget to pick a song to play during your performance!

You can also use 2 pieces of paper!

Fitness Hop Scotch

In this variation of hop scotch the same rules apply except on each spot you land there will be a fitness challenge to do. Using sidewalk chalk draw out your hop scotch court. Next in each number create a fitness challenge to go with it "1 jumping jack, 2 burpees, 3 donkey kicks, 4 pushups, 5 situps, 6 crunches, 7 one foot jumps, 8 toe touches, 9 seconds jogging on spot, 10 1 foot jumps"

Create your own commands and increase the length of the hop scotch court if you want to increase the challenge.

Crab Walk Relay

In your home set up a maze using different objects that the participants will need to move around during this race.

Next get ready to race, by putting the palms of your hands on the ground and feet stretched out with feet flat on the floor you're going to crab walk around your maze. If you want to make it more challenging try by balancing different objects on yourself and if they drop you need to pick them up and get back to crab walking

Pillow Case Relay Races

In your house set up an area with some open space and grab your pillow case for this fun race.

Have each participant put their feet inside the pillow case and on the count of 3 start hopping to see who is the fastest! 

Chalk Obstacle Course

On your sidewalk or driveway draw out your very own obstacle course.

Use your imagination to create different challenges to complete through the course such as hopping, jumping, spinning etc. 

Homemade Twister

Using some paper plates and construction paper create this classic game in your home.

  • You will need 20 plates (or cut out circles of paper) and then will need to colour 5 of each for 4 different colours. After completing that you will set those up 5 in a row by colour. 
  • Next you will need to make the twister spinner to figure out what colour and body part needs to be placed down. See attached example of what this twister spinner needs to look like.
  • Once completed its time to start! Take turns spinning the wheel and calling out where the spinner lands "left foot blue" etc.
  • Follow the same steps but use sidewalk chalk if you want to create this outside.

Visit designeddecor.com/twister-game as reference!

Hallway Soccer
  • Use a hallway (or an open space) and a roll of tape.
  • Tape off an area to create your own indoor soccer field.
  • For goal nets use some boxes or laundry baskets on their side.
  • Use a soft ball or create one with rolled up socks. 
Activity Activity Details
Rhythmic Gymnastics Routine

In this game you're going to put on the performance of a lifetime for your family.

  • First using a long straight object about a foot long (ruler, paper towel roll etc)
  • Attach a ribbon to your object. Streamers, old fabric work well for this.
Synchronized "Swimming" Routine

In an open space in your home pretend you and at least one other person are on a swim team.

  • You need to create your very own synchronized swimming routine to perform.
  • Pick a song and be goofy in this fun challenge. 
  • Lay on your backs with your feet in the air.
  • Try to create moves that you can do at the same time with another person.
Freeze Dance

Time to dance your heart out to your favourite songs:

  • All you need is some music and an open space.
  • When the music stops playing make sure to strike a pose one the spot and freeze until the music starts again.
Olympic Challenge

In this challenge we're going to recreate an Olympic experience inside your home. Set up a bunch of different games and see who gets the gold medal. Here are some events to try to crown your champions!

  • Long Jump - Set up an open space and use tape to mark who jumped the furthest.
  • High Jump - Give each person’s name written on a piece of tape and see how high they can jump by placing the tape as high as they can on a wall with their hand as they jump.
  • Hallway or Sidewalk Dash -  Time who is the fastest runner in the house. Run from point A to point B, and time each person.
  • “Cycling” - Using your bike, scooter, rollerblades, skateboard time who is the fastest from one light post to and back outside.
  • To make it more fun design your own team flags, medals and have a medal ceremony for the events!
Alphabet Fitness Challenge

Using sidewalk chalk outside or pieces of paper inside, write out all the different letters of the alphabet.

  • Spread them out or do them out of order if you want to add more of a challenge.
  • In this game one person will be calling out a letter to run to and a fitness challenge to do when they get to that spot. For example " J ... 10 jumping jacks" 
  • Try to collect or mark off all letters as fast as you can every time you complete an exercise!

The Floor is Lava!

Set up your living room furniture and use different objects like pillows, t-shirts, socks on the floor to help you create a path so that you do not step on the “lava”.

Jump and hop all-over the room but be careful where you land! Try moving in different ways:

  • Hoping on one foot
  • Hoping backwards
  • Jumping jacks
  • Frog jumps
  • Star jumps
Skipping Rope Helicopter

With this activity all you need is a skipping rope and a flat surface outside that is few feet bigger then the length of your skipping rope all stretched out. Have one person in the middle holding one ene of the rope while the rest of the skipping rope lays flat on the ground. 

The other participants will need to spread out and be standing back the length of the skipping rope. When ready the person holding the rope will start spinning it in circles and as the rope turns towards each participant they must jump without the rope touching them. Keep playing and take turns being the person in the middle spinning the rope.

Activity Activity Details

Book-Worm Workout

Story time doesn’t have to be just for bedtime! Pick a book that has a word that’s often repeated. For example, choose the word “hat” if you’re reading The Cat in the Hat. Every time the word comes up in the story, do a physical movement of your choice!

Crab Carry

When bad weather has you dreaming of sunnier times on the beach, play crab carry. Walk like a crab by placing your palms and feet to the floor while raising your stomach up to face the sky. Staying in that pose! See how long you can balance something like a bean bag or stuffed animal on your belly. Crab races are also another fun option!

Table Tennis

We are going to recreate a game of table tennis using household items. First find your table you are going to use, grab a towel and a couple containers to set up your net. Make sure to fill your containers to ensure they are stable enough to hold the towel in place. Next you are you going to create your racquet using a square piece of cardboard and a paper towel roll. You can use tape to hold it together.

Lastly get your ball and you're ready to serve!For this game you will need the following items:

  • a table that is high enough to stand at or possibly to kneel at
  • a towel
  • two coffee tin sized containers
  • a plastic ball or rubber ball
  • a cardboard box
  • paper towel roll
  • tape

Tape Shape Movements

In this game you're going to need an area inside with some room to move. You'll need some tape and you're going to create some different shapes either on the floor or wall with the tape. (Make sure to ask first!) Next one person is going to shout out different physical movements as a command "hop on one foot to the square" , "pretend to ride a horse to the circle", etc.

Penguin Waddle Relay

In this relay game you will need to set up an area or track where the participants will race through inside or outside your home. Next each participant is going to place a ball/toy between their knees and on the count of three you're going to waddle like a penguin through the course.

Spider Web Toss

In this game you're going need a doorway and with masking or painters tape you're going to place pieces of tape across the doorway to make it look like a spider’s web. Next you will scrunch up a bunch of paper balls to use as objects to get stuck to our tape spiderweb. Once you have that all set up get ready to throw your paper balls and get them stuck to your web. Time yourself to see who can get them stuck the fastest!

Sock/Ball Target Toss

In this game you're going to set up different targets on a wall inside or outside your home. For each target assign a point value to it 5 points, 10 points etc...

Next use some bean bags or rolled up socks or some soft balls and try to hit the targets. You can adjust the game by trying to see who can score the most amount of points in a time period or create a task sheet and see who can complete it the fastest "hit the 5-point target 6 times, hit the 10-point target 3 times".  Move targets closer or further away to adjust the challenge level!

Activity Activity Details
Indoor Curling

In this game you will need a flat surface inside or outside your home. Next using tape or sidewalk chalk (if outside) create a curling zone that will have 4 circles as your targets.

Next you will need 5 similar type objects for each participant whether it be balls or bean bags. Once you are ready you can start playing.

You can either roll or slide your objects towards the curling circles. Each participant will take a turn one after the other to slide or toss their objects to score points. After all 5 items are tossed, the person who has the object closest to the middle will get a point. 

If a person has multiple objects closer to the middle, then the other player they would get additional point for every object closer. 

You can either play 10 rounds of this and see who has the highest score or possibly set a pre determined number to play up to.

Fitness Repeat

In this activity you will start by calling out a fitness task for the participants to complete, "5 jumping jacks" then call out another task "3 burpees" but the trick is you need to complete the first task before you complete the second task. You can keep continuing and building this to make it longer and if they complete a task out of order they need to start from the beginning again!

Horse

In this variation of the classic basketball game you're going to set up a medium sized container in your home with the lid off. Next you will need to find a ball that will be able to fit inside the container.

Now by using your creativity try doing different shots or trick shots to try to make it in the container. If you do make it in your opponent has to replicate the shot or else they will get a letter. First person to force their opponent to spell HORSE wins.

Shadow Tag

In this game you will need an outdoor space, preferably in a driveway on a bright beautiful day. This game is like any other tag game except we won’t be making any contact with the opponents we will only be stepping on or touching their shadow to get them out. To get back in the game assign a fitness challenge such as 10 jumping jacks for them to return.

Indoor Skiing

In this game we are going to recreate cross country skiing on an indoor or outdoor surface. A smooth surface is ideal or possibly grass. Next by using cardboard we are going to cut out our ski’s. Lastly by using a shoe box or Kleenex box attach that to your ski by using tape or string. Now we're ready to ski by gliding on our cardboard skis. See who can complete the course the fastest.

Indoor or Outside Hurdles

For this activity we are going to set up different hurdles in a row and try to jump over them as fast as possible. Think of all the household objects you can set up to jump over. The more you have the more challenge it will be. Also, the higher the object will create more challenging hurdles too.  Make sure to be safe while doing this fun activity!  Use cushion’s and don’t make the hurdles too high!

Bucket Walk

For this challenge you need at least two buckets (ideally with lids). If not boxes a bit bigger then your foot would work too. We need to then fill these buckets or boxes with objects to make them a bit heavier that we could stand on them. For boxes you may need to use magazines and fill them close to the top so it doesn’t collapse.

Secondly, we need to use string or rope of some sort to use as a strap for our bucket or box. It needs to be tight enough that it will keep your foot secure when you stand on the box or bucket.

Once you got that figured out try walking from one end of the room and back and wee how fast you can do it without falling off. To add more of a challenge add heavier objects to the bucket or box so its harder to lift.

Activity Activity Details
Soccer Bowling

In this game we are going to play soccer as we typically would except instead of trying to score a goal we are trying to knock down our opponents "bowling pins". To make bowling pins you can use any type of liquid container such as plastic pop bottles and fill them up about two thirds full with water so they don't blow over easily. Other than that all you need is an empty indoor or outdoor space and a soccer ball or soft ball for indoor play.

Shape Jump Tag

For this activity you need tape or sidewalk chalk and need to create as many different shapes as possible on the ground. Spread them out wherever you are playing. Now for this game of tag the only way to move is from jumping from one shape to another. The goal is to try to tag your opponent while jumping from shape to shape.

Bedsheet Parachute Games

In this activity you will need a bedsheet and an open area to play. Depending on how many of your family members are playing you may need to adjust the size of the sheet for the activity.

Once ready start by moving the moving the bed sheet up and down slowly to create some small waves, once you get the rhythm adjust the speed and make it faster.

To add more fun to the activity use a few small balls or stuffed animals to play "popcorn" and try to keep the objects on the bedsheet.

Soccer Dribble Relay

In this activity we are going to put your soccer dribbling skills to work. First you need to set up an obstacle course inside or outside your home. Please make sure to give extra space so you can dribble the soccer ball between the objects. Next grab a soccer ball or a soft round ball for inside and get moving! For a different challenge try adding more obstacles to your course or use an odd shaped ball such as a football and try to complete it.

Lily Pad Tag

In this activity you will need to create a bunch of "lily pads" inside or outside your home using either paper or sidewalk chalk. Spread them out wherever you choose to play. 

All participants must hop around like frogs while playing tag. If you land on a lily pad that is a safe zone but you can only stay on a lily pad for 5 seconds before you have to move.

Indoor Snowball Battle

In this game you need an open space within your home. Next crumple up a bunch of paper balls as your objects. Now lastly set some ground rules such as boundaries or throwing restrictions (below the shoulders) and start playing!

Another variation you could do is to split your activity space in half and set a timer for 2 minutes.  Throw the paper balls back and forth and at the end of the 2 minutes, try to be the person with fewer paper balls on your side of the activity space.

Broom Hockey

In this variation you will need a couple of brooms, a small ball and a couple objects to use as a net. Laundry baskets or chairs work well for this. Next it is game on! If you only have one broom take turns being the shooter and goalie and play a shootout style game and see who can score the most goals.

Activity Activity Details
Paper Toss

Use paper balls for manipulative skill development. Practice throwing and catching in a variety of ways, e.g. throw with one hand, clap and catch with one hand, throw it in the air and try to turn and catch it, toss it up and try to catch it behind your back, etc.

  • How did you do?
  • What creatives ways did you throw and catch it?
  • Teach someone your new skills!
Over/Under

In this game we are going to set up an obstacle course inside or outside our home. You want to use objects that you can either jump over or slide/slither under. The more objects you can set up the better and get racing!

Tic Tac Toe Relay

In this activity you need an open space to create a large size tic tac toe court inside or outside with tape or sidewalk chalk.

  • Next you will need 5 objects each that are the same colour or shape to identify as the X's or O's. 
  • Now you will need to find a place where to start your relay. The further away from the tic tac toe court the better as it works up more of a sweat!
  • Place your objects near the start line and on the count of three each person will grab one of their objects and try to place it down on the tic tac toe court to try to win. You can only make one move at a time whether you place a new one on the court or run and move one to a new spot. 

To add a bigger challenge create an obstacle course to run through first before placing down the object

Garbage Pickup

In this game you will need to create equal sized zones inside for all participants who are playing. Next gather up lots of different objects (balls, stuffed animals, paper balls etc). The more you have the better. Place all those objects in the middle of the area and the goal is to push or slide all of those objects to your opponents zone. Set a time limit for how long you want to play and when the time is up whoever has the least amount of objects in their zone wins!

Glow Stick Dance Party

For this all you need is glow sticks, tape and some music. First find an open space in your house and dress up in all black clothes. Then tape glow sticks to your arms and legs. Next pick out your favorite songs and have someone turn off the lights so they can see you glowing as you dance around! Create a dance routine to add more fun.

Active Rap

Each person writes 2 to 4 lines of “rap” that involves movement. Then the small group takes turns leading the whole group in their Active Rap. You can pic different body parts to “rap” about and exercise.

Leg

  • Your leg is strong
  • It can hop on one foot
  • It helps you walk
  • So you never stay put
  • Soccer balls better watch out
  • Cause this strong leg is gunna knock you out!
Letters and Numbers and Shapes…OH MY!

Start to play your favorite song. Walk, skip, hop, slide, gallop, jump, etc. until the music stops. Have someone else stop the music and yell out a shape, letter or number on it, use your body to make that shape, letter or number. After holding that pose for a few seconds, you move again.

Activity Activity Details

Paper Toss

Use paper balls for manipulative skill development. Practice throwing and catching in a variety of ways, e.g. throw with one hand, clap and catch with one hand.

Balance On Three

Find some open space! Move around the space using any locomotor movement (skip, gallop, log roll). Make someone the “caller” when the caller yells out “Balance on three,” the you must balance safely on three body parts (e.g. two feet and one hand) and hold for five seconds.

Balance on three examples:

  • 2 feet and one hand
  • Two hands 1 foot
  • Two hands and bottom
  • Bottom and two feet

You can also call out “Balance on two or Balance On One”

Strike a Pose

Either indoors or outdoors, show your child a balance pose, and encourage your child to imitate you as you hold the pose:

  • Stand up on the tips of your toes, arms stretched straight overhead.
  • Stand on one leg, other leg bent at the knee, arms raised straight sideways like wings.
  • Stand on one leg, arms raised straight sideways like wings, bend forward at the waist, and lift rear leg.
  • Stand on all fours, head down, rear in the air.
  • From all fours, raise and hold one leg high in the air.
  • From all fours, raise and hold one arm high in the air.

Use this time to see what poses everyone can come up with and challenge each other!

Bucket Toss Golf

Items required:

  • Beanbags, soft foam balls, or balls of socks
  • Buckets, laundry baskets, or large cardboard boxes
  • Pieces of cardboard, or paper to mark “golf tees”

How To Play:

  1. Place buckets, baskets or boxes around your living room, hallways and other spaces to be “golf holes”. Place scraps of cardboard or paper on the floor to mark “golf tees” where you throw from.
  2. Take turns standing on each golf tee and tossing a beanbag or ball underhand into the bucket, basket or box. Continue tossing at each hole until each of you sinks one shot.
  3. Go around to each “golf hole” and keep track of how many tosses each of you took!
  4. Challenge yourself by switching up the game with using short distance tosses, challenge them by increasing the distance tosses and overhand throws! Try using different items to throw!

Float The Pond

Iems required:

  • Open space, indoor or outdoor at least 3 X 10 meters
  • Two round pieces of paper

How To Play

  1. Pretend the open space is a pond. The goal is to cross the pond by walking on your two lily pads.
  2. Begin by placing one lily pad on the “pond” and step onto it with one foot. While balancing on one lily pad with one foot, place the second lily pad in front.
  3. Step onto the second lily pad and balance on one foot again. Continue until you have crossed the entire “pond”.
  4. If you lose balance and fall into the “water,” pretend to swim up to your lily pad again by doing five jumping jacks, then continue crossing the pond.

You can also pretend you are jumping between rocks over lava! Try longer jumping distances to make it more difficult.

