LSU’s Mike the Tiger came to my son’s school the other day for a surprise birthday visit!
It was such a memorable experience for ALL of the children.
But, it actually could have been CRAZY and chaotic if I didn’t “think fast” and come prepared with a few ideas to keep the kids somewhat calm.
It could’ve turned into a bunch of injured kids or an injured Mike, but I always keep a few tricks up my sleeve.
Any time I am in front of a big group of kids, I always try to get them to do something along WITH me. So, here are my 5 top picks to fill wait -time or keep crowd control when you have a group of kids to organize.
1) “Silly Says” – Today we played “Mike Says” and everything he did, we had to do. I play this with kids a lot and I just play “Silly Says” – whatever silly thing I do, you do.
2) “Going on a Bear Hunt” – I was at the park once trying to keep the kids away from the sandbox and this chant did the trick!
3) “I Spy” – The classic game – I usually play it in a variety of ways. “I spy something shaped like…. I spy something that starts with…. I spy something the color…. I spy something that sounds like…. I spy something that rhymes with…” You get the picture.
4) “Mirror Fingers” – hold up the same number of fingers that I hold up in a different way.
5) “Imitate my Clap” – this is an old teacher-tactic where the kids simply have to listen and follow the beat that the leader makes.
A couple other easy ones:
1) Coordinate “Little Sally Walker” – you may have to YouTube it if you aren’t sure what that is.
2) Play “Man in the middle.” One person stands in the middle of a circle and throws the ball to someone on the outside (who can’t move their feet). Whoever catches it and follows the rules becomes the man in the middle.
3) Play “Duck, Duck, Goose!”
4) Sing “If you are Happy and You know it” – I always come up with lots of things to add to the song like “wag your tail, hop like a frog, roar like a lion, etc” STRETCH IT OUT! 🙂
I had planned to run errands today, but alas, the thunderstorm has dampened my plans. (Under the definition of “parent” you can find the word “flexible” in bold print.) You know that opening scene of The Cat in the Hat where the two kids are just staring out of the window? Yes. That was us today. Even me.
I brought some paper and markers over to the window for us to draw what we saw outside – a simple activity that throws in some drawing skills, vocabulary, sight words, colors, descriptors and more.
Mommy Teacher: “What color is the sky today?”
Without thinking, Leyson said, “Blue!” But then he looked more closely… “Das not blue!”
I explained to him that the clouds are covering the sun and they are filled with water which made the sky look gray.
Mommy Teacher: “And when the clouds fill up with water, the water drips out. That’s called rain! When it is raining this hard and you hear the thunder, that is called a storm.”
I drew a picture of some gray clouds and had him do the same on his paper. Then we each drew rain falling from the clouds, just like we saw outside. I wrote the word “storm” on my paper, and he did the same. Sounds easy enough, right? Because it is! The activities you do with your child do not have to be Pinterest-worthy; they just have to be age-appropriate and fun!
Drawing a picture of what you see and what you are talking about in conversation helps reinforce what you are teaching. Prompt your child to talk about what he/she is drawing. You will need to model both the drawing and the conversation…
Mommy Teacher: “To draw a cloud I am going to make a lot of humps. On the top it looks like lowercase m’s and on the bottom it looks like lowercase w’s. I am drawing gray clouds like we see outside. Can you draw a gray cloud?”
I told Leyson that when the sun comes out, we may be able to see a rainbow. He decided we should also draw pictures of a yellow sun and a rainbow with lots of colors. I wrote each of the words at the top and he did the same on his papers. We talked about the different colors too. He then also decided that we needed to draw one more picture of a cloud and we wrote the word cloud.
Mommy Teacher’s pictures…
I am going to keep these pictures up for a few days so we can continue to talk about the weather. We are experiencing a huge temperature drop too so I am sure we will be talking about warm and cold. With an older child you can explain about cool fronts and warm fronts and check out some weather maps online!
Here are some great interactive websites for your older kids: