Dice - The Ultimate Educational, Portable Entertainment For Kids!Written by Lindsay Small
How do you keep kids amused for long summer holidays? What do you do when inevitable rainy day blues strike and everyone gets fractious and argumentative? And how do you cope when you are forced to play waiting game … in doctors' surgeries, airports, or even long car journeys?
Get dice out! Dice games are ultimate in quick and easy entertainment, with added advantages of being cheap, portable and educational too! You can start playing dice with children as young as 2 ½, as long as you are sure that they are past stage of putting things into their mouths. And you will find that all ages up to grandparents are happy to join in.
I offer below three particularly quick and easy games, all of which can be played with children from about age of 4 up. All you need are pencil and paper and dice - a maximum of 7, which you can probably find in existing game boxes around house.
Beat That! You will need between two to seven dice, depending on age of players. Roll dice and put them in order to make highest number possible. If you roll a 4 and a 6, for example, your best answer would be 64. Using three dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give you 532, and so on. Write down your answer, pass dice, and challenge next player to "Beat That!" Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round. For a change, try making smallest number possible! This is a great game for reinforcing concept of place value.
School Days - Top 10 Tips For Establishing A Good RoutineWritten by Lindsay Small
Teachers know that children thrive in an environment with routines, boundaries and rules. Unfortunately, parents often forget it! And yet by establishing good routines and encouraging children to help you maintain them, you have an opportunity to set a pattern and a discipline that will stay with your children for rest of their lives. You will make school days easier and far less stressful, reduce chances of starting your day late or dragging on forever with homework, put an end to nagging and shouting, and have happier, more relaxed kids.
Here are 10 tips for establishing a solid, school day routine.
1. Lay breakfast table night before
Put everything out apart from perishables. If you keep all your breakfast things in one cupboard or one area of kitchen this routine will be easier to establish, and older children can take it in turns to do it.
2. Put out your clothes night before
Lay out a complete set of clothes for each child, checking them as you do it. Older children should do this themselves - you can double check when you say goodnight. Then if something is missing (or shoes need polishing) you have time to put it right. Lay your own clothes out too!
3. Brush teeth at kitchen sink
Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste for each child in kitchen and brush teeth at kitchen sink immediately after breakfast. It may not be perfect for house-proud, but if you send your child out of your sight to do a chore in morning, you lose control. If you lose control, he may start dawdling.
4. Set up base camp
Establish a "base camp" where children keep all their school things. You will need room for kit bags, satchels, swimming bags, sports equipment, ballet bags, library books and whatever else kids need! Provide at least one hook per vhild for their coats (in our house kids must hang coats up as soon as they take them off) and a basket or box for school shoes (in our house kids must put shoes in box as soon as they take them off too - sometimes they do!) Another basket or box for each child can be used as a place to put anything that needs to go to school - gloves, letters to teachers, music, library books etc. Everything is in its place and ready to go out door first thing in morning without any fuss.
5. Make a list
Fill out a schedule of what is needed at school on each day and pin it up at "base camp". Check each morning before you walk out door that you have appropriate kit. You will find a school week planner to print here: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/school_week_planner.htm