Beyond Kidstreet – Wonder and Grow

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Beyond Kidstreet – Wonder and Grow

March 1, 2013

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Here are some fun ideas and activities to spark interest and play at home, either before coming to the museum or after your visit.

Under the Hood

Kids love cars and things that move. To learn more about automobiles and the people who invented them, here are a few ideas.

Investigate other cars.
Take a trip around town pointing out the different cars and what you and your child like about them.

Look under the hood of your car with your child.
Point out what the various parts do and what owners do to take care of cars. The book, The Visual Dictionary of Cars:-Eyewitness Visual Dictionaries, can help in naming the different parts.

Change the oil or air exchange filter on your car with your child.
Give him or her jobs to do such as holding the flashlight as you work together.

Have a discussion about individuals who invented automobiles.
Talk about Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porsche, and Karl Benz, and how their ideas changed the way we get around. The books, Great Automakers and Their Cars, by Robert Italia, How Science Works, Cars, Trains, and Motorcycles, by Chris Oxlade, or Reader’s Digest How Things Work: 100 Ways Parents and Kids can Share the Secrets of Technology, can jump start the conversation.

Create a car.
Make a car out of found objects (i.e. toilet paper rolls and rubber bands) from around your house and/or garage.

Fit 4 Life

Spend family time enjoying more health and fitness activities.

Take a stroll down the street.
Take a walk together around your neighborhood and then take your pulse at some point along the walk.

Bike to the store.
Ride bikes to the grocery store and have your child pick out a new, healthy fruit for a snack.

Try hopping or jumping together.
Count with your child how many times the two of you move. Record where you stop so that you can challenge each other the next time!

Toss a ball around.
Play catch together.

Central Square

Central Square is all about connecting to our past. These ideas can make connections between past and present for you and your family.

Introduce your child to your favorite childhood game.

Think about your family’s new events over the past month.
Together, think of different headlines for those events. Create serious headlines, silly headlines, and ones that use alliterations (such as Little, Lovely, Lady has a Lark and Licks up all the Limes).

Share stories of your childhood memories with him or her.
With your child, look through your own high school yearbooks or old photo albums and point out pictures of you.

Post Office

Communication occurs at such a rapid pace these days. Take some time to explore communication and the Post Office with your child.

Mail a letter.
Sit down with your child, write a letter to a family member and then mail it. While at the post office, explore the available commemorative stamps and choose one together to put on the letter.

Study Stamps.
Begin a stamp collection with your child.

Chat with your Mail Carrier.
With your child, make a list of questions to ask your Mail Carrier and then ask them! Follow up with a thank you note for your Mail Carrier.

Café Oscar

Children love to pretend and role-play! Here are some ideas to build on the activities at Café Oscar.

Create your own menu.
Design a menu for your very own café together and then use it for pretend play.

Enjoy some tea.
Have a tea party.

Create a new sandwich.
Make a new type of sandwich together and then eat it for a snack.

Visit the library.
Check out books together from the library.

Read a poem or write a poem together.
The books, The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury, by Jack Preslutsky & Meilo So, or Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme, by Jack Prelutsky can help you put pen to the paper.

Kids Live!

Taking on characters and becoming someone new or different is great fun! Exploring the possibilities of different characters together builds confidence for the future. Here are some playful ideas.

Create or act