As If

Act out each sentence for 20 – 30 seconds. You can also create your own sentences!

Examples:

  • Jog in place as if a big scary bear is chasing you
  • Walk forward as if you’re walking through chocolate pudding
  • Jump in place as if you are popcorn popping
  • Reach up as if grabbing balloons out of the air
  • March in place and play the drums as if you are in a marching band
  • Paint as if the paint brush is attached to your head
  • Swim as if you are in a giant pool of Jell-O
  • Move your feet on the floor as if you are ice skating
  • Shake your body as if you are a wet dog

River Leap

Items required:

  • Open outdoor space with soft grass
  • Two long skipping ropes or lengths of ribbon

How To Play:

  • Stretch out two ropes or lengths of ribbon on the ground.
  • Use the ropes or ribbons to form a single large “V” with a 1 meter space at the bottom of the “V”.
  • The space between the two ropes or ribbons is the river.
  • Take turns running and leaping over the river.
  • Start by leaping at the narrow part of the river, and then try to leap wider parts.

You can also pretend there are crocodiles in the river – if you fall in the river, roll around on the grass and pretend you are wrestling a crocodile!

Activity Activity Details
Running Long Jump

Material needed

  • Open outdoor space with flat grass or sand surface
  • Markers (rope, ribbon, string, leaves, twigs)

How To Play

  1. Find a flat, open outdoor space with grass or sand surface. Mark a “jump” line on the ground (piece or rope or ribbon, or draw line in sand, use sticks etc).
  2. Practice doing a running long jump: run up to the line and take off with one foot. Mark your landing spot with a leaf, a twig, or a piece of ribbon.

Track who has jumped the farthest and try to beat your distance each day!

River Bank

Material needed

  • Open space
  • Rope or line in the ground

How To Play

  • Find a line on the ground (crack in the sidewalk), or stretch out a rope on the ground.
  • Designate one side of the rope or line to be the “bank”. The other side is the “river”.
  • When the leader says “river,” you must jump with both feet together to the river side, and same goes for “bank.”
  • Try to trick the players by saying “river” when they are already on the river side, or “bank” when they are on the bank side. They should not jump.

Challenge each other by switching between “river” and “bank” faster and faster so that the game becomes more challenging

Wheelbarrow Walking

Material needed

  • Soft, dry outdoor lawn area or large carpeted floor free of obstacles 

How To Play

  1. Have your partner lie on their stomach in pushup position.
  2. Lift your partner by holding their thighs.
  3. Get your partner to “walk” using their hands.
  4. Don’t hold your partner by the feet, it makes the back arch too much.

If there are a few people, you can race against each other by setting up and starting and finish line using household objects!

Twist and Shout

Material Needed

  • Open space
  • Something to play music on
  • Music will be any song with the word “Twist” in them – you can google search these!

How To Play

  1. Learn how to do the “Twist” (raised bent arms rotate with torso one direction, bent legs rotate with hips in other direction)
  2. Play music and start twisting! Call out “shout!” every 15-20 seconds. Each time, you must jump straight up.

After landing, you must start twisting again. Try to twist low to the floor, on one foot, while moving around, and while hopping over things.

Sock Ball Movements

Here is a list of different movements that can be done with a bean bag or sock ball!

Elbow Dip
Place bean bag on floor/ground, get into push-up position, ensure bean bag is below face, lower down to touch your nose to bean bag, and come back up again.

Corkscrew
Place bean bag in hand, run around in a circle.

Thread the needle
Bean bag in hand, pass bean bag under legs to other hand. Squat and Hold: hold bean bag to leg and do a one-legged squat.

Dip
Sit on knees, place bean bag on floor/ground in front, attempt to touch nose to bean bag with arms out ready to support if needed.

Circle the bean bag
Circle the bean bag around each leg. After practicing each movement, participants link together different movements in a sequence.

See how many you can learn and have competitions to see who can do all of them the fastest, take turns calling them out and mixing up the order etc.

Hold, Melt, Move

Play an upbeat song that has an easy beat!

Have participants choose a static position, such as a stork stand, squat, yoga pose, animal pose, or superhero pose.

HOLD - Ask participants to hold their pose for eight beats of the music.

MELT -Participants then melt, allowing their pose to dissolve for a count of eight beats of the music

MOVE - Direct participants to choose a locomotor pattern to move across the activity area for eight beats of the music (e.g. skipping, hopping, grapevine)

Repeat this for the full song!

Hallway Challenges

Find a hallway, use the below movements to move back and forth through this hallway.

  • Skipping
  • Galloping
  • Frog jumping
  • Forward, backward, or sideways kicks Forward or backward
  • Squat jumps (go into a deep squat and then jump up high)
  • Forward or backward crab-walking (sit and put hands flat on the floor/ground, bend knees, keep feet flat on the floor, and lift up bottom)

You can time yourself to see how fast you can complete each movement and see how many times you can go back and forth without stopping!

Activity Activity Details
Have you ever. . . 

Players jog or skip in a circle.  Play music if possible.

Every few minutes call out a question.  If they answer YES, they change direction every time and continue jogging or skipping.  Make sure that everyone keeps their heads up and watches before they switch direction to move.

Questions

  • Have you ever done 10 push-ups in a row?
  • Have you ever run around the block?
  • Have you ever eaten a banana?
  • Have you ever been to another province?
  • Have you ever been to another country?
  • Have you ever gone skating?
  • Have you ever gone on a roller coaster?
  • Have you ever stayed up all night?
  • Have you ever pet an animal?
  • Have you ever swung on a swing so high that you felt your feet might touch the sky?
  • Have you ever been hugged so hard that you felt you might explode?
Sports Galore

Leader calls out the following sports skills to mimic:

  • Shooting a jump shot
  • Running through tires
  • Batting a baseball
  • Serving a tennis ball
  • Downhill skiing
  • Spiking a volleyball
  • Swinging a golf club
  • Throwing a football
  • Juggling a soccer
  • Shooting a hockey puck
  • Swimming underwater 
  • Fielding a ground ball and throwing it to first base
  • Dunking a basketball

 Do each movement for 30 seconds and take a 30 second rest after every 5 movements.

Ping Pong Ball Catch

In this game, you will need plastic cups and a few small balls or objects that will fit into the cups. Toss the ball to a partner and try to catch it in the cup. Single players can throw the ball in the air and catch it or bounce it off a wall and catch it.

Make it more challenging by moving further away from your partner each round.

Movement Chain

You will need at least 2 players for this game. The first player starts by performing a movement of choice. The next player has to perform the first movement and add on another to form a movement chain. The following player does the previous 2 movements and adds on another. Continue with this chain sequence until it is broken or forgotten.

 How many movements were you able to remember?

Potato Drop

In this game, you will need a start and finish line. Place a bowl or bucket at the finish line. Next have each participant place a potato, soft ball, or ball of rolled up socks between their knees. Race to the finish line and drop the potato/object into the bowl or bucket. If the potato/object is dropped or touched with hands, the participant must go back to the start and try again.

Transfer multiple potatoes or objects to extend the length of time of the game.

Mirror, Mirror

Stand face to face with a partner, about a foot apart, and have them copy each of your movements (Example: Jumping jacks, run on the spot, reach down and touch your toes). Switch roles.

Target Practice

Set up targets (empty water bottles, paper towel rolls, Tupperware) and knock them down by throwing soft objects.

 Make it more challenging by moving further away from the targets each round.

Activity Activity Details
Cotton Ball Crawl

The object of this game is to move a pile of cotton balls, one cotton ball at a time, from one spot to another using a spoon while crawling. If the cotton ball is dropped, the participant must go back to the start and try again. Other small objects such as coins or rolled up pieces of toilet paper can be used. Other forms of travel such as slithering across the floor, running, or walking backwards can be used.

Land, Sea, Air

In this game, you will need an area inside or outside with room to move. Mark a line on the ground with tape or chalk (make sure to ask first!). One leader will call out commands “land,” “sea,” or “air.” The other participants will stand in front of the line.

When the leader says “land,” participants jump behind the line. When the leader says “sea,” participants jump to the front side of the line. When the leader says “air,” participants jump straight up. For an extra challenge, if the leader says “land” or “sea” twice in a row, do not move on the second call.

Those who make a mistake or jump on the line must do an exercise decided by the caller before continuing (Example: 10 jumping jacks, running on the spot, 5 second plank).

7-Up Ball Game

In this game, you’re going to need a smooth wall and a bouncy ball (tennis ball or rubber ball). The object of the game is to bounce the ball against the wall, performing a specific skill a set number of times.

  1. Bounce the ball against the wall seven times, catching it each time.
  2. Bounce the ball against the wall and allow it to bounce once on the ground before you catch it and throw again. Repeat six times.
  3. Bounce the ball on the ground five times.
  4. Bounce the ball from the ground to the wall and then back to you. Repeat four times.
  5. Bounce the ball on the ground first, then use your palm to bat the ball against the wall, then catch it before it bounces on the ground again. Repeat three times.
  6. Toss the ball under your leg and bounce off the wall, then catch. Repeat.
  7. Throw the ball against the wall and spin around completely, then catch the ball before it bounces.
Red Light, Green Light

In this game you will need to create equal sized zones inside for all participants who are playing. Next gather up lots of different objects (balls, stuffed animals, paper balls etc). The more you have the better. Place all those objects in the middle of the area and the goal is to push or slide all of those objects to your opponents zone. Set a time limit for how long you want to play and when the time is up whoever has the least amount of objects in their zone wins!

Basketball Dribble Relay

In this activity, we are going to put your basketball dribbling skills to work. First you need to set up an obstacle course inside or outside your home. Please make sure to give extra space so you can dribble the basketball between the objects. Next grab a basketball or a bouncy, soft round ball for inside and get moving! For a different challenge try adding more obstacles to your course or use an odd shaped ball to complete it.

Ten Penny Pickup

Scatter 10 pennies (or coins) a few feet in front of you. See how fast you can gather the pennies with both hands and drop them into a bowl. Record your time. Repeat the process with your toes. Repeat using only your right hand. Repeat using only your left hand.

 Race against someone else or have someone time each person to see who can complete the challenges the fastest.

Four Square

This game is ideal with 4 players, but can be played with 2 or 3.

You will need an area indoors or outdoors with open space and room to move. Use tape or chalk to set up 4 squares (approximately 5 feet by 5 feet each) all connected to each other. Number the squares 1-4.

Next grab a basketball or a large bouncy ball for inside.

To play, follow these rules

  1. Each player stands in a square.
  2. To begin, the player in square 4 serves the ball by bouncing it in their square once and then hitting it towards one of the other squares. The receiving player then hits the ball to someone in another square.
  3. The ball must bounce in another player’s square, and they must hit it to another player before it bounces a second time.
  4. If a player hits the ball and misses another player’s square or fails to hit the ball before the second bounce after it has landed in their own square, they are out.
  5. When a player is out, the other players move up to take their place, and that player moves to square 1.
  6. The object of the game is to move up to and hold the server’s position (square 4).
Activity Activity Details
Build a Fort

Using things around the house build a fort using pillows, sheets etc.

  • How big can you make your fort?
  • How many rooms does your fort have?
  • How many entrances?
  • How many rooms?
  • What is the name of your fort?
  • Who is allowed in your fort?

Create a Dance Routine

Create a dance routine to your favourite songs!

  • Pick 3 of your favourite songs and create a dance routine to each of them
  • Teach them to another person
  • Have a talent show to show off your skills!
Create a Treasure Map

Pick an item in your home and hide it! Then create a treasure map with instructions or pictures as clues to finding it! For example:

  • Take 10 steps towards the bathroom
  • Walk 5 steps to the left
  • Crawl under the table
  • Look for the red toy car

Create Your Own Playing Cards
Fire - Earth - Water theme

Steps to making the cards

  • Use a piece of paper and fold the paper so that when you open it back up the paper is split into either 4 or 6 sections
  • In each section, draw a character that you create to represent one of the card signs (Earth, Fire, Water)
  • Create at least 8 cards per player

How to play

  1. Have all 8 cards in your hand, choose one other player to play against. The card are ranked as follows:
    - Fire beats Earth
    - Earth beats Water
    - Water beats Fire
  2. You each place your cards down at the same time, and you see who wins based on the ranking above.
  3. If you win, you collect the other players card for this round.
  4. If it is a tie you play rock, paper scissors to see who wins the round.
  5. Who ever has the most cards at the end of the game wins!
Design Your Own Board Game
  1. Think of your idea for a board game
  2. Sketch it out
  3. Build the board
  4. Build your player pieces
  5. Create a dice or playing cards to go with it
  6. Create the Rules
  7. Create a Name
  8. PLAY THE GAME!
Make Music

Make a musical beat and teach it to someone else! Make it harder and harder each day! You can make music by using the following:

  • Clapping your hands
  • Slapping your legs
  • Drumming on a table
  • Using pots, pans or left over coffee tins as drums
Make Paper Airplanes

Use a recycled piece of paper (from newspaper, magazines flyer etc.) Find a safe space to throw your airplanes and challenge yourself or other people around! For example:

  • Who can throw the farthest?
  • Who can hit a target?
  • Who’s airplane stays in the air the longest?

Make a points system using house hold items around you (If you throw it past the couch it is 10 points, throw it past the table it is 5 points etc.)

Activity Activity Details
Skee-Ball

home made skee-ballBring the carnival to your house with this timeless game for all ages. 

  • You will need to create a ramp out of a cardboard box to propel the balls into different laundry baskets (or other types of containers).
  • Make each laundry basket a different point total and keep track of each others scores.
  • Move the laundry baskets further apart to make it more challenging!
Stuffed Animal Balance Challenge

In this challenge create a obstacle course or different movements to complete in your indoor or outdoor space. The goal of this challenge is to make it through the entire challenge while balancing a stuffed animal on your head. 

  • If at any point your stuffed animal falls off you need to start all over again! 
  • Feel free to modify this challenge for all participants involved.
Puppet Show

Create a puppet show using your stuffed animals or old socks. You can act out the story that you know, or create a new story to act out. Perform your show for family and friends around you!

Commercial Time

Pretend you just got a job for a sales company, and you have to sell something that is really gross! (you can pick what item you think is gross).

  • You have come up with a commercial that is 1 minute long to sell this gross item!
  • Pitch your commercial to the people around you an see if you were able to convince them!
  • You may realize that something that may seem gross or not fun can actually be really great! 
Indoor Scavenger Hunt

In this challenge try to gather up all the  following items around your home. Time each participant and see who can find the items the fastest!

  • A toy with wheels
  • A book with the first letter of your name in the title
  • A pair of matching socks
  • 4 things that are green
  • Something very soft
  • A toy smaller then your hand
  • Something round
  • A book with numbers in it
  • 5 legos that are all different
  • A photo of someone you love
  • An item you can see yourself in
  • An item that makes you feel cozy
  • A toy that has 3 different colours
  • A movie that "S" in the title
  • Your snuggliest stuffed animal

For an increased challenge create a map with different clues and riddles for the person trying to collect all the items!

Backyard/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

In this challenge try to gather up the following items outside. Time each participant and see who can complete it the fastest.

  • 5 leaves that look different
  • A stick that is longer than your hand
  • A rock with spots on it
  • A flower
  • A flat rock
  • 10 blades of grass
  • Something you love to play with
  • A piece of trash you can recycle
  • Something that is brown
  • Something that is heavy
  • Something that is very light
  • Something that needs sun to live
  • An item smaller than your thumb
  • Something that starts with "M"
  • Something that smells good

For more of a challenge try to hide these items and create a map with clues and riddles for the participants to find them!

Make a song with lyrics!

Write lyrics to a song and then create a beat to put with the lyrics. You can make music by using the following:

  • Clapping your hands
  • Slapping your legs
  • Drumming on a table
  • Teach it to people around you!
Activity Activity Details
Hallway Laser Maze

Image of streamers pinned up to hallway wallsIn this activity you will need the following:

  • Streamers or toilet paper
  • Tape

Use these items to create a laser maze in your hallway! Try to make it from one end of the hallway to the other without touching any of the “lasers”.

Nature Art

Use things from outside to create art!

  • Paint rocks
  • Collect leaves and use them to make a collage
  • Use things found in nature to create a picture

Whatever Floats Your Boat Challenge

Make a boat out of house hold items and see if it floats in the bathtub!

  •  Use things like bottles, toilet paper rolls, plastic bags, cans etc.

Bridge Challenge

Make a bridge out of recycled household items. Make the bridge however you want!

Once you are done, test the bridge by placing it between 2 chairs and placing things on top of it. How much weight can it hold?

Be the star in your own play

Put on a play by acting out your favourite story book or movie.

Indoor Bowling

Create an indoor bowling lane with house hold items.

  • Empty bottles and cans as the pins
  • Rolled up socks at the bowling balls
Animal Kingdom

Learn 10 things about a new animal and teach your family about it! You can draw these things onto a piece of paper and make it creative!

Activity Activity Details
Secret Code

Creating a secret code is easy, just follow these steps!

  • Write out the alphabet in a chart.
  • Create a different symbol or picture to represent each of the letters
  • Once you have created your code, make secret messages using the symbols and pictures you came up with.

Sock Puppets

Use old socks to create funny sock puppets and make up different characters!

Hand Washing - A Bread Experiment

Hand washing experiment on bread.

