Take a moment and stop to consider something that you are interested in. Maybe you love collecting stamps, stories about searching for lost treasure, creating your own recipes or learning about bugs. Then leave a nugget or two of info about your topic of passion to spike your child’s curiosity. Or try one of these ideas out !
Put a couple of unusual pictures of dinosaurs out on the table. It’s a lot more enticing if you find pictures that are ferocious, unusual looking or just plain different. Ask your kids if they have ever seen these kinds of dinosaurs before? Do they know the names or what that animal ate? There are great sites on line with downloadable coloring pages of dinosaurs. Let your kids select the ones that they are interested in or curious about and that they might like to color. Then download the pictures and pull out your baskets of crayons, markers or water colors. One great site for downloadable pictures can be found at: http://iskinscan.com/color-pages-free-download/free-printable-dinosaur-coloring-pages-for-kids/attachment/free-printable-dinosaur-coloring-pages-for-kids/#main. There are many more if you just surf the websites.
Finally, have a couple of dinosaur books available for your kids to peruse. Challenge them to find their favorite dinosaur and to tell you all about it. Encourage them to talk with each other as they decide which are their favorite dinosaurs to share later with a sibling, grandparent or holiday visitors.
Here are a couple of great dinosaur books that are available in your local libraries or on Amazon.com
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs http://www.amazon.com/National-Geographic-Little-First-Dinosaurs/dp/1426308469/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448215855&sr=8-1&keywords=kids+books+on+dinosaurs
Big Book of Dinosaurs http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Dinosaurs-DK-Publishing/dp/1564587185/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1448215855&sr=8-6&keywords=kids+books+on+dinosaurs
Borrow or purchase an inexpensive stethoscope and leave it on the table with a note “Want to try me out?” Ask your kids if they know what it is or how it works. Show them how to use the stethoscope and encourage them to listen to their heart beat or the gurgles of their tummies. (Not sure yourself how it works? check out wiki http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Stethoscope)
The kid’s website KidsHealth at http://kidshealth.org/kid/word/s/word_stethoscope.html offers a pintsized descriptions of just how a stethoscope works and why a doctor might use it during their next physical exam. This is also a great opportunity to talk about how your kid’s body’s actually work and the importance of staying healthy.
Kids Health offers child appropriate insights into how each of your child’s body parts works. They also have some informative kids movies - some a bit sillier than others. And website Whyzz at http://www.whyzz.com/how-does-a-stethoscope-work offers additional info on how useful a stethoscope is in keeping us aware of our body’s health.
A fun book to complement your child’s experience is: The Magic School Bus: A Journey Into The Human Body http://www.amazon.com/Magic-School-Bus-Journey-Human/dp/B000MAD7FS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448215977&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=kids+books+on+health+-+stethoscope. A movie about this book is also available.
Open the pages of a great kid’s book entitled: Made By Dad - 67 Blueprints For Making Cool Stuff http://www.amazon.com/Made-Dad-Blueprints-Making-stuff/dp/0761171479/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448216055&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=kids+books+on+building+using+a+blue+print and let your kids wander through all of the neat things they can make using a blue print as a starting place. Adult help in completing selected projects will be a must for most kids.
Help your kids to understand what a blue print is along with the when, where and why of actually using a blue print by visiting the site Blue Print at http://www.ehow.com/how_6621832_make-blueprint-kids.html
And finally, you might want to purchase a great puzzle entitled Buried BluePrints - kids puzzles from the past - The White House http://www.amazon.com/Buried-Blueprints-Kids-Piece-Puzzle/dp/B004LKDK5M ages 7 and up. This great puzzle allows kids to discover the mysteries found within our own Washington D.C. White House by following a blue print and successfully placing the 165 puzzle pieces in the correct order. This activity also includes a coloring poster. Not interested in the White House? How about bugs, pioneer women or ice babies; also available puzzles.
Go to your local appliance store and ask them for an empty refrigerator box or two. Put the boxes in your back yard and tell your kids that the boxes are there for them to create something out of. Then let their imaginations go!
Encourage your children to talk with each other and to discuss how they want to use the boxes. Do they want to make a house, a gas station, a car, a town? Will they color it, paint it or make signs to tape on it? Nothing can be done to the boxes until the kids have come up with a plan together and presented it to you.
If you have a grandparent, older child, aunt or uncle visiting - encourage them to share one of their passions with your kids. Do they love to grow plants, to travel to new and exciting places, or to build things ? Is there a way that they can share their passion with your child? Libraries are open over the holidays; perhaps a discussion with a local librarian can yield a kid’s book or two about something your visitor is interested in and that they can share with your kids.
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