As the holidays wind down, your kids may be pretty wound up thanks to the time off of school. Instead of letting them zone out in front of the TV or spend hours playing video games, plan some fun family projects that will get their minds going and spark their creativity.
For kids 3 years old and under: Inspire imagination
Work on a family wall calendar together and you’ll be reminded of your child’s artistic ability for the next year. Spend a few days creating 12 pieces of art—you can let their creativity decide their designs or pitch in to help them produce handprint paintings for each month. Then piece your calendar together using sheets of cardstock tied together with a sturdy ribbon. You can also tape the artwork onto a blank bound calendar, like this one from Bare Elements. For a more finished look, scan their masterpieces and upload the images to make a photo calendar through a service like Snapfish.
For kids 3 to 7 years old: Go green
Give your kids a glimpse of how food grows by creating an indoor herb garden. They’ll get a kick out of watching their seeds sprout over time and will enjoy the responsibility of caring for something on a regular basis. Encourage them to get their hands dirty as they set up these soda bottle planters. (For a more abstract approach, you can cover the plastic bottles with acrylic paints instead of gluing on a hodgepodge of accessories.) If you’re worried that herbs will be a hard sell, tell them it’s a pizza-themed garden and plant basil, oregano and parsley (all three can thrive with regular watering on a sunny window sill). Once the herbs have sprouted, celebrate your bounty with a pizza party, making sure to use your herbs in this simple sauce.
For kids 7 years old and up: Start saving
Resolutions may be hard to keep as a kid, but encouraging them to go for goals is a great exercise. One way to do this—especially if your kid always has something like a bike or video game on his “I want” list—is to help your children learn the value of saving money. Create a shadow box piggy bank for them to stash their cash and have them decorate the box to represent their end goal. Then work together to determine weekly chores that will allow them to build up their savings until they have enough to purchase what they want.
This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan.
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