Materials:

  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 4 plastic sandwich bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Soap

Directions:

  1. Place ech of the below in a plastic sandwich bag for 2 to 4 weeks.
  2. 1 untouched slice of bread.
  3. 1 slice that was touched with hands that were cleaned with just hand sanitizer.
  4. Place 1 slice that was touched with hands cleaned with just water.
  5. Place 1 slice that was touched with hands cleaned with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.

Leave the slices for 2-4 weeks and record what happens to each slice.

Copy Cat

Find a picture of a person, place, or object in your home and try to draw it. If you try drawing it every day, you will get better and better at it!

Map it Out

Draw a map of your home on a piece of paper. You can use it to be creative:

  • Create games
  • Map out treasure hunts
  • Plan scavenger hunts
Shadow Drawing

Toy animals casting a shadow on pieces of paperWait for a sunny day and pick out some of your favourite toys!

  • Set them up outside on the ground or a table where they will cast a shadow
  • Put a piece of paper down to the shadow is casting on the paper
  • Trace your toys shadow and decorate!

 

Indoor Mini Putt Course

Create an indoor mini putt course. Use different objects throughout your home to make this as challenging as possible.

  • Use plastic cups on their side as holes. 
  • If you don't have a putter think of different ways to play with either a hockey stick, your hand, foot etc.
  • Keep score and see who can complete the course in the least amount of shots!
Activity Activity Details
Musical Chairs

Play this with 3+ people

  • Set out chairs around the room
  • Play music on a cd player or cell phone
  • While the music is playing, everyone dances around the room (try out different types of movements such as skipping, hopping, etc.).
  • Remove one chair while everyone is dancing
  • Stop the music whenever you want, you must run and sit on one of the chairs
  • Whoever didn’t get to a chair in time is “out”
  • Repeat, removing a chair each time until there are two people left and the one who sits on the remaining chair first is the winner

Make Believe Zoo

Create a dance routine to your favourite songs!

  1. Gather up all of your stuffed animals.
  2. Learn about the creatures you have found and research 1-2 facts about each.
  3. Place them around the house and find each one! Draw a picture of what you think those animals are doing right now in their habitats?
    - Where do they live?
    - What do they like to eat?
    - How big do they get?
  4. Have the kids draw the animals they see, make diagrams of their habitats and watch videos of them!
Create A Menu

Make a grocery list with your family and pick at least one meal per week that you can help make and create with them. Plan your meals for the next 4 weeks.

Stuffed Animal Hide and Seek

Gather up your stuffed animals and hide them around the house, have someone else look for them. Then have the other person hide the stuffed animals and you look for them!

Newspaper Fort Building

Using newspaper, flyers, old magazines or any recycled paper to build a dome or fort. See if you can build it big enough to fit a person inside.  Sometimes it helps to roll the news papers into thin lines to use as the frame.  Good luck!

Make Instruments/Air Band

Find things in your house that you can use as instruments…

  • You can use pots and pans as drums
  • Rubber bands around an empty Kleenex box for a guitar
  • Hair brush as a microphone

Find your favourite song and pretend you are playing that instrument to the songs!

Minute Mysteries

Have someone read out the Mystery questions to you so that you don’t see the answer.  Were you able to guess the answers? 

  1. Question: A man pushes his car up to a hotel. He pays the hotel $200, and pushes his car away. What is happening?
    Answer: He's playing a game of Monopoly!
    (The car is his marker, and when he landed on the hotel he had to pay.)
  2. Question: A man comes home to find broken glass and water all over his living room, Sarah is on the floor, and Sam looking smug in a corner. What happened?
    Answer: Sarah is a goldfish, and Sam is a cat. Sam knocked the goldfish bowl over and it broke, leaving Sarah in a pool of water on the floor.
  3. Question: A group of people dig a hole 3 metres wide and 2 metres long and 3 1/2 metres deep. How much dirt is in the hole?
    Answer: There is no dirt in the hole.

Try to come up with your own Minute Mysteries!

Activity Activity Details
What’s in the Bag?

Using a paper bag or plastic bag. Fill the bag with different objects.

Have a family member guess what objects they feel without looking!  Now have your family member put different objects in the bag and see how many you can guess!

Hide & Listen
  • Blindfold your child and hide any instrument (such as a tambourine) somewhere in the room where you are playing
  • Tell your child what instrument they must find
  • Your child then searches for the instrument while you play music in the background
  • Explain that when the music gets softer they are going further from the instrument and when it gets louder they are getting closer to it
Match the Sounds

There are no rules here. Demonstrate a song first by making suggestions about what items could match the sounds and ask for your child’s input. Then play songs and let your child freely play their choices to the music.

Examples:

  • Hitting a triangle (or two pieces of cutlery together)
  • Banging on drums or a box for a slow, deep sound
  • Banging cymbals together (or pot lids) for a loud sound
  • Shaking bells, shakers or a tambourine for fast music or upbeat sound
Puzzle Piece Scavenger Hunt

For this activity you can either use an existing puzzle or you can make your own puzzle by drawing a picture on a piece of paper and cutting it up into 6-8 pieces how ever you like!

Take each piece and hide them around your home for other to find. You can also get others to hide pieces for you to find. Once you have found all the pieces, put the puzzle together!

Dots and Sprouts

This is a drawing game, for either chalk or pen and paper. Draw several dots all over

the playing surface. Draw a box around the dots to set the limits of the game. Take turns drawing a line to connect two dots. Each player uses different colours. Lines don’t need to be straight or even the easiest way to get to a line. When a line is connected, you must put a new dot at the halfway mark. The new dot becomes a part of the board. Each dot may only form a T, that is, only three lines or half-lines can emanate from each dot. Lines may not cross. The goal is to draw the last line.

Bugs and Dice

Each player (can be played with 2 people) gets a piece of paper and a crayon or marker. The goal is to draw a complete bug. Use a big dice or a small dice. Players take turns rolling the dice and drawing the corresponding body part for their bug. Post a list of the body parts and corresponding numbers, under a complete picture of what a bug can look like with all its parts. For example, if you roll a 1, you may draw the Body. 2 is the head. 3 is one leg out of six needed. 4 is one eyeball out of two needed. 5 is one antenna out of two needed. 6 is the tail. The first player to finish the bug wins!

Tongue Twisters

Challenge yourselves to say these sayings 6 times fast:

  • We surely shall see the sun shine soon
  • Which witch wished which wicked wish?
  • A hot cup of coffee in a proper copper coffee pot
  • Unique New York, New York’s Unique
  • Rubber baby buggy bumpers
  • Red leather, yellow leather
  • She sells sea shells by the sea shore
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
  • Six thick thistle sticks
  • Three Free Throws
  • Knapsack Straps
  • Inchworms Itching
  • A Noisy Noise Annoys an Oyster
  • The Boot Black Bought the Black Boot Back
  • Are Our Oars Oak?
Activity Activity Details
Make your own words
  • Choose a well-known nursery rhyme with a fairly easy melody, such as Baa-baa black sheep.
  • Make up a new name for the rhyme together
  • Taking turns and going line-by-line, make up new words for the song
  • Try to get the lines to rhyme in pairs
  • Try to match the rhythm of the song (e.g. My-name-is-A-me-li-a, My-bro-ther-is-much-ol-der)

Draw the Music

In this activity children quite literally draw the music as they hear it. Provide large pieces of paper and pencils or wax crayons and ask your child to draw what they hear.

They could draw:

  • How the music makes them feel
  • Draw wavy lines or zig-zags to represent slow, flowing music or fast, choppy music
  • Draw the beats they hear (e.g. draw short and long lines for short and long sounds)
  • Keep this totally open and allow your child to surprise you with how they interpret and draw the music. Draw your own interpretation at the same time and see how your pictures differ.

Ice Cream In a Bag

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of milk or half-and-half cream
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/3 c. kosher salt
  • Toppings of your choice
  • Large plastic zip seal bag
  • Small plastic zip seal bag

Directions:

  1. In a small resealable plastic bag, combine half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Push out excess air and seal.
  2. Into a large resealable plastic bag, combine ice and salt. Place small bag inside the bigger bag and shake vigorously, 7 to 10 minutes, until ice cream has hardened.
  3. Remove from bag and enjoy with your favorite ice cream toppings.

Homemade Paint

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Food colouring

Directions:

  1.  Mix flour and water together until mixture is smooth.
  2. Separate into separate bowls.
  3. Add about 4 drops of food colouring to each and mix.
Musical Statues
  1. Play music on a radio or cell phone
  2. While the music is playing, everyone dances around the room
  3. Stop the music every now and then and everyone must freeze in the exact position they were dancing in when the music stopped

If you move, you are “out”. For young children, it is lots of fun to just keep freezing without anyone going “out”

Charades

Act out different things and see who can guess what you are doing!

  • Brushing teeth
  • Building a sandcastle
  • Dancing
  • Driving a car
  • Opening a gift
  • Playing baseball
  • Shoveling snow
  • Swimming
  • Skateboarding
  • Tying a shoe
  • Walking a dog
  • Yoga
  • Bumblebee
  • Bird
  • Cat
  • Cow
  • Dog
  • Fish
  • Giraffe
  • Horse
  • Monkey
  • Rabbit
  • Spider
  • Snake
Make Your Own Comic Strip

Take a blank piece of paper and fold it so that when you open it back up you have 6-8 squares. Each square will be a picture for your comic. Start to draw out your story and its characters.

  • Who is your main character?
  • Where will your scene take place?
  • Who else is in your comic?
  • What story will you tell?
Activity Activity Details
How many instruments do you hear?

Play a song on a cd player or cell phone

  • Any song with instruments will do (You can try looking up songs on YouTube for the instrumental version of songs)
  • You and your child each have a piece of paper and must draw the instruments you hear
  • At the end of the song, compare drawings and see who heard the most instruments

I Spy Jar

Fill a water bottle or another clear container with rice and little toy trinkets from around your house.

Set a timer and each person gets to see how many items that can find in the jar in the set amount of time. Challenge each other! 

Make Your Own Connect the Dots Picture

Create a dot to dot picture and see if see is someone else can connect the dots and guess what the picture is!

Draw Together

One person starts the drawing with something simple and quick. For example, a circle or a line, a pair of eyes, or the outline of a house. Then take turns adding elements back and forth. See how far you go and what you come up with!

Draw Half

Find picture in books or newspaper and fold them in half. Try to draw the other half!

Roll A Landscape

Roll Dice Landscape

Use a dice and piece of paper to help you create a picture. Depending on the number you get that is the type of picture or piece of the picture you can draw!

www.drawinghowtodraw.com

Body Paint

Using the home-made paint from week 7, finger paint, toe paint and face paint (with permission) in a space that is allowed to get dirty!

Activity Activity Details
Pat on the Back Drawing

Required items

  • Paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tape

Instructions

  1. This game is played with 2 people.
  2. Tape a piece of paper to a wall (you will be drawing on this paper)
  3. Have one person stand facing the paper on the wall, tape another piece of paper to this person back. This person will be the “ARTIST”
  4. The other person will be the “INVISABLE ARTIST” (does not have the paper on their back)
  5. The INVISABLE ARTIST will now draw a picture on to the paper taped to the ARTIST’s back.
  6. The INVISABLE ARTIST can draw whatever they like.
  7. The ARTIST now must try to copy the picture that the INVISABLE ARTIST is drawing just from the motions they feel on their back. They draw what they feel is being drawn on them.

See how close each artists pictures are at the end, then switch places!

Puppet in a Box

Materials

  • Cereal box or any box
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Glue or tape
  • Construction paper
  • Markers or other things to decorate

Instructions

  1. Cut around the three sides of the box at its middle.
  2. Fold the box open along the uncut side and strengthen the fold with masking tape.
  3. Fold the box right open so its top and bottom become the back of your puppet.
  4. Place your hand inside the box, your thumb in the bottom half and your fingers in the top half. Open and close your hand to make the puppet talk.
  5. Decorate your puppet, as you like.
Water Safety Rules

With the warmer weather being here, let’s start to get ready for some water activities! List as many water safety rules as you can. Create a sign and put it on display when you are doing water activities.

Shape Shifter

  • Play and upbeat song! When the music begins, participants move through the activity area using various levels, speeds, pathways, and directions.
  • Call out, “Shape!” and players must stop and create a “shape”’ of their choice with their bodies. They hold the pose for five seconds. After the five seconds are up, participants continue circulating around the activity area.
  • Call out “Shape Shifters!” and participants stop and create three “shapes” of their choice with their bodies, shifting from shape to shape.
(Earth) Sand/Dirt Art

Materials

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Sand or dirt

Instructions

  1. Give each child a piece of construction paper, and allow them to draw a picture or write words with the glue. (Make sure that they do not put globs of glue in any one spot)
  2. Before the glue dries take the picture over to dry sand/dirt and with your hand pour sand/dirt onto the glue.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes and then shake off the excess sand/dirt.
  4. Let it dry flat for about a half an hour depending on how much glue was used.
Spyglass

Materials

  • 2 empty paper towel tubes
  • Masking tape
  • Markers or paint

Instructions

  1. Circle the middle of one tube with marker or tape.
  2. Squeeze one half of the tube so that it will fit into the second tube.
  3. Children can extend their spyglasses, but should not pull the scope beyond the marked circle.
  4. They may want to add paint or marker decorations.
Doorknob Hangers

Materials

  • Lightweight cardboard or construction paper
  • Coloured markers
  • Scissors

Instructions

  • Draw a basic hanger shape and let the kids trace it then cut out their own
  • Use markers to decorate, draw and write messages on the hangers

Ideas for messages

  • Do not disturb, Keep Out, Please Knock, Come In
Activity Activity Details
Octopus

Material needed

  • toilet paper roll
  • coloured paper
  • tape or glue
  • crayons/markers

Instructions

  1. Cut toilet paper roll in half, this will serve as the head
  2. Cut out seven tentacles and decorate them as desired.
  3. Tape or paste the tip of the tentacles on the inside wall on the bottom of the toilet paper roll and fold them outwards so that they are sticking out.
  4. Draw a face for the octopus.
Paperweight Rocks

Material needed

  • Rock
  • Pictures clipped from a magazine, flyer or old book
  • White craft glue
  • Paintbrush

Instructions

  1. have the children get a rock from outside
  2. clean the rock
  3. pick a picture that fits the rock
  4. generously cover the picture in glue on the rock
  5. let dry and recover entire rock with picture with glue
Make a Safety Whistle (to be used by the adult supervising water activities)

What you need:

  • String
  • Whistle
  • Beads

Cut the string to be large enough that an adult could easily put it on and off like a necklace.  Use the below index to discuss the Supervising Adults Safety role.  Each bead represents a responsibility that the adult has when supervising you around water.

  • Blue Bead - Be alert! Avoid distractions. Know where children are at all times!
  • Green Bead - Keep a first aid kit and phone close by for emergencies
  • Yellow Bead - Adjust supervision levels as needed based on age and skill
  • Red Bead - Be aware of the water safety rules.  Be safe!
  • Purple Bead - Trade out with another adult as needed

As you put the beads on discuss what each of these responsibilities look like.  Discuss what to do when the adult blowing the whistle.  Also come up with a plan on how you will share what the beads mean to other adults!  Be safe!

Cup Telephone

Materials needed

  • two cups, (paper, plastic, etc.)
  • string
  • scissors

Instructions

  1. Punch a hole in the bottom of each cup.
  2. Cut a length of string about arm’s length or longer.
  3. Thread the string into the bottom of each cup.
  4. Tie a knot at both ends of the string to keep them inside the cups.

Talk into one cup and you can hear in the other cup just like a telephone.

Egg Carton Animals

Material needed

  • Egg carton
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tape or glue
  • scissors

Instructions

  1. Separate the egg carton into the designated cubed shapes.
  2. Use as many cubes as necessary to create animal.

*For example, cut out legs from cube, paint it brown. The second cube, trim down the rough edges to make a smaller cone. Colour it. Glue the two cubes together draw eyes and you have a lion.

Leaf Art

Material needed

  • Leaves
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper
  • Makers

Instructions

  1. Arrange leaves on the sheet of paper to make bodies for people out of leaves.
  2. Glue or tape the leaves in place.
  3. Add a head, legs, and arms with markers or other materials.
  4. Use your imagination to make creatures from outer space, ladies in fancy gowns, or a character from your favorite TV show.

*You can use any nature material (grass, dirt, pebbles) to make your creation

Nature Bracelet

Material needed

  • Tape (masking or duct tape)

Instructions

  1. Cut a piece of masking tape so it fits the child’s wrist
  2. Make sure the sticky side is facing up
  3. Go on a Nature Walk and find items to stick to the bracelet (seeds, pods, flowers, etc)
Activity Activity Details
Keep The Beat

Grab a rolled-up pair of socks!

Play an upbeat song that has an easy beat!

Player(s) move around an open space tossing a sock ball into the air and catching it.

The leaders challenge participants to toss the bean bag when they hear the beat.

If there is a pause in the song, stop and call out a locomotion movement (hop, skip or slid)!

Participants then incorporate that movement when they toss the bean bag or bouncy the ball instead of just walking around. 

