Entertainment » vol. 13

For the Grandkids

Snuggles!

Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner ~ and we’ve got a snuggly gift that’s perfect for the little one who’s captured your heart.

Baby Box’s Heart Shaped Pillow is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the little one in your life. Its super squishy padding and soft knit cover make it fun and safe for babies to touch and squeeze. The bright red color is complemented by your grandbaby’s name in white lettering across the front, giving it that personalized touch. This is the most comfortable and charming pillow for a little one to snuggle up to and nap with once that Valentine‘s Day chocolate rush is over.

Visit www.babybox.com

PBSParents.org and Caillou

Courtesy of PBSParents.org, a wonderfully colorful and interactive site with lots of fun things for parents, teachers, grandparents, and youngsters ~ from on-line games to printables and activities and more ~ comes the delightful Caillou (http://pbskids.org/caillou/index.html), the beloved hero of preschool kids everywhere, now a little older and heading to playschool. But he still loves to play “make believe” with his friends. Everything is so much more fun when you make believe! Thanks to his boundless imagination, Caillou has a different take on the world and everything around him becomes an opportunity to play: the familiar garden suddenly becomes a dense, uncharted jungle… and Caillou turns into a brave explorer!  By sharing in our young hero’s incredible adventures, children can play “make believe” along with Caillou and find new ways to understand and interpret the world around them.

Some of Caillou’s favorite activities can be found in The Great Book of Little Wee Games (http://www.pbs.org/parents/caillou/act_gbbg.html): They can involve just you and your grandchild or the entire family ~ and the best part is that they’re tons of fun AND teach skills, awareness, and “light” problem solving.

Activity 1: Hunting for something new

Kids love to discover new things and they know you have a lot to teach them — as long as you can step out of your daily routine from time to time. Be imaginative. Set an example for your kids by adding a bit of fantasy to your daily round. Suggest that they try a new food, listen to different types of music, go to school using a different route, discover strange new tropical animals… Ask them to tell you what they discovered today and what they think about it. Explore new things together, be curious and teach them to tame the fear of the unknown in order to discover new things. Be an example to your kids: they look up to you and will do exactly as you do!

Activity 2: Topsy-turvy day!

Today is topsy-turvy day! We put our clothes on backwards, Mommy and Daddy switch roles, we sit on the floor to eat… We often forget that rules were created to make life easier and that these rules may be different in other cultures. Changing the rules for a few hours can give you a taste of a new type of freedom, change your point of view and help you discover other ways of doing things. It will also help you teach your kids about being flexible when it comes to rules, and they’ll respect the rules that much more if you let them break them this one time… just for the fun of doing things differently! Suggest playing this game for a specific length of time (until bedtime, until the CD is over …) and invite your kids to suggest some new rules.

Activity 3: What’s green and flies?

There are many variations to this question: What’s purple and jumps? What swims without getting wet? Once you’ve asked the question, the kids must come up with the zaniest and most fanciful answers. At first, they’ll hesitate, but the more the answers come pouring out, the more they’ll forget the rules of logic. This game develops exploratory thinking, and allows kids to create and manipulate personal mental images. Give examples, ask yourself the same question or ask your kids to do it. Why not take it a step further and ask the kids to outline a story, to imagine a bigger context?

• What’s green and flies?
• A pea in… in an airplane!
• Really? And what’s the pea’s name?
• Umm… His name is Greenpea!
• And what is Greenpea doing in the plane?
• He’s going for a holiday on the beach!

Activity 4: What if…

Imagine what life would be like if… the mountains were made of chocolate, summer lasted all year long, people could fly… By imagining the world in different ways, kids learn to think outside the box and come up with completely new ideas. Suggest the first few ideas, and then let your kids take over and change reality.

Activity 5: When a chair becomes a sled…

Pick an ordinary everyday object (coat hanger, soap, table…) and encourage your kids to come up with new ways of using it. This game teaches kids to separate an object from its usual function and to completely ignore what they’ve learned in order to play around with reality, with no limits. Let your child imagine the most ridiculous uses for the object, without being limited by realism.

Pictured: the delightful Caillou

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