Here are five ideas to get the creative juices flowing (and please, take these ideas, build on them, make them your own, use them as a springboard for bigger and better ideas):
Day One – Make up a board game with your child.
Day Two – Have your child put an ice cube outside. How long until it melts? Until it evaporates?
Day Three – Look up events on the day your child was born.
Day Four – Make finger puppets with your child. Cut the ends off the fingers of old gloves. Draw faces on the fingers with felt tip markers, and glue on yarn for hair.
Day Five – Help your child find your town on a map. Take a virtual trip – start by helping your child find cities on the map, and then Google that city.
Featured Craft of the Week (all made from cardboard boxes!):
Kitchen in a Box
4 to 5 year olds
6 to 8 year olds
9 to 12 year olds
Here is a fun activity from the book, “A Lithgow Palooza!”:
The Victorians endlessly entertained themselves with tableaux vivants, or living-statue scenes, depicting classical paintings or allegories or moments in history. Elaborately costumed tableaux were the entertainment centerpiece of many a high-society ball, while simpler though no less inventive versions were created every night in ordinary homes. This is a thoroughly modern take on a classic Victorian amusement.
What to do:
The twist to this palooza is that you won’t be acting out a scene, but rather staging a shot, kind of like dramatic freeze tag. Choose a scene or theme to depict, forage in closets for costumes and props, then create the picture. Think of scenes from your favorite books or movies, from the breakout in Holes to the melting witch scene in The Wizard of Oz. Or re-create a famous image, say Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware or Auguste Rodin’s Thinker. Or explore a theme more abstractly, like a series of tableaux depicting the four seasons.
Another approach is to skip the costumes and props entirely and depict a scene very simply, relying only on the staging and dramatic execution. You don’t need to be dressed like Washington crossing the Delaware and standing in a boat to stage a wonderful, evocative — or even funny — tableau of that scene. Every figure could be precisely, unmistakably arranged in the scene — all wearing pajamas, or with Washington wearing a cowboy hat. There’s no end to the simple, witty variations you can create.
Take turns being the director, placing subjects in their positions, adjusting props. Create one elaborate tableau or several tableaux, as time and resources allow. Finally, take a photograph of each tableau to memorialize the creation, and perhaps keep them in an album of family tableaux.