Memory Game

Material needed

  • Blank paper
  • Crayons, markers, pencil crayons

Instructions

  1. Flatten out your cereal boxes and use scissors to cut out 5cm x 5cm squares for your card pieces.
  2. Cut your paper into 5cm x 5cm pieces, cut out an equal number of pieces (20-60).
  3. Design and draw your cards on each square piece. Just make sure that each card has a match (draw the same picture twice)

How to Play the Game

  1. Mix up the cards and place them face-down on your playing surface. Each player takes turns flipping over two cards and trying to find a match. If the find a match, they keep that pair, and take another turn. Once all of the matches are made, the player with the greatest number of matches wins.

Water Safety Drama Play

Dramatic play activities give participants a chance to practice water safety skills without the danger of real water.

  • Pretend to put on life jackets (spring jacket could be substituted for this activity) for the kids to wear. The kids practice putting on their life jackets before entering the boat.
  • Make a pretend boat using a cardboard box or tape on the floor with chairs sitting inside the tape lines.
  • Make a pretend pool or lake on the floor using tape outlines or a blue blanket. Let the kids practice walking when near the water and climbing in carefully to enter the water.

Create Your Own Secret Handshake

Come up with at least 3 different moves, done one after the other to make your own secret handshake that only you and your partner know.

Some ideas for moves would be to bump fists, tap elbows and fist pumps.

DIY Frisbee Tic Tac Toe board

Material needed

  • 2 Frisbees
  • 9 rocks to be used as markers on the board
  • Chalk
  • A paved area to draw

Instructions

  1. Draw a large square with 9 equal squares.
  2. Create a starting line at least 1 meter away.
  3. Each participant will take turns throwing the frisbee onto the tic tac toe board.
  4. Once a frisbee lands in a square, a rock can be placed to mark off the square.  Make sure to mark the rocks so you know who’s rock it is.
  5. The person who gets 3 squares in a row wins.
Household Sun Stained Glass Window

Material needed

  • Scissors
  • Card stock or recycled cardboard
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Glue and markers

Instructions

  1. Trace and cut out 1 circle and 6 triangles from a piece of recycled cardboard (cereal boxes work for this). Cut triangles from only the middle section to ensure the border remains. Glue triangle pieces around the edge of the board to create the “sun rays”
  2. Cut the parchment or wax paper into 3cm squares (big enough to cover the cut-out triangle spaces. Completely cover the openings on the sun by lightly gluing the squares together. Colour the wax paper with different colours
  3. Once dry, punch a hole through the top border of the top triangle and hang sun with a string on a wall or window.
Juice Carton Owl Bird Feeder

Material needed

  • a juice carton or any plastic recycled bottle
  • paint
  • scissors and glue
  • plastic bottle lids
  • bird seed

Instructions

  1. Start off by painting the juice carton or recycled bottle. Two coats of paint will cover the feeder.
  2. Once dry, using scissors, cut out a large hole the front section and partial cuts on the sides to make flaps(wings).
  3. Take your juice carton and glue on your bottle top eyes. Punch a little hole and hang the bird feeder outside. Fill centre hole with bird seed.
Activity Activity Details
Melted Crayon Art

Material

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

  1. Leave Bits of crayons on a piece of paper out in the sun
  2. Wait for them to melt
  3. Once warm enough, push around the colours to create different designs and pictures

Parent Water Supervision Shirt

Design a shirt for an adult to wear while supervising you in and around water. 

Get a plain shirt of any colour and use either paint or markers to decorate!

Draw things to help them remember their responsibilities

  • Never leave children alone near water
  • Stay within arm’s reach
  • Stay by the water’s edge
  • Watch every child you are responsible for
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Make sure non-swimmers wear life jackets when around a pool or body of water
Mobiles

Material needed

  • 2  sticks
  • 4 different lengths of string
  • Tape
  • 4 construction paper shapes

Instructions

  1. Tape the sticks in an “x” fashion.
  2. Attach the four different lengths of string to each end of the sticks (one per each stick).
  3. Cut out any four shapes form construction paper and attach to the end of the strings.
  4. Hang up and enjoy!

Picture Puzzles

Material needed

  • Construction paper
  • Glue or tape
  • Magazines

Instructions

  1. Glue pictures on construction paper in a mural form (overlapping is okay).
  2. When dry, flip construction paper over and draw a puzzle pattern on the back.
  3. Cut out the pieces and keep in an envelope or bag for safekeeping.
  4. Kids can trade puzzles and have competitions to see who can put the puzzles together faster.
Homemade Stampers

Material needed

  • Corks, Wooden Blocks, Bottle caps, recycled cardboard
  • Paint (easy homemade paint can be found in week 7) or stamp pad
  • Glue
  • Cardboard/ foam

Instructions

  1. Use cardboard or foam to cut out different shapes.
  2. Using your desired handle for your stamper (cork, wooden block, bottle cap).  Glue the stamper handle to the back of your cut-out shapes and wait a few minutes for it to dry.  
  3. Once dry, you can dip the cardboard end of the stamper into the paint or stamp pad and start stamping on pieces of paper to create your ow work of art!
Cupcake Liner Flowers

Material needed

  • Cupcake liners (preferably of different sizes) 
  • Glue
  • Small sticks or twigs
  • Markers and pencil crayons

Instructions

  1. Decorate cupcake liner by colouring.
  2. Glue a twig or stick to each liner you decorate to create the stem of the flower.
  3. Let art piece dry for 15 minutes and you can place in a cup or a vase as a bouquet.
Ring Buoy

Material needed

  • Paper plates (5)
  • Paper towel roll (empty)
  • Tape or Glue

Instructions

  1. Cut the center out of 4 of the paper plates so that it creates a donut type shape.  Decorate the 4 circles to look like a Ring Buoy. 
  2. Use the other paper plate and flip it over and glue/ tape the paper towel roll to the middle of the plate.
  3. Now it is time for target practice!  Try to throw your Ring Buoy over the paper towel roll.  Move the target closer or farther away to make it easier or harder for you to do. 
Activity Activity Details
Collect & Decorate Rocks

Decorate your collected rocks by writing positive words on them.

  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Inspire
  • Laugh
  • Believe
  • Dream
  • Be kind
  • Be happy
  • Hope
  • Smile
  • Forgive
  • Love
Create a Time Capsule!

Pick and create things to put into a time capsule, put everything in a shoe box or a container and give it to your parents to hold on to. Open it up in a year, 5 years, or 10 years!

  • Art projects
  • Favourite photos
  • Favourite books
  • A letter to yourself
  • Favourite colour
  • Who are your best friends right now?
  • What is your favourite song?
  • What is your favourite game?
  • What is your favourite food right now (write it down)?
Draw a Superhero!
  • What powers would they have and why?
  • What would their costume look like?
  • What would their weakness be and why?
  • Do they have a sidekick?
  • What is your superhero name?

Draw Spring Time Things

Draw pictures of things that remind you of spring time!

  • Flowers
  • Bumble Bees
  • Snails
  • Birds
  • Grass
  • Sunshine
  • Rain
  • Ladybug
  • Butterfly
  • Plants
  • Rainbows
Start a Journal

Each day pick a question for yourself to answer and write in your journal at the end of each day. For example:

  • My favorite way to spend the day is…
  • Write about the best day ever!
  • Make a list of 10 things that made you smile in the last 3 days.
  • Write a list of 5 things you could not live without...
  • Write 10 positive things about yourself.
  • Make a list of the people who love you!
  • I really wish others knew this about me...
  • Name 10 ways you can be kind to people…
Write a Poem
  1. Think of a Topic:
    People and places you love
    Things you like to do
    Questions you have about the world
    Memories
  2. Choose the Words:
    Make a list of words that describe your topic.
  3. Write Your Poem:
    Use your list of words to begin writing your poem.
  4. Read your poem to your self or to others:
    You can choose to read your poem to yourself or perform it for others. Whatever you choose is fine as this can be something private just for you, or something you want to share!

Learn more about writing a poem

Write Letters to Family & Friends

Write letters to your family and friends about different things! For example:

  • My favourite memory with you is…
  • I love you because…
  • I am thankful for you because…
  • My first impression of you was…
Activity Activity Details
Sound Walk

Go on a sound walk around your block or in your back yard and see how many different things you hear. Can you check off all these sounds?

  • Kids playing
  • Birds chirping
  • Cars driving
  • Wind blowing
  • Dog barking
  • Footsteps
  • Laughter
Write A Story

You can write stories about anything you want! Use our questions below to help get you started.

  • Who are your characters?
  • Where does the story take place?
  • What do your characters want?
  • What is the problem that your characters are trying to solve?
  • Why can’t your character solve the problem?
  • What steps do they need to take to create a solution?
Put on a fashion show
  • Pick 3 outfits that make you feel good!
  • What is your favourite thing about the outfit?
  • Why do they make you feel good?
  • Where would you wear these outfits?
  • Create a run way in your home and strut your stuff!
Thankful Jar

For this activity use a container and round up a bunch of different objects that express what you are thankful for. They could be the actual items or things that remind you of them.

Express your creativity and decorate the container as well using various craft items you have at home.

Feel Good Box

For this activity find a box (or create one if you have the supplies) and place items in it that bring joy to your life. You can also write word that bring you happiness!

  • Use your creativity to decorate the outside and inside of the box to further express what makes you happy!
  • When you are feeling down, look inside your box and think about all those things, it will brighten your day!
Hello Me

Find a mirror and have a conversation with yourself. Tell yourself 12 great things about YOU!

  1. Today is going to be a wonderful day.
  2. I will make each moment count!
  3. I believe in myself!
  4. I am okay!
  5. I am enough!
  6. I love me!
  7. I am smart!
  8. I am kind!
  9. I am strong!
  10. I am perfect the way I am!
  11. I love my body, my body helps me experience happiness!
  12. I am letting go of negative thoughts.

Before and After

Draw a picture of yourself right now!

  • What are you wearing?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What are your goals?

Now, draw a picture of what you think you will look like 10 years from now and answer the same questions!

  • What are you wearing?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What are your goals?
Activity Activity Details
Learn to say hello in 5 languages

Research with your family different languages you would like to learn and teach each other how to say Hello!

Smile for 5 Mins

Today we are going to smile for 5 mins! Think about things that make you smile or laugh!

Try to make it your goal for today to make someone else around you smile!

Thinking of You

Think about someone who is important to you or helps you and write a letter to them. You can say whatever you want in the letter, you can share it with them or choose to keep it to yourself!

Nature Diary

Start a nature diary, look out the window each day and record in your diary what you see (birds, flowers, shapes in the clouds etc.)

You’ve Got Talent
  • Write a list of 10 talents you have; or things you are just plain good at.
  • Make these lists for everyone in your home!
Give yourself a high-five
  • Trace your hand and on each finger write something that you like about your self.
  • Once completed, stick the hand up somewhere that you can see it!
  • Throughout the day give your hand a high-five every time you pass it in your home!
Read your favourite book
  • Why do you like the book?
  • If you had to come up with a different title what would it be?
  • Do you find anything funny in the story?
  • What parts make you happy?
  • What parts make you sad?
Activity Activity Details
Say hello to your body and muscles

You can do this exercise laying down or sitting in a chair. It will help you to think about and pay attention to all the different muscles and parts of our body that help us to move and enjoy life!

All you have to do is go through this list and tense up/squeeze the muscles or areas of your body one at a time.  Each time you squeeze, say “Hello Toes”, “Hello Feet”, “Hello calves” etc.

  • Toes
  • Feet
  • Calves
  • Thighs
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Upper arms
  • Forearms
  • Hands
  • Neck
  • Face
Write a story about your favourite teacher or coach
  • What do they help me with?
  • Why do I like them?
  • What makes them a good teacher or coach?
  • What is one thing I would like them to know that I have never told them?
Draw a Superhero!
  • Draw a picture of your perfect super hero
  • Write all positive qualities they have and why?

Rainbow Walk

Go on a walk either around your house, front/backyard and try to find something in every colour of the rainbow.

  •  Violet
  • Indigo
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Red
Write a story about your best friend

What do you like about them?

  • How did you meet?
  • What is your favourite thing about them?
  • What is your favourite thing to do together?
Taste/ Smell Test

Pick 5-10 things from your cupboards or fridge and see if you can guess what they are just by tasting or smelling them. Be creative with how you set this experiment up and have fun!

A Mask for the Mind

Materials:

  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Sting

Directions:

  1. Create a mask and decorate how ever you like.
  2. Use the mask when you feel like you need to take a break, need some time to cool down, or when things get overwhelming.
Activity Activity Details
Read your favourite book
  • Why is it your favourite?
  • What is the biggest lesson you learned from it?
Make a memory book

Organize schoolwork, pictures and artwork you’ve saved from previous years into a scrapbook or binder.

Dream Vacation

Try to imagine your dream vacation…

  • Who would be there?
  • Where would you go?
  • What activities would you do?

Mindful Posing

Go somewhere quiet and familiar, a place you feel safe. Next, try one of the following poses:

  1. The Superman: this pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as possible.
  2. The Wonder Woman: this pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips.
  3. Hold your pose for 30 seconds.
  4. Create your own pose to hold!

How do you feel after trying these poses?

Spidey-Senses

It’s time to turn-on your “spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around him.

  • What do you notice?
  • What can you hear?
  • What can you smell?
  • What can you touch?
Safari

You are going on a safari, the goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals that they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, flies or is of interest to you—Use your senses to find them! What did you find?  Draw pictures of what you noticed on your adventure!

The Feelings Game

Make a list of 8-10 different feelings. Stand in the mirror and use your face and body to express that emotion, see if others around you can guess what emotion you are trying to express.

Activity Activity Details
Power of Your Heart

Choose a few physical movements. (Example: Run on the spot, jumping jacks or a mixture of the two). Do these exercises for 30 seconds. After the 30 seconds, stop and place your hand on your heart….can you feel it?

  • How fast is it going?
  • How many times does it beat in 10 seconds?
  • Can you get your heart pumping faster with another 30 seconds of activity
Dragon Breathing
  • Stand up tall and straight
  • Breathe in all the way
  • Stick your tongue out
  • Breathe out like a dragon
Things Aren't What They Seem

Gather several objects. Each child must choose an object, study it, and make up a story

about it. The story must not be typical of the object, but must be a new and different use for it. Example: a hairbrush may be a tooth brush for a giant. Since there are no giants left in the world and haven't been for some time, there are very few of these tooth brushes remaining.

Peaceful Place

Lay down and think about the place that makes you feel the most peaceful.  Try to imagine every detail of that place.

Before It Was Invented

Act out a scene about what life was like before certain tools were invented. Examples could be: The Wheel, Television, Telephone, Spoons, Shoe Horns, Paper, Watches.  What every day items are you thankful for?

Grounding With Your 5 Senses

Think of 5 things…

  • you can see
  • you can feel
  • you can hear
  • you can smell
  • you can taste

Take One Breath

Take one deep breath in and pay attention to anything you can feel or hear around you while taking that breath.

Take another breath and imagine you are following where all the air is going and every part of you body it reaches.

Take one breath in deeply and hold it for 3 seconds and then release it again.

Do this as many times as you need to feel relaxed. 

Activity Activity Details
Draw a garden oasis
  • What plants and flowers would be there?
  • What colours would your flowers be?
  • Would you have tall or short flowers or both?
  • Would you have a bench to sit on?
Airplane

A rectangular area is marked off with chairs, or tape, etc. One person is the airplane (blindfolded) and one person is the pilot. Make an obstacle course using couch cushions, socks, laundry baskets, and place them along the air plane “landing strip”

The pilot must guide the airplane through the course without touching any of the obstacles. Three touches and the airplane must go back to the start. Use your senses to help guide you!

Arms Expert

One person supplies the voice and body for the character and another person supplies the arms. The person stands behind his or her partner, putting his or her arms out to the side of the partner so their arms and body look connected.

Funny gestures, scratching the head, thumbs up, clapping, yawning, coughing and plugging the nose are funny things to do.

Environmental Walk

Think of books like the Lorax by Dr. Seuss, with valuable lessons to pass along

in an entertaining way. During a nature hike tell stories to explain/enhance/give new meaning to what the hikers are hearing, seeing, smelling, touching in the environment around them.

The Listening Exercise
  • Ring a bell, hit a pan, and listen closely to the vibration of the ringing sound.
  • Remain silent and raise their hand when you no longer hear the sound.
  • Remain silent for one minute and pay close attention to the other sounds you hear once the ringing has stopped.
  • Write down every sound you noticed during that minute.
The Feelings Game

Find different objects around your house, put them into a bag (you could use your knapsack). Take turns with someone else.  Are you able to figure out what it is?

  • Is the object hard or soft?
  • Big or small?
  • What shape is it?
  • What is the texture like?
Rainbow Pictures

Point out and take pictures of things that are every colour of the rainbow on your walk.

  • What did you take pictures of?
  • Where did you take these pictures?
Activity Activity Details
Ocean Breathing 

Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Breath in for 5 seconds. When you blow out, make your lips release the air as if you were blowing into a straw. Listen closely as you repeat this, the air going in and out starts to sound like ocean waves.

Blindfold Hearing Test

Put on a blindfold and with another family member have them bang different objects from your home to make sounds. Guess what objects they used! (eg. Pot or pan, cupboard closing, table, toy, etc).

Cloud Watching

On a nice day go outside and laydown and watch the clouds.

  • Do they look like anything?
  • What did you see?

Individual Weather Report

Thinking of different weather systems ask yourself what type of weather system you feel like right now.

  • List off all of the different weather systems?
  • What is the current weather?
  • What do you wish the weather was like?
  • What weather system best represents your mood right now?  In the morning? At bed time?
Mindfulness 5-4-3-2-1

Think of...

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste
Colour Me In

Have someone draw a picture for you, colour it in and ask them if they would have chosen the same colours. Talk about why they chose the colours they did?

Breathing Buddies
  • Get a stuffed animal (or another small object)
  • Sit or lie down on the floor and place the stuffed animal on your belly
  • Breathe in silence for one minute and notice how their Breathing Buddy moves up and down
  • Any thoughts that they have can turn into bubbles, and float on top of their breathing buddy, each time they breath out them and their breathing buddy blow the bubble away!
Activity Activity Details
Good Energy

You will need relaxing music and soft area to sit, stand, or lay down (carpet or grass works for this!)
Quietly stand or sit a safe distance apart from each other in the open space. (You can dim the lights)
Focus on the length of your breaths. Count the number of seconds on the way in and the number of seconds on the way out.

Here is an easy breathing meditation script

  • Breathe in, raise your arms above your head. Interlace your fingers, bend your elbows, and make a circle as you raise your arms.
  • Take a deep breath, breathing in the good energy that surrounds you.
  • As you exhale, lower your arms to your sides and exhale negative energy that may be causing you to feel tense.
  • Repeat the motion, inhaling while raising arms and exhaling while lowering them.

While doing this, breathe in for a count of four, hold, and exhale for a count of four.

Feelings Thermometer

RED

  • I feel out of control
  • Need help from a caring adult

YELLOW

  • Feeling Frustrated or Anxious
  • Use Deep Breathing
  • Agitated or a little worried

BLUE

  • I can handle it
  • Calm/Feeling relax and happy

Create a feelings thermometer to help you when you are feeling certain ways. This can help you explain to yourself and to others what you are feeling and start a conversation as to why.

thermometer

Bubble Breathing Story

Breath through the bubble pattern like you are reading a story. Take a BIG deep breath every time there is a big bubble and take a little breath in when there is a small bubble.

Blue Circles

Try creating your own bubble pattern!

Mindful Body Breathing

Follow along with this breathing exercise

  • Breathe in, breathe out, count the curves on both your ears
  • Breathe in, breathe out, counts the bumps on your lips
  • Breathe in, breathe out, count the lines on your hands

What other ideas can you come up with?

All You Can Eat
  • Play calming music and turn down the lights.
  • Ask participants to close their eyes and take five long, slow breaths.
  • Ask participants to continue breathing calmly while thinking of their favorite healthy foods and how eating healthier foods makes their body feel.
  • Do this for one minute. Call out different types of healthy food, such as bananas, broccoli, and apples.
  • Ask participants to move their body (stretch/pose) to look like or mimic the food.
  • Participants hold each position for 30 seconds to one minute, and then close their eyes and take five long, slow breaths.
STOP

You can use this word acronym to help you out during the day when you start to feel stressed or anxious.

  • Stop. Whatever you’re doing, just pause for a minute.
  • Take a breath. Take 5 deep breaths in. Breathe in for a count of four, hold, and exhale for a count of four.
  • Observe. Notice what is happening. What is happening inside you, and outside of you? Where has your mind gone? What do you feel? What are you doing?
  • Play. Continue doing what you were doing when you feel ready!
Breathing Boards

Follow the lines with your finger as you breathe in and out. Use as many patterns as you would like.

Blue shapes

Activity Activity Details
Mindful Octopus Activity

Material needed

  • 2 paper cups
  • black marker
  • colorful marker
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Hand drawn octopus on paper cup

Instructions

  1. Take one of the paper cups and draw an octopus on it. You can sketch it with a pencil first. The head / body of the octopus needs to be tall enough so it covers the cup top to bottom.
  2. Where you would normally draw the eyes and mouth, cut out a square using scissors.
  3. Now use the other cup to create the rotating faces of the octopus. Colour different faces on the other cup, and space them apart.
  4. Place the cup inside the octopus cup and turn it to reveal the other faces.
Mindful Freeze Dance

Make a playlist with songs that you love to dance to. Start the music! Stop the music and freeze.

When frozen ask yourself or your child questions like:

  • How do you feel when you move?
  • How do you feel when you are still?
  • Can you freeze like the shape of a letter, an animal, or a superhero?
  • How did they feel at the beginning and how did they feel at the end?
  • How did the music make them feel?
What are you doing?

This activity works best with 2 -4 players.

  • Player one does a motion or action like in charades, and the player two asks “What are you doing?”
  • Player one must name a motion that doesn’t match the motion that they are doing.
  • Player two must do the motion that player one named.
  • Player one then asks, “What are you doing?” and player two then has a chance to come up with a new motion.

Game continues until someone makes a mistake or can’t think of any other actions or motions.

Mindful Pictionary

A drawing word-guessing game that can be played with 2-4 people.

Material needed

  • Paper or chalk board
  • Pencils, pens, markers or chalk
  • A way to keep a timer (count in your head or use a stop watch/phone)
  • Extra blank paper

How To Play

  • The game is pretty simple: players take turns silently drawing different things while the other people try to guess what the drawing is.
  • Compete against each other to have the most guessed words and win the game.
  • Write out these emotions/feelings on the pieces of extra blank paper (these pieces can be small and either ripped or cut up) Use these for your game drawings.
  • Joy
  • Scared
  • Surprised
  • Angry
  • Kind
  • Love
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Fear
Draw Your Breath

Use a paper and pen, pencil or marker for this exercise.

Start to breath in and out and as you are breathing in and out draw shapes, lines or anything that comes to mind on the paper as you breathe in and out. Do this for 5 mins and see what your breath has created.

Breathing Roots

Stand Grounded, Breath Rising
Feel the breath rising from your feet (the roots), chins, knees, hips, all the way up your chin and spine to your head. Do this 3 times.

Breathe, Stretch, Bend
Take another deep breath in and stretch your arms above your head and blow your breath out and teach your arms down to your roots (feet). Do this 3 times.

Repeat, Affirm, Find Peace
Repeat these movements again, this time say things like “I am brave, I am smart, I am nice, I can do anything” with each breath. Do this 3 times.

Washing Machine and Tumble Dry Breathing

Washing Machine
Sit cross-legged interlacing your fingers behind your head and twist from your tummy side to side. While doing this say “wishy washy wishy washy” as you twist each way.

Tumble Dry Breath
Sit cross-legged and point your index fingers towards each other and position them so your left finger is pointing to the right and your right finger is pointing to the left overlapping a bit. Place your fingers in front of your mouth and blow slowly and then quickly as you spin your fingers round each other. What sound happens when you blow on you moving fingers? 

Activity Activity Details
Drop Anchor

Stand tall with your feet together. Push your breath down through your feet to the floor with strength and purpose. Starting with your feet notice how they feel heavy and anchored to the earth. Now work up your body and feel the heaviness anchor other parts of your body to the earth, knees, hips, stomach, shoulders, neck and head. 

Draw Your Body

Focus on different parts of your body, one at a time, and thinking about how they feel. Now draw one. Start drawing your hand and fix your attention on how it looks and what sensations you are feeling. Keep doing this until you have completed the drawing. Pick a different body part each day.

Growl Breath

  1. Breathe in deeply through your nose.
  2. Keep your mouth closed and exhale from the back of your throat, making a “Darth Vader or growling”-style noise as you do. Show your child how to do it, then practice it with them.

Pebbles Game

Go on a walk and pick up some pebbles. When back at home, Put all the pebbles in the basket.

Each person participating then gets a pebble. Allow them one minute to study it, focusing on the details.

Put all the pebbles back in the basket. Have each player pick their pebble out of the basket.

Explain to the other player how you knew it was your pebble.

Bubble Blowing

As you breathe in, focus on your body being filled with air, just like a bubble is filled as you blow through a bubble wand.  As you blow out your breath, feel your body relax, letting your thoughts about the past and future float away, just like a bubble floats.

You can also blow actual bubbles for fun during this activity!

Mindful Dancing
  1. Make some space in your room so you can swing your arms and legs around
  2. Load up your favorite song and crank it up!
  3. Move your body however you wish!
  4. Give your full attention to the music if you can. Let the music move your body.

Start to ask your self these questions

  • How do I feel when I dance?
  • How do I feel when I am good at a dance move?
  • How does my body feel?
  • How does my heart feel?
Square Breath

A square breath is a breath that is even on all sides.

  1. Breathe in, to the count of four.
  2. Hold the breath for four seconds.
  3. Breathe out to the count of four.

Wait for four seconds before taking in your next breath. To help you can draw a square in the air with your finger, taking four seconds on each side.

Activity Activity Details
Mindful Singing
  1. Find a safe space
  2. Start humming your favorite tune.
  3. Eventually you’ll be overcome with the urge to sing it.
  4. Use an object as a microphone if you can or want to! Let that hum, whistle or voice shine!
  5. Be mindful and just try it at this first. And then once you’re comfortable singing, see if you can enjoy listening to your own voice or sing for other people.
Mindful Painting
  1. Take a few mindful breaths.
  2. Use the home-made paint recipe from week 7!
  3. Get started! Spread the paint with your brush, fingers, toes however you want!
  4. Feel free to make a mess (do this outside so it is easy to clean up!
  5. How did doing that make you feel? What did you like painting with more? Hands? Fingers? Toes? Paint brush?
Mindful Skipping
  1. Pick an open space you have available.
  2. Skip down the sidewalk, in one place, in a circle etc.
  3. Notice the wind in your hair, the sound of your feet on the floor, feel the smile on your face. How does this make you feel?

One Perfect Picture

  1.  Take any camera and step outside your home.
  2. Keep looking around and noticing your surroundings, looking for the perfect photo.
  3. Don’t rush it - you’ll only be taking one photo!
  4. Once you take your photo - just accept it. That’s the game…
  5. If you cave and take more than one picture, no problem...you are forgiven!
  6. If you’re proud of your photo, print it out and stick it on your fridge or share it with friends!

Next time, try taking lots of photos and notice how you feel and if you feel differently by taking more photos, or just the same. Is it more or less mindful to just take one photo?

Pour Water

This exercise is intended to be used on a hot summer day – make sure you wear something that can get wet!

  1. Go outside on a hot day and fill a cup, bowl or bucket with water.  Take a few mindful breaths, or at least reflect for a few moments on your intention.
  2. Pour the cup, bowl or bucket of water over your head slowly.
  3. Notice the movement of the water from your head down to your feet.  The touch of the water against your skin.  The rhythm of your breathing.
  4. What does this make you feel?  Are you happy?  Why are you happy or not happy?  Are you surprised? Why are you surprised?
Emotions Chart

Take a blank piece of paper and fold it twice so that when you open it back up the paper is split into 4 sections. On each section you are going to pick emotions that you find hard to describe. For example:

  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Anxious

Sit with a friend or adult and talk about each of these things and how they make you feel. In each box, draw pictures that help you understand or describe those emotions. You could draw a spider in the fear box, or a question mark in the confused box etc. Discuss what you can do when you experience these emotions.

My Mission Statement

Come up with a positive mission statement for your self (mind, body and soul)

  •  “I am healthy, I am strong, I am loving, I am happy.”

This is a simple statement that you can say to your self each day when you wake up to start your day on a positive note!

Activity Activity Details
Calming Jar

Fill half of the jar (or bottle) with water and half with oil (baby oil, vegetable oil or mineral water).

  • Add a few drops of food coloring of your choice.
  • Mix them together, add glitter or small items if you’d like.
Dear ZooA Storybook for Ages 2-5

Listen to the story together

Story stretcher ideas with items from around the house:

  • Use favourite stuffed animals that children may have on hand to recreate the story
  • Use a cardboard box or other crates, containers and baskets to act as the animal cages
  • Create labels that say, ‘From the Zoo’ to add to the animal cages
  • Use any plastic animals you may have to tell the story

Activities you can do indoors:

  • Retelling stories in their own words helps children to develop their vocabulary, recognize and understand the concepts of beginning, middle and end of a story, and expands their imagination. Have your child tell you the story using the props from around the house or using the printed characters. View the animal characters from the story.
  • Print and cut for children to use to retell the story in their own words
  • Have your child draw pictures of their favourite animals to create their own storybook
  • Look at pictures of animals and talk about the different sounds they make
Freeze & Melt Items in Ice Cubes

Freezing small toy items in ice is a fun activity to introduce children and pre-schoolers to the science concepts of solids (frozen) and of liquid (melting). 

Discuss

  • How long does it take for something to melt?
  • Watch the clock to find out.
  • Does the ice cube melt faster/slower when placed outside?
Go On a Math Walk

Go for a math walk inside or outside. Choose something you want to look for such as:

  • Finding numbers
  • Look for patterns, some examples include the rectangles of sidewalk sections, a pattern of bricks or tiles, a pattern on the heat register covers
  • Look for certain shapes
  • Record how many times you find your chosen shape or number on a clipboard or paper using a tally system
  • Record how many birds you hear and how many birds you see.
  • Compare if there are more or less of those you hear versus those you see
  • Before or after you have completed your math walk you can add some more intense physical activity such as:
  • Let’s jump on two feet 5 times, let’s turn around in a circle 2 times, let’s stand on one foot and count to 10, count how many times you can jump over a crack in the sidewalk or a piece if string inside, etc.

Activity adapted from ESSO Family Math training.

Make Bubbles

Make bubbles using the following:

Bubble solution

  • 6 cups water (distilled is best but tap water is fine)
  • 1/2 cup Dawn dish detergent if you have it; if not dish detergent.
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Glycerine

To make un-poppable bubbles, start with 3 cups of distilled water and mix in 1 cup of dish soap. Then, add ½ cup of corn syrup and stir everything together. Make sure to stir the ingredients slowly so you don't cause any small bubbles.

What to use for bubble blowers
Use kitchen utensils to experiment with creating bubbles, e.g. potato masher, whisk, spatula with holes, egg beater.  Look in your craft room for pipe cleaners to create a shape.

Make Goop

GOOP is an amazingly fun play material that acts as both a liquid and a solid interchangeably. If you handle it quickly, it appears solid. You can pick it up and even form it into a ball, but if you handle it slowly the Goop turns to a liquid right in your hands!  

Materials

  • Corn starch 
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Begin by pouring the desired amount of corn starch into a large bin or container. 
  2. Slowly add water to the container and mix, slowly adding more water and mixing until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Start with a cup of water, but you can use more or less to explore with varying consistencies.   
  4. Add food coloring to the surface of the goop if color is desired. The colors will swirl into the goop slime as kids play, creating a marbleized effect!
Make Playing Dough

No-Cook Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • Food coloring or powdered paint
  • Mix it all together in a bowl…keep kneading it until it’s just right. You can even add a touch of vanilla or peppermint to make it smell wonderful!

Cooked Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Food coloring or powdered paint
  • Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook the mixture over low heat until it starts to look a bit dry. Remove the mixture and place it on a table or counter top. When it’s cool to the touch, you can knead it until it’s just right!
Activity Activity Details
Tell Me a Story

Pick three favourite stuffed animals and retell the story using a box or make a box out of popsicle sticks. Your child could play the dog or an animal of choice.

  • Sing Old McDonald Had a Farm using the animal toys you have in your room.
  • Play a listening game: The animals in the story listen to the sounds outside of their little popsicle stick home. Cover yourselves in a large blanket and listen. Encourage those under the blanket to identify the sounds they hear. Say, “I hear with my little ears a…”.
  • Make a fort together inside using sheets, towels, blankets or anything else that can be draped over chairs. Inside the fort is a great time to listen to the story again for naptime.
Listening Walk
  • Take a walk in your neighborhood.
  • Find a spot to stop for a few minutes and listen together for sounds in nature.
  • Talk about what you hear, smell, see and feel outdoors.
  • Encourage deep breathing, breathe in to the count of 5, exhale to the count of 5.
  • Repeat.
Under the Log

Find a shady, moist location with fallen trees or logs to explore.

  • Roll over the log to see what is underneath.
  • Explore and observe the critters that may be living there.
  • Take photos.
  • Either on your excursion or when you get home, encourage children to draw, paint or create the different critters they observed.
Virtual Trips

Take virtual tours of museums!

What’s Inside?

Place a household item in a bag, box or sock.

  • Have the children take turns feeling the item without looking at it and guessing what it is.
  • A shoebox with a hole that fits a child’s hand, a large gift bag or a large adult size sock works well.
  • Some items might include:  a hairbrush, comb, kitchen utensil, soap, toys, fruits, vegetables.
Puffy Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Materials

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap – just about any dish soap will work.
  • 5-10 drops food coloring or washable paint

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and water until there are no lumps.
  2. Stir in the dish soap to the flour mixture.
  3. Add food coloring of your choice of color until the desired color is achieved.
  4. Pour the mixture into your squeeze bottle.
  5. Give the kids their new sidewalk paint and let them have fun! Make each color in a different bowl or one at a time and pour into the bottles and then make the next color. Doesn't save well, use it all in one day. They explode if just left closed.
Body Tracing

Materials:

  • Large mural paper or butcher paper
  • Crayons or paints
  • Scissors
  • Chalk

Directions:

  1. Place the mural paper or butcher paper on the floor or wall.
  2. Have children lie on the paper or stand against the wall and trace each other’s body shape.
  3. Children can then paint or draw on their body shape.
  4. This is also fun to do on a driveway, sidewalk using chalk.
Activity Activity Details
Paint Resist Art

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Watercolour paints
  • Paint brushes

Have children draw on paper using crayons. Offer watercolour paints and brushes to paint over the crayoned paper.

Yoga for Kids

Watch the Yoga for Kids video and follow along. Great way to practice breathing and calming skills with your child.

Hug a Tree

Pick a favourite tree or shrub in your garden, or neighborhood and visit it every day.

  • Talk about how it looks, observe changes in the buds, leaves, height.
  • Give the children a clipboard with paper and a pencil to document the changes.
  • A measuring tape, magnifying glass would be interesting tools to bring along.
  • Take photos to add to the documentation.
Sponge Painting

Materials:

  • Sponges
  • Paints - 1-2 colors
  • Container for paint – plate, paper plate, tin foil plate
  • Clothespins (helps to clip the sponge to the clothespin) Optional
  • Tablecloth or newspaper
  • Smocks if you have them or an old shirt

Directions:

  1. Place a small amount of paint on a plate
  2. Dip the sponge in the paint
  3. Paint away!
Shadow Drawing
  • Place toys or blocks on a piece of paper outside and observe the shadow the object makes.
  • Provide crayons or pencil crayons to trace the shadow created by the object.
  • This could also be done with chalk on cement.

It can be fun to trace children’s body shape and revisit the drawing at different times of day to see how their shadow changes.

Ramp it Up

Materials:

  • Planks of wood
  • Long pieces of heavy cardboard
  • Plastic rain gutters
  • Balls
  • Toy vehicles
  • Things that roll or move from around the house

Ramps help children gain experience with force and motion. Encourage children to explore the differences in speed distance, force. Provide the materials above so children can create their own ramps.

Yogurt Parfaits

Ingredients:

  • Yogurt
  • Fruit pieces
  • Granola or cereals
  • Clear plastic cups 
  • Spoons

Place all ingredients in containers so children can self-serve. Have children select their ingredients and spoon each item into the cup or bowl. Enjoy! Some recipes from Chef and Author, Emily Richards for children and families

Activity Activity Details
Rock Painting

Materials:

  • Rocks
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brushes
  • Trays or tablecloth
  • Smocks or old shirts

After painting the rocks display them in the garden, or as decorations in your home.

Feed the Birds

Set up a bird feeding station. There are many types of feeders that are easy to make and use.

  • Pinecones rolled in sunflower butter, baskets, empty milk cartons, plastic beverage bottles.
  • Birdbaths with water are also a welcome addition to a garden.
  • Observe, listen, watch for different types of birds.
  • Track how many birds, the different types, their attributes, such as colour, size, beak shape, sounds/songs, seed preference, how they move.
Paint Prints

Materials:

  • Shallow dishes
  • Paints
  • Paper
  • Tablecloth or newspaper
  • Smocks if you have them or an old shirt
  • Printing items such as: paper cups, combs, vehicles, wooden spools, potato mashers.
  • Cover the table with a tablecloth or newspaper.

Directions:

  1. Place the paint in the shallow dishes.
  2. Place the printing item in the paint;
    - Cups - dip the rim of the paper cup in the paint
    - Combs - dip the teeth of the comb in the paint and drag it across the paper
    - Toy vehicles - place the vehicles in the paint, then drive it across the paper
    - Vegetables - Potatoes, celery, carrots, beets cut in half make interesting prints 

Ants on a Log

Ingredients:

  • Raisins
  • Cream cheese, Peanut butter, Wow butter
  • Celery
  • Fill celery sticks with cream cheese or peanut butter, Wow butter
  • Place raisins on top

Sing: The Ants Go Marching!

Skygazing

Materials:

  • Paper towel rolls
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn or ribbon (optional)
  • Crayons
  • Stickers

Directions

  1. Children may choose to decorate the paper towel rolls with crayons, stickers or other art materials
  2. Punch 2 holes in the top of the paper towel roll
  3. Cut the yarn 18 inches
  4. Thread it through the holes and tie it.
  5. Go outside to a grassy spot.
  6. Lie down on the grass together and use the telescope to look up in the sky.

What do you see? 

  • Look at the clouds, what shapes do you see.
  • Children may want to draw or retell stories about the sky, the clouds and what they saw when they come in.

Pump It Up!

Materials:

  • Chalk
  • Soap pump bottles
  • Tap water

Directions:

  1. Place chalk and bottles filled with water on a driveway or sidewalk for children to access.
  2. Children will draw and make marks on the cement and then press the pump bottles of water letting the water splatter all over the chalk markings.
  3. Observe the various designs created by the water sprays.
Music Makers

Materials:

  • Egg cartons
  • Paper Plates
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Hard pasta
  • Cereal

Directions:

  1. Have them place cereal and/or pasta on the paper plates or in the egg carton halves
  2. Tape the pieces together or staple.
  3. Play your favourite music and play along!
Activity Activity Details
Sink or Float?

Fill an empty container with water water.

Prepare a tray of items that your child could then put into the water.  They can make a prediction if it will sink or float.  You could provide 2 baskets one for sink and one for float that the items can be sorted into.

  • Sink:  rock, teaspoon, dinky car, key, bolt, and a loonie
  • Float:  small piece of wood, plastic lid, apple, and plastic ball
Music Makers

Materials needed:

  • Egg cartons
  • Paper plates
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Hard pasta
  • Cereal

Offer the materials to the children to decorate as they wish.  Have them place cereal and/or pasta on the paper plates or in the egg carton halves, tape the pieces together or staple. Play your favourite music and play along!

Homemade Blocks

There are many items around the house that can be used as a substitute for real blocks! Blocks are a great addition to any play materials such as:  vehicles, stuffed animals, toy animals, natural items like twigs, pebbles, wood planks, fabric pieces.  Block play is best on a flat/steady surface.

Some possibilities for blocks you might have at home are:

  • Shoeboxes
  • Kleenex boxes
  • Cereal boxes
  • Packing boxes
  • Pringles cans
  • Empty cans
  • Paint tins
  • Sponges
  • Plastic cups of various sizes
  • Wood Pieces
Exploding Colours Experiment

This science experience allows children to observe, experiment, draw conclusions and communicate their findings.

  • Place a thin layer of milk in a foil pan (plate or small tray).
  • Scatter drops of red, yellow, and blue food colouring onto the milk layer.
  • Add a drop of liquid dish detergent in one or two spots and watch the colours explode and mix together.

(Note: water can be used in place of milk but the reaction doesn’t last very long.  The fat content in the milk allows the reaction to occur for some time)

  • Discuss how the colours mix to make new colours.  Think about why the reaction occurred.
  • Provide crayons, markers, etc. so children can draw what happened.
  • Older children may like to write about the experiment while younger children could dictate their thoughts to an adult or older child to record.

Share what happened and any writing, drawing, etc. with others on Facebook, telephone, or hang your work in the window.

Line Fun!

Use Chalk or Tape to mark a line on floor or a driveway. See how many ways you can move along the line, over the line. Jumping, walking, hopping, sliding, tiptoeing, skipping. Add music!

To extend this, you could create a spider web effect with the tape or chalk.

What’s on the Menu?

Materials

  • Paper
  • Crayons, Markers
  • Magazine pictures or photographs you’ve taken (optional)

Talk about what choices the family could have for their meal(s) today.

Together, create a menu that lists the choices, using text and/or photos. Use the menu at a family meal. 

This could also be used in imaginary restaurant play. Extending the experience to add play money, prices on the menu. Create a logo for the restaurant, use kitchen tools, set the table, set up a kitchen, add purses, wallets, tablecloths, napkins.

Book Nook!

Create a space for the children’s favourite books. Books can be stored on shelves, in baskets, containers, etc. where children can access them anytime.

When possible, place books throughout the house as well, baskets or boxes are great for this! Having a soft pillow or soft furnishings, good lighting, soft toys, puppets, dolls and toys that may be used to retell stories.

Spend time together reading favourite books, again, again, again!

Activity Activity Details
Cool Cooking

What you need for Fruit Soup:

  • Melon
  • Banana
  • Plum
  • Kiwi
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Any fruits of your choice really!
  • Orange Juice – 1 cup
  • Frozen Yogurt -1 scoop
  • Melon scooper
  • Blender
  • Large bowl
  • Large Spoon
  • Small bowls and spoons

Directions:

  1. Scoop melon balls together – so much fun!
  2. Slice bananas with a butter knife
  3. Place in blender
  4. Add 1 cup of orange juice
  5. Whirl on high for 30 seconds
  6. Pour into bowls or cups
  7. Add additional fruit
  8. Top off with frozen yogurt
Math is Everywhere!
  • Setting the table, counting the number of place settings needed, matching the plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  • Putting items away, sorting various items (dishes, toys, towels, clothing, etc.) match where they go, count items as they are put away.
  • Sorting and matching laundry, sort items by item, by person, by size. Sort and match socks, count each individual sock, count how many pairs of socks, count by two.
  • Measure things in the house or outside, using measurement tools (tape measure, rulers, etc.) measure people, pets, toys, furniture, distances between things.
  • Use non-standard items to measure things (a book, a stuffed animal, piece of string, etc.) measure various things around the house.  Compare which things are longer, shorter, wider.
  • Look for patterns around the house, in the décor, in clothing, outside, etc.
  • Look for various shapes and count as many of each as you can find.
  • Using items around the house (string, buttons, bottle caps, corks, etc.) make patterns and / or designs.
  • Play ‘I Spy’ and look for items with numbers on them, or a specific number of items, (i.e. “I spy 3 brown circles” … the buttons on a sweater).
  • While looking at books together, count items in the pictures or the letters and words of the text.
  • Go on a number hunt, looking for numbers around the house, or in the neighbourhood.
  • Bake or cook simple things together, use a recipe and tools that have numbers on them. Talk and point out the numbers in the recipe, on the measuring tools, etc.
Watercolours and Salt

Materials needed:

  • Watercolour paints
  • Table salt in a shaker
  • Brushes
  • Paper
  • Tablecloth or newspapers
  • Smocks or old shirts

Directions:

  1. Set out the watercolours, a cup of water and paper.
  2. After the children complete their painting, have them sprinkle some salt over the painting while it is still wet.
  3. The salt should cause the paint to separate.

Let’s Pretend!

Dramatic play helps children enter and begin to make sense of the world of adults! This play is all about pretending and make-believe. Children will act out roles, especially roles they have observed like family members, babies, pets, community helpers and workers.  This play can happen anywhere in your home or outdoors.

Home Play

  • Scarves, shoes, boots, clothes, hats, purses, wallets, eyeglass frames, towels, capes, mirrors, gloves
  • Baby dolls, doll clothes, receiving blankets baby bottles
  • Small brooms, mops, feather dusters, spray bottles
  • Cooking utensils (real is great!), pots, pans, eggbeaters, spoons, pitchers, bowls, measuring cups and spoons, dishes, tea towels, food boxes and containers, tea sets
  • If you have a toy stove or kitchen area, look around your home for the following items to help switch it up. 

Bakery

  • Add baking dishes, measuring cups, bowls, spoons, oven mitts, apron and a timer

Pizzeria

  • Add a pizza pan, rolling pin, mixing bowl, measuring cups, containers that could be flour, pitcher for water, oven mitts, flipper

Tea House

  • Add a kettle, tea pot, tea cups and saucers, dessert plates, tiered plate tongs, sugar bowl, milk jug, cloth napkins and tablecloth

Medical

  • Tongue depressors, stethoscope, doctor kit, dolls, doll bed, bandages, cotton balls, white shirts

Entertainers

  • Music, scarves, musical instruments, sunglasses, costume jewelry, dress-up clothes, twinkle lights

Grocery Store

  • Cash register, old keyboard, phones, bags, buggies, food containers, cans with smooth edges, play money, pencils, paper

Hair Salon

  • Hand mirrors, brushes, combs, curlers, towels, empty shampoo bottles, pretend money, cash register, paper, pencils, old blow dryer with cord removed, phones

Mail Carrier

  • Index cards, stamp pads, stamps, crayons, pencils, paper, envelopes, bags, boxes for mail

Superheroes

  • Towels, clothespins, fabric pieces.
Crayon Rubbings

Materials needed:

  • Crayons 
  • Objects with textured surfaces such as bark, leaves, bricks, sandpaper, bumpy paper

Directions:

  1. Peel the paper off the crayons so children can use the sides of the crayons.
  2. Children may place the paper over the textured surfaces and rub the sides of the crayon over the paper.
Paper Towel Holder Activity

Items Needed:

  • Metal stand up paper towel holder
  • Items such as thick bracelets, napkin rings, plastic shower rings, large wooden rings, wrapping paper cardboard tubes cut into rings, hair scrunchies, cookie cutters.

Your child may enjoy placing items on to the post of the paper towel holder.  Some will be able to remove them as well but may need an adult to assist them.

 ABC Body Bean Bag
Adapted from growingplay.com
  • A:  Put the beanbag on your ARM.
  • B:  Put the beanbag on your BACK.
  • C:  CATCH the beanbag in the air.
  • D: Put the beanbag DOWN on the floor.
  • E:  Put the beanbag on your EAR.
  • F:  Put the beanbag on your FOOT.
  • G:  GALLOP with your beanbag.
  • H:  Put the beanbag on your HEAD.
  • I:  Walk IN a circle around your beanbag.
  • J:  JUMP with your beanbag.
  • K: KICK your beanbag.
  • L:  LEAP over your beanbag.
  • M:  MARCH in a circle with your beanbag.
  • N:  Put the beanbag on your NOSE.
  • O:  Jump OVER your beanbag.
  • P:  Put the beanbag on your PALM.
  • Q:  QUICKLY toss your beanbag up.
  • R:  RUN in place with your beanbag.
Activity Activity Details
Number Match

Items:

  • A flat box with low sides such as one half of a clothing gift box or a box from packs of water
  • Markers
  • Set of small cars/vehicles
  • Painters tape

Instructions:

  • Count the number of cars you have.
  • Number each car starting at 1 and label number them using small pieces of painter’s tape.
  • Cut an entrance in the side of your box to allow the cars to drive in and out.
  • Make a parking space for each numbered car.
  • Number each space with a marker.

Your child can match the numbered parking spaces to the numbered cars.

If you don’t have a box, you could:

  • Go outside and chalk numbered parking spots for each car
  • Use a large piece of paper for your parking lot

Create roads for the cars to drive on :

  • Gather dark construction paper or Bristol board, cut in strips wide enough for two cars to pass, add white lines with whiteout or white paint and let dry.
  • use dark scraps of material or old clothing to cut road strips if available
  • Start roads at the entrance/exit to the carpark.
Homemade Story Stones

What are Story Stones?
They are usually smooth flat stones that you can find in your garden, craft stores or at the beach.  Each stone has a picture or paint on it. You can make a story stone by painting an animal, object or person on it.  You can use paint, magazine pictures, fabric, stickers or markers there is no right or wrong way.  

How to use them?
They are a great addition to a story, characters in a doll-house, farm, food play and building blocks.  They are a wonderful way for children to express themselves and really there is not one way to play with them.  Your children can decorate them any way they like!

Sensory Ideas

Feely Bag / Box
Put various items in the bag and have children try to guess what it is by feel.  Have them try to describe it to you and you guess what it is.

Build with marshmallows and toothpicks or pretzels

Guess the Food?
Have various food items and have children to identify them without seeing them.  Have them smell or taste to try and figure out what it is.  Use variety of sauces (i.e. ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, applesauce, etc.) or other foods (citrus fruits, berries, vegetables, etc.).

What’s that sound
Record various sounds and have children try to guess what it is. 

Melted Crayons
Using old crayons with all the paper removed, put pieces into lined muffin tins, them melt in the oven at a low heat (200 – 225) for about 10 mins.  Put them in the fridge or freezer to cool.

Melt wax art
Using a manual pencil sharpener, sharpen crayons and collect the wax bits.  Glue them to paper (thicker paper works better) or cardboard.  With a hairdryer, melt the wax bits and tilt the paper to move the melted wax around.

Literacy & Math
  • Play 20 Questions by thinking of an item and have your child ask you questions about the item, counting the questions as you go, switch and have your child think of an item while you ask them questions about it.  Language acquisition and math development!
  • Make books by folding and stapling a few sheets of paper together. Use to make stories, as notebooks, sketch books, etc.
  • Make homemade greeting cards for family, friends and neighbours, address them and drop them off if close by or put them in the mail.
  • Make your own bingo cards
  • Play card games like Old Maid, Snap, Go Fish
  • Make bookmarks for your books
  • Body Tracing using large pieces of paper to do body tracing, label body parts and decorate
  • Make an abacus using string, items with holes in them (like beads, Cheerios, etc.), paper and tape. String 10 items on each row, then tape the ends of the string to the paper, ensuring you have enough room to still move the items on the string.
  • Cut up old magazines and / or newspapers, have children make words (even nonsense words) with the cut-up letters.  Encourage children to try to cut out letters or numbers themselves.
Roll the Dice!
  • Roll a dice and use that number of body parts to balance on, or for the same number of seconds.
  • Create a chart indicating which movement corresponds to the dice (example below)
  1. hop on one foot
  2. jump as far as you can on two feet
  3. hold a tree pose for 3 seconds (or try to!)
  4. crawl across the room on all fours
  5. do five jumping jacks
  6. your choice of any of the above

Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt

(Only rule is you cannot use your own house!)

  • House with a railing.
  • Blue car.
  • Tree with a bird feeder.
  • Dog in the window.
  • Cat in the window.
  • Canadian Flag.
  • Outside light on.
  • Camper in the driveway.
  • Black garage door.
  • People sitting on their porch.
Create greeting cards

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Various fabric pieces, ribbon, string, bows
  • Stickers
  • Create cards for neighbours, family, essential workers
Activity Activity Details
Foot Painting

Materials:

  • Paint
  • Large mural paper or sidewalk
  • Basin for paint
  • Basin for water
  • Towels

Instructions:

  • Place a layer of paint in the basin
  • Take children’s shoes and socks off
  • Roll up pants
  • Help the child step in the basin to cover the bottom of their feet with paint
  • Help the child walk across the mural paper
  • Help them wash their feet and dry them
Go Tight - Go Loose To reduce body tension

Get into a comfortable position, either lying flat or sitting comfortably with both feet flat on the floor, and if you like, close your eyes.

  • We are going to practice breathing slowly and deeply.
  • Sand up straight with your hands at your sides and your fingers pointing down. Make a fist with each hand.
  • Squeeze your hands tight. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze………. relax. Repeat a few times.
  • This time also squeeze your legs together while making a fist and squeezing your arms tight.
  • Squeeze…squeeze…..squeeze ……… relax.  Repeat a few times.
Fizzy Paint!

Materials:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Vinegar
  • Thick paper
  • Paint brushes
  • Eye droppers
  • Spray bottles
  • Measuring cup
  • Containers/bowls

Directions for each colour:

  1. Put 1/8 cup of baking soda in a container/bowl
  2. Add desired amount of food colouring
  3. Add ¼ cup of water
  4. Mix until you get your preferred consistency
  5. An even amount of liquid and baking soda works well
  6. Place vinegar in eye droppers or spray bottles
  7. Drop or spray vinegar onto paper

Copy Games

  • Simon Says
  • Follow the Leader
  • Head and Shoulders
Shapes Exploration

Composing and Decomposing Shapes

Materials:

  • Lightweight scarves that can be laid flat
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or Crayons

Exploring two dimensional shapes supports the geometry strand of math learning.

  1. Lay a scarf out flat on a hard surface such as the floor or a small table where your child can access all sides of the scarf easily.
  2. Talk about the shape of the scarf.  Is it a square, a rectangle, a triangle?  Talk about the number of corners and the number of sides of the scarf.
  3. Encourage your child to fold the scarf to make another shape.  Can they change the original shape to a smaller version of the same shape, or to a new shape?  If needed, the adult can demonstrate one change with their own scarf.  See if the child follows your lead and if so you can encourage them to try to make a shape that you can follow.  Each time a shape is made (composed), talk about the size, number of sides and number of corners.  Can you make a rectangle, a square, a triangle?
  4. Unfold (decompose) the scarf back to the original when needed.

Extensions:

  • Look for shapes in your home or outside that are the same shape as the ones you composed.
  • Can you find patterns with rectangles, squares, or triangles? (tiles, heat vent covers, etc.)
  • Draw the shapes that you composed on paper or with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Use paper and scissors to cut shapes.
  • Start with a square.  Make one straight line cut to make smaller rectangles, or triangles.
  • Start with a rectangle.  Make one straight line cut to make smaller rectangles, squares or triangles.
  • Start with a triangle.  Make one straight line cut to make smaller triangles.
  • It may be helpful to draw a line on the original shape to help a child get started with cutting.  For example, draw one line (see above) on the original square to cut it into 2 rectangles.  Again, talk about the number of sides and corners, for the original and new shapes you compose.  Can you cut the new shape you composed again to make a new or smaller version of your shape?

Obstacle Courses

  • Create an obstacle course on the floor using painters tape (or chalk if outside), make various lines, straight, curved, dotted.  Include shapes to jump in an out of, or to jump over.
  • Using various pieces of furniture and / or items around the house set up opportunities for children to experience spatial awareness.  Going under tables, blankets, over a bench or ottoman, climbing onto a chair, etc.
  • Consider reading a book like ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ or watching a YouTube video of it and then doing similar movements.
Story and Stretcher Idea

book cover felicity floo visits the zooA read-aloud book from Hamilton Public Library - Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo

Extended Ideas:

Link the story to real life
Ask your child if they remember a time when they felt sick. How did they know they were sick? How do they think the sick animals felt in the story? Talk about how hand washing helps to keep bad germs from spreading. Then wash your hands together using a lot of soap and singing the ABC song slowly while washing.

Make a zoo hospital
Use boxes for beds and cages. Add props such as stuffed animals, Band-Aids, thermometer, bowls for food and spoons to feed the animals.

Sort your animals
Play a game by trying to sort the stuffed toys as many ways as possible – shape, size, colour, weight, soft/hard, smooth/fluffy, etc… The options are endless. Be sure to talk about the different characteristics.

Follow the leader
Move around the house both inside while moving like various animals. Slither like a python, climb like a gorilla, stretch like a giraffe, scurry like a degu, prance like a lion, hop like a kangaroo…

Hide and seek
Hide stuffed animals around the house while you children cover their eyes. Once all of the animals are hidden yell, 

Play Guess Who
Take turns making animal sounds while everyone else guesses who you are imitating. 

Activity Activity Details
It’s A Zoo Out There!
  • One person is the zookeeper.
  • The zookeeper calls out an animal.
  • Everyone moves around the room just like that animal.
  • The zookeeper calls out “feeding time” and everyone stops moving
  • The zookeeper calls out another animal, repeat.
Moon Dough

Mix one cup of cornstarch with ½ cup of hair conditioner. Food colouring is optional. Enjoy!

Deep Breathing (to slow down the body and quiet the mind)

Imagine you have a balloon in your tummy.
Place one hand below your belly button.
Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose to a count of four.
Feel the balloon fill up with air,
When the balloon is full, breathe out slowly, using a count of four to let the air out of the balloon.
Your hand will feel your tummy going up and down as the balloon fills up and empties out.

  1. Slowly fill up the balloon till it’s full 1…2…3…4…
  2. Now slowly blow out and let the air out of the balloon 1….2….3…..4…
  3. Repeat five times, then open your eyes and breathe normally.
Ten in The Bed – Sing along
  • There were ten in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over”
  • So they all rolled over and one fell out…
  • There were nine in the bed and the little one said, “roll over, roll over”
  • So they all rolled over and one fell out…
  • Continue till no one is in the bed!
  • You could ask the child(ren) what else the little one could do.
Math Around the House
  • Setting the table, counting the number of place settings needed, matching the plates, cups, utensils etc.
  • Putting items away, sorting various items (dishes, toys, towels, clothing, etc.) match where they go, count items as they are put away.
  • Sorting and matching laundry, sort items by item, by person, by size. Sort and match socks, count each individual socks, count how many pairs of socks, count by two.
  • Measure things in the house or outside, using measurement tools (tape measure, rulers, etc.) measure people, pets, toys, furniture, distances between things.
  • Use non-standard items to measure things (a book, a stuffed animal, piece of string, etc.) measure various things around the house. Compare which things are longer, shorter, wider.
  • Look for patterns around the house, in the décor, in clothing, outside, etc.
  • Look for various shapes and count as many of as you can find.
  • Using items around the house (string, buttons, bottle caps, corks, etc.) make patterns and / or designs.
  • Play ‘I Spy’ and look for items with numbers on them, or a specific number of items, (i.e. “I spy 3 brown circles” … the buttons on a sweater).
  • While looking at books together, count items in the pictures or the letters and words of the text.
  • Go on a number hunt, looking for numbers around the house, or in the neighbourhood.
  • Bake or cook simple things together, use a recipe and tools that have numbers on them. Talk and point out the numbers in the recipe, on the measuring tools, etc.
Colour Mixing Activity

Materials needed

  • unused paper coffee filters or paper towels
  • washable coloured markers
  • small container of water per child
  • eye droppers or small spoons
  • cookie sheets or plastic trays

Steps

  1. Place a coffee filter or paper towel on a tray for each child.
  2. Invite your child/children to colour in various places on the coffee filter or paper towel.
  3. Invite your child/children to drip water onto the paper towel or coffee filter either with an eye dropper, spoon or off the end of their fingertips.
  4. Observe and talk about what happens to the colours when they get wet.
  5. Take pictures of their work to share with family and friends.

Extended Learning

  • Children may notice that the paper towels or coffee filters absorb the water. What happens as they add more water?
  • Children may wish to repeat this process several times. Dry the tray or cookie sheet before placing a new paper towel or coffee filter on it. Compare what happens when they use small amounts of colour with space in between to colouring the entire paper towel/coffee filter. Use the photos you took of their initial work to help with discussions.
  • Absorption and the mixing of colours support science learning, language development and the use of sensory materials (water). Fine-motor development is supported with colouring and the use of an eye dropper.
Using Music

Freeze Dance

  • Dancing with scarves, or ribbons
  • Pretend to be dancing or moving like different animals, i.e., a bear, a frog, a bird, a snake, etc.
  • Listen to music with various tempos and speeds and move the way the music makes you feel
Activity Activity Details
Obstacle Courses
  • Create an obstacle course on the floor using painters’ tape (or chalk if outside), make various lines, straight, curved, dotted.  Include shapes to jump in an out of, or to jump over.
  • Using various pieces of furniture and / or items around the house set up opportunities for children to experience spatial awareness.  Going under tables, blankets, over a bench or ottoman, climbing onto a chair, etc.
  • Consider reading a book like ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ or watching a YouTube video of it and then doing similar movements.
Transient Art

Material needed

  • Empty wood or plastic frame (no glass) or items to make a frame
  • cardboard or construction paper
  • scissors
  • ruler and pencil
  • Loose parts such as
    • buttons
    • rocks
    • shells
    • seeds
    • pieces of wool
    • spools
    • anything small that can be used in picture making

Ask your child to create a picture, design, or pattern using the frame as the space to work within. Once complete, take a picture so that the child can save their work. Items in the picture can be reused to make new pictures or patterns.  This makes the materials transient – they can be used over and over.

Extensions

  • Ask your child to draw what they have created.
  • Make a lunch or snack picture.
  • Create a picture on a plate using items such as dry cereals, pretzels, cut up fruit, cut up veggies.
  • Take a picture, then eat your creation.
Numbers Rock!
Sidewalk chalk game

Material needed

  • Chalk
  • Rocks

How to play:

  1. Draw circles on the pavement
  2. Draw numbers in each circle
  3. Children can count how many rocks they need for each circle, placing them in the circles.

Homemade Butter

Material needed

  • Clear plastic container with lid
  • Whipping cream
  • Crackers
  • Plastic knife or spoon

Instructions

  • Place whipping cream in clear container
  • Place lid on the container
  • Encourage child(ren) to shake the container
  • Observe and talk about how the cream is changing as they shake it
  • Save a bit of the cream to compare the difference once the cream in the container thickens
  • Have child(ren) spread the butter on crackers and taste
Animal Tracks

Animals are a big part of nature, and a pretty fun part too!

If you can, take your little one out and show her footprints of cats, dogs and birds and how they’re different from each other.

Now even if that’s not an option, you can make your own animal tracks.

Let your child stomp with different ‘feet’ and you can also use their toy animals to create some mini-tracks!

Relax!

Kid Cuddle – Adult and child together

  • Standing or sitting, stretch arms out wide, wide, wide.
  • Slowly bring arms forward and cross in front.
  • Each hand holds onto the opposite shoulder.
  • Squeeze gently.
  • Rock and cuddle the child in your arms.
Dice Game
Sidewalk chalk game

Material needed

  • Dice
  • Chalk

Instructions

  • Draw a grid with 6 or more large squares.
  • Draw various numbers in the squares.
  • Roll the dice.
  • Find the number that corresponds with the dots on the dice.
Activity Activity Details
Seek and Spray Sidewalk chalk

Material needed

  • Chalk
  • Spray bottle(s)

Instructions

Draw various letter, numbers, words, simple objects on the pavement. You may want to focus on one of these ideas or mix it up depending on the ages of the children!

Have one person call out the letters, numbers, objects for your child to find.

Once they find it, they spray it until it is washed away.

Composing and Decomposing Shapes

Material needed

  • Lightweight scarves that can be laid flat
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or Crayons 

Exploring two dimensional shapes supports the geometry strand of math learning.

  • Lay a scarf out flat on a hard surface such as the floor or a small table where your child can access all sides of the scarf easily.
  • Talk about the shape of the scarf.  Is it a square, a rectangle, a triangle?  Talk about the number of corners and the number of sides of the scarf.
  • Encourage your child to fold the scarf to make another shape.  Can they change the original shape to a smaller version of the same shape, or to a new shape?  If needed, the adult can demonstrate one change with their own scarf. See if the child follows your lead and if so, you can encourage them to try to make a shape that you can follow.  Each time a shape is made (composed), talk about the size, number of sides and number of corners. Can you make a rectangle, a square, a triangle?
  • Unfold (decompose) the scarf back to the original when needed.
Tree Bark Rubbings

Material needed

  • Trees
  • Paper
  • Crayons

If you have an old, rugged tree in your backyard, you’re in luck!
Make the most of those beautiful ridges to create kid-art.
Just wrap art paper around the tree, stick with tape and let the kids draw on it with colored crayons.

Can Drums
Homemade Musical Instruments

You can create drums at home by using everyday items like soup cans, Pringles containers, or even a tabletop! All you need is some kind of a drum stick to tap along with.

Tin can drums are easy to make, and using graduated sized cans means kids can actually play different notes.

Material needed

  • cans
  • safety can opener that doesn’t leave sharp edges
  • balloons – 7-inch balloons on smaller cans and 9-inch balloons on larger cans
  • rubber bands
  • dowels and beads for drumsticks (optional)

Instructions

To make a drum, take the top off a can using the safety can opener, remove the contents, and wash and dry the can. Then cut the bottom off a balloon and stretch it tight over the open top of the can. Secure the balloon with a rubber band, and your drum is ready to play!

To make drumsticks, I bought dowels at the craft store and beads with holes the same diameter as the dowels. I just used school glue to glue the dowels into the beads. But you can use a wooden spoon or any creative object that you have at home to use as a drum stick!

Stick Maze

Material needed:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Pile of sticks/branches

Instructions

  • Encourage your child to draw a simple maze on their paper
  • Have your child create the maze using their drawing and the sticks/branches
  • Try out the maze when completed!
  • Added challenge:  blindfold one person and lead them through using your voice to direct them

Paint the Walls

Material needed

  • Pail of water for each child
  • Paint brush for each child

Children will enjoy “painting” your outside walls (bricks or siding) or fences.

If available offer children various sizes of brushes.  This will allow them to cover more or less space on the wall/fence with each brush load.

Ice Cube Melt

Materials:

  • Ice Cubes

Here is an experiment for young scientists

  • Place 1 ice cube outside on a flat, sunny spot.  Place another ice cube outside on a flat, shady spot.  Observe them melt.  Compare any differences.  What happens after they melt?
  • Talk about why the results of melting may have happened.

Extension

  • Can you find anything else that might melt?  (wax crayon, wax candle, chocolate, plus some items that you don’t think will melt)
  • Make a prediction about what might happen if any of these items are placed in the sun or shade.
Activity Activity Details
Spray Bottle Fun

Materials:

  • A spray bottle for each child
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Partly fill each spray bottle with water.
  • The children will delight in spraying plants, outside walls, sidewalks, and each other.
  • Notice the difference in the colour of wet or dry things.

Extensions

  • Chalk pictures on a sidewalk or driveway.
  • Spray the pictures with water.
  • Do you notice any changes?

Add a few drops of food colouring to each bottle.  Spray paper with your coloured water.  Talk about any lines, shapes, letters, or pictures the child can create on the paper.  What happens if you get a lot of water on the paper?  Does the water get absorbed by the paper?  Does the water evaporate into the air?

Mess Free Finger Painting

Materials:

  • Large Ziploc bags
  • Tape
  • Paint

Instructions

  1. Using a Ziploc bag place a paper with some dots of paint on it inside. 
  2. Tape the bag to the floor for your child to have some sensory tummy time (if a baby) or tape to a table or window. 
  3. Your child will explore the paint through reaching and touching.
  4.  Once they are done, you can take the painting out of the bag by cutting the sides and let it dry.
Spider's Web Discovery Basket

Materials:

  • Laundry basket
  • String or wool

Weave a spool of string through a laundry basket and you've got a spider’s web. Add a toy/ object for some deeply engrossing coordination practice and their first real agility test.

 It's one thing trying to slip his hand through to reach a toy at the bottom of the basket, another altogether trying to maneuver the toy out. But, they'll get it and they'll get better with every attempt.

Let’s Sing!

 

Raffi – Robin In The Rain Lyrics

Robin in the rain,
Such a saucy fellow.
Robin in the rain,
Mind your socks of yellow.
Running in the garden on your nimble feet,
Digging for your dinner with your long strong beak.
Robin in the rain,
You don't mind the weather
Showers always make you gay.
Bet the worms are wishing you would stay at home,
Robin on a rainy day -- don't get your feet wet,
Robin on a rainy day!

Ice Block Hunt

Material required

  • Small plastic fish, dinosaurs, animals, boats (anything that you have at home)
  • Basin/ bin/ bucket
  • Water and food colouring (food colouring is optional)
  • Squirt/ squeeze bottles or water guns
  • Plastic hammer, tooth brush, etc.

Instructions

  1. Fill your basin/ container with a layer of water (add food colouring if you wish).
  2. Add in the plastic figures of your choice and freeze.
  3. Add another layer of water and plastic figures and freeze again (repeat until container is full).
  4. Once frozen, take the block outside and have the kids use the squirt/ squeeze bottle and other items to melt away the ice and discover the frozen treasures.
Squirt the Letter

Material required

  • Bucket of water
  • Water gun/ spray bottle
  • Chalk

Instructions
Write letters on the driveway, sidewalk or fence with the chalk.  Have your child fill the letter that you call out. Encourage your child to call out a letter before they squirt the chalk away!

Water Xylophone
Homemade Musical Instruments
If you’re looking for an instrument with a multitude of sounds, you may want to offer this musical water xylophone. By filling the cups with different amounts of water and tapping the glasses with a spoon, your kids can hear all the different tones that are produced. This is a great activity to complete with a friend (or little brother or sister), too. Get them started on a beat to a certain tempo with one cup, and you can join in with another sound or a different cup. Soon you’ll be on your way to making your very own homemade musical masterpiece! Start by putting different amounts of water in glasses.  You can dye the water rainbow colors.  I can be fun to put the glasses in order.  Demonstrate how to gently hit one glass with a (dull kid friendly) dinner knife, stick or other object that you find is appropriate.  You can teach rhythms, patterns or identifying the difference between low and high notes.  This creates the opportunity to talk about music in a fun hands on way!
Activity Activity Details
Spray Bottle Fun

Materials:

  • A spray bottle for each child
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Partly fill each spray bottle with water.
  • The children will delight in spraying plants, outside walls, sidewalks, and each other.
  • Notice the difference in the colour of wet or dry things.

Extensions

  • Chalk pictures on a sidewalk or driveway.
  • Spray the pictures with water.
  • Do you notice any changes?

Add a few drops of food colouring to each bottle.  Spray paper with your coloured water.  Talk about any lines, shapes, letters, or pictures the child can create on the paper.  What happens if you get a lot of water on the paper?  Does the water get absorbed by the paper?  Does the water evaporate into the air?

Mess Free Finger Painting

Materials:

  • Large Ziploc bags
  • Tape
  • Paint

Instructions

  1. Using a Ziploc bag place a paper with some dots of paint on it inside. 
  2. Tape the bag to the floor for your child to have some sensory tummy time (if a baby) or tape to a table or window. 
  3. Your child will explore the paint through reaching and touching.
  4.  Once they are done, you can take the painting out of the bag by cutting the sides and let it dry.
Spider's Web Discovery Basket

Materials:

  • Laundry basket
  • String or wool

Weave a spool of string through a laundry basket and you've got a spider’s web. Add a toy/ object for some deeply engrossing coordination practice and their first real agility test.

 It's one thing trying to slip his hand through to reach a toy at the bottom of the basket, another altogether trying to maneuver the toy out. But, they'll get it and they'll get better with every attempt.

Let’s Sing!

 

Raffi – Robin In The Rain Lyrics

Robin in the rain,
Such a saucy fellow.
Robin in the rain,
Mind your socks of yellow.
Running in the garden on your nimble feet,
Digging for your dinner with your long strong beak.
Robin in the rain,
You don't mind the weather
Showers always make you gay.
Bet the worms are wishing you would stay at home,
Robin on a rainy day -- don't get your feet wet,
Robin on a rainy day!

Ice Block Hunt

Material required

  • Small plastic fish, dinosaurs, animals, boats (anything that you have at home)
  • Basin/ bin/ bucket
  • Water and food colouring (food colouring is optional)
  • Squirt/ squeeze bottles or water guns
  • Plastic hammer, tooth brush, etc.

Instructions

  1. Fill your basin/ container with a layer of water (add food colouring if you wish).
  2. Add in the plastic figures of your choice and freeze.
  3. Add another layer of water and plastic figures and freeze again (repeat until container is full).
  4. Once frozen, take the block outside and have the kids use the squirt/ squeeze bottle and other items to melt away the ice and discover the frozen treasures.
Squirt the Letter

Material required

  • Bucket of water
  • Water gun/ spray bottle
  • Chalk

Instructions
Write letters on the driveway, sidewalk or fence with the chalk.  Have your child fill the letter that you call out. Encourage your child to call out a letter before they squirt the chalk away!

Water Xylophone
Homemade Musical Instruments
If you’re looking for an instrument with a multitude of sounds, you may want to offer this musical water xylophone. By filling the cups with different amounts of water and tapping the glasses with a spoon, your kids can hear all the different tones that are produced. This is a great activity to complete with a friend (or little brother or sister), too. Get them started on a beat to a certain tempo with one cup, and you can join in with another sound or a different cup. Soon you’ll be on your way to making your very own homemade musical masterpiece! Start by putting different amounts of water in glasses.  You can dye the water rainbow colors.  I can be fun to put the glasses in order.  Demonstrate how to gently hit one glass with a (dull kid friendly) dinner knife, stick or other object that you find is appropriate.  You can teach rhythms, patterns or identifying the difference between low and high notes.  This creates the opportunity to talk about music in a fun hands on way!
Activity Activity Details
Water Limbo

Items required

  • Hose
  • Music (optional)

How to Play
Grab a hose and put on some fun limbo music. The water from the hose will be used as your limbo stick. Have someone hold up the hose. Then bend backwards and walk forwards under the water. The object is to pass underneath the water without getting wet.

Musical Sprinkler Freeze

Materials needed

  • Sprinkler
  • Outdoor Space

How to Play
Start with the sprinkler turned off. Players should dance, jump, or creatively move around the sprinkler. Then when the sprinkler is turned on, players must freeze where they are. Enjoy getting soaked until the sprinkler is turned off again.

Water Balloon Volleyball

Materials needed

  • Rope or bed sheet (net for game) & something sturdy to tie it to like a tree
  • Bedsheet/ pillow case/towel
  • Balloon (with water)

How to play
Set up a net by tying a rope or bed sheet to two trees or two sturdy objects outside. Split into two teams, with one team standing on each side of the net. Each team should receive a bed sheet, pillow case, or towel. Start by placing a balloon filled with water onto one team’s sheet. They will then try to flip it off of their sheet and over the net to the other team, who must catch and send it back over. Prepare to get wet when the balloon pops.

The SPLAT Game

Materials needed

  • Water balloons
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape (could use a stick or feet size to measure as an alternative)

How to Play
For this game, you will need a paved surface such as a driveway, a number of water balloons approximately all the same size, chalk and a measuring tape. Hold a balloon up high above your head and then throw it onto the pavement, trying to make the biggest wet mark. Outline the wet mark with chalk and measure the size of it. Take turns to see who can create the biggest SPLAT.

Sponge Water Race

Materials needed

  • 2 Buckets
  • Sponge

How to Play
For this game, you will need two buckets or containers and one sponge. Fill one bucket with water and place it at the starting point. Take the empty buckets and place them a distance away (the further apart, the more challenging). When the game begins, the players soak the sponge, carry it to the empty bucket, wring it out, and take it back to the start to repeat the process.

  • How long did it take you to do this?
  • Do you think you could do it faster?
Water Balloon Relay

Materials needed

  • A chair
  • Water balloons

How to Play
For this game, you will need one chair per team (if there are 2+ people) and an open outdoor space with room to move. Set up the chairs on one end of the playing area and have players stand at the other end. Each team will have a pile of water balloons (each team gets the same amount). When the game begins, one player on each team takes a water balloon, runs to the chair, sits on the balloon, pops it, and runs back. Repeat the process until one team wins by popping all of their balloons. If a player drops their balloon or it pops before sitting on it, they must run back for a new one.

Water Balloon Toss

Materials needed

  • Balloons
  • Water

How to play

  • Fill balloons with water, then with a partner or group, toss the balloons back and forth until they burst.
  • Try moving further away or closer together.
  • Try throwing it under your leg.
  • Try catching with one hand.
  • Get creative and have fun!!
Activity Activity Details
Sponge War

Items required

  • Outdoor space
  • Bucket (with water)
  • 2+ Sponges (can cut into smaller pieces to make more)

How to Play

  • Place a pile of sponges into a bucket of water. Enjoy a water fight, throwing the soaked sponges at each other. Be sure to hit others below the shoulders.
Wet Head Challenge

Materials needed

  • 2 buckets/ containers
  • 1 cup

How to Play
Fill one bucket up and place it at a starting point. Take the empty bucket and place them a distance away (the further apart, the more challenging). When the game begins, the player fills their cup with water, walks to the other side while balancing the cup of water on their head, dump the water in the bucket, and take the cup back to the start to repeat the process.  

  • How long did it take for you to transfer all of the water?
  • Did you lose any water?
  • Try adding obstacles to your path!
Sponge Toss

Materials needed

  • Need 2 or more people for this activity
  • 2 buckets/ containers
  • Sponge

How to play
For this game, you will need two buckets or containers and one sponge. Fill one bucket up with the same amount of water and place it on one side of the playing area. Take the empty bucket and place them on the other side of the playing area. One player stands at the bucket with water and the other player stands at the empty bucket.  If you have more people, they can stand somewhere in between or around the bucket.  To begin, the first player dunks the sponge in the full bucket of water and tosses the sponge to their next teammate. The sponge continues being tossed to each person participating until it reaches the player at the empty bucket. This player wrings out the sponge and passes the sponge back down the line. Repeat the process until the first bucket is empty.

  • How fast did you go?
  • Do you think you can go faster?
Frozen Ice Chalk

Materials needed

  • Corn Starch
  • Paint (liquid)
  • Ice Cube Tray (popsicle stick for handle)

How to Play

  1. Mix 1-part corn starts with 1-part water
  2. Add liquid paint until you reach the desired colour.
  3. To make multiple colours, mix in smaller bowls or simply add the food colouring directly to the ice cube tray.
  4. Pour into the mold (put popsicle stick in the top)
  5. Freeze
  6. Pop out and play! (on paper or sidewalks)

*May mark sidewalk for a period of time.  Watch food coloring on hands, add soap to reduce potential staining.

Sprinkler Sharks and Minnows

Materials needed

  • Outdoor space
  • Sprinkler
  • Hose

How to Play
For this game, you will need a sprinkler and an open outdoor space with room to move. One player is “the shark” and the other player(s) are “the minnows.” The shark stands in the middle of the playing area and tells the minnows to swim across. The minnows run across the yard to the other side, trying not to get tagged by the shark. If tagged, they join the shark. The sprinkler is also a shark, so if the minnows get hit by the sprinkler, they become a shark as well. The last minnow standing is the winner.

Cup of Chance

Materials needed

  • Cups (as many as you’d like)
  • Water

How to Play
While outside, set up a number of cups (preferably not see-through) on a table. Fill half of the cups with water, leaving the others empty. Players take turns choosing a cup with their eyes closed or blindfolded, and once chosen, they must dump it on their head. If there is not water, they are safe until the next round. If there is water, they must do an exercise of choice to continue (Example: 10 jumping jacks, 5 squats, 5 second plank).

Toe Diving

Materials needed

  • Bucket
  • Small toys
  • Water

How to play
Fill a big bucket or container with small toys. On “go,” try to fish out as many items as you can by using only your toes. See how many items you can retrieve within a set amount of time or see how long it takes you to retrieve all items.

Activity Activity Details
Ice Cube Melt

2-4 players, One ice cube per person or per team

The first person holds and rubs the ice cube until their hands get to cold. Then they pass it to the next person, and so on, until the ice cube melts. If you are playing with just 2 people, you can rub the ice cube on your legs, arms and head to help melt it faster before the other person!

 What ever person/ team melts their ice cube first wins.

 You can do lots of variations of this game- Make all the players balance the ice cube on a spoon while doing a relay and reverse-make them finish the relay before the ice cube melts!

Over Under Relay

Materials needed

  • 1 large sponge
  • 1 cup
  • a bucket of water

How to Play

  • Create a starting line and finish line.
  • Place the empty cup at the finish line and the bucket full of water at the starting line with the sponge in the water.

The goal of the game is to fill up the cup of water at the finish line as fast as you can. To do this you will start by standing beside the bucket and when you are ready to begin, pick up the sponge moving it through your legs and over your head in circles while walking to the cup at the finish line.  Once you are at the cup you must squeeze the water that is left in the sponge into the cup and run back to the start to repeat this again until the cup is full.  Time your self and see how fast you can fill the cup!

Soggy Sweatpants Relay

For this game, each team with need a bucket or container full of water and a pair of oversized sweatpants. Create a starting point and determine a distance that participants need to run. To begin, the first teammate dunks and soaks the sweatpants in the bucket of water, puts them on, runs the designated distance, and then runs back to the start, removing the pants. Repeat the process ensuring all players get a turn.  If there is only one player, try to beat your fastest time.

Garden/Earth Soup

Find a large bowl, bucket or tub that you can get dirty. Bring it out side and fill it with water. Collect things that you think the earth or a garden would like in a soup. Example: Dirt, rocks, grass, leaves, pebbles, weeds etc. Place these items in the big bowl and mix them up! Then find a place to dump the soup and feed the earth! 

Water Gun Tag

Each player starts the game with a dry t-shirt.  You can play every person for themselves or you can split into teams.  When the leader says go, you try to squirt the other players.  The person with the driest shirt at the end wins!

Drip, Drip, Drop

This game is a variation on duck, duck, goose, the campers sit in a circle and one

person is selected to be it. The person who is it fills a sponge with water and walks around the circle dripping water on every player’s head saying “drip” every time they do so. The person who is it selects a person to chase them by emptying the sponge on the selected player’s head and saying, “Drop!” The person who was “Dropped” stands up and the two players race around the circle in opposite directions back to the open spot. The first person back wins and the person left standing becomes the “Dripper”.

Ice Excavating

Material needed

  • Plastic Dinosaur Toys or any other plastic toys that you have at home
  • Tupperware Bin
  • Freezer
  • Water
  • Blue Food Coloring (optional)
  • Excavating Tools (toothbrush, squirt bottle, toy hammer, shovel – whatever you have)

Instructions

  1. Fill the bin with water.
  2. Add the toys to the water
  3. Put the bin in the freezer
  4. Once water is fully frozen, pull the bin out of the freezer and put it somewhere that it can be played with (eg. Kiddie pool, grass, driveway, etc).
  5. Use the excavating tools that you have to get the toys out of the ice.
Activity Activity Details
Frozen T-Shirt

Can be played with 1 person or in teams.

Find an old t-shirt that you do not care if they get wet or ruined. Take these t-shirts and soak them in water, once soaked place in a freezer safe bowl until it is frozen solid.

Then once they are frozen, see if you can break the ice on the shirt and put it on. You can have a contest to see who can put it on the fastest.  Or you can time yourself and see how long it takes you to put it on!

Splashie Says

Much like Simon Says (see week 2), except when participants do something wrong, they get splashed with a hose! Splashie gives instructions, like “Splashie says jump on one foot.” But if players move when Splashie says something without the “Splashie says” part, then they are mistaken and get splashed!

Water Balloon Baseball

For this game, you will need water balloons and a baseball bat or similar object such as a broom stick. One person tosses a water balloon to the other person who will then try to hit it with the bat or stick. Prepare to get wet as the balloon bursts. Take turns switching roles.

Water Jump Rope

The leader has a hose which shoots a thin stream. The players line up side by side

facing the leader. The leader aims the hose at their feet, moving across very quickly so that quick players can jump over the stream and not get wet. Then the leader aims the hose at their heads, moving it quickly down the line again so that quick players can duck and not get wet.

Squirt Gun Water Race

Materials needed

  • Disposable plastic cup
  • String
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Squirt gun/ Spray bottle

How to Play
Cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup. Measure and cut string about 15-20 feet long or longer. Poke the string through the hole. Attach the string to two sturdy endpoints (tree, post, wall, or another fixed object).

The object of the game is to be the first player to move their cup from one end of the string to the other by shooting a continuous stream of water into the opening of the cup. For a challenge, shoot the water at the bottom of the cup to move it along the string. Time each player to see who can complete the challenge the fastest or set up multiple cups to race at the same time.

Water Gun Painting

Materials needed

  • Poster Paint
  • Water
  • Water gun/ spray bottle
  • White paper/ canvas

How to Play

  • Fill the water gun/ spray bottle with half paint and half water (only one colour per water gun/ spray bottle)
  • Put your paper on the ground outside
  • Spray and make your art!  You can move closer or further way to get different designs!
Water Hose Music

Find fun objects around the house that are made from different materials and are different shapes and sizes – i.e. beach ball, pie tin, cookie sheet, small plastic sheet or tarp, plastic bowls, etc. – and hang them from a fence, bush or even the back of the house.  Use a hose with a nozzle attachment and “play” the items as musical instruments by hitting them with jets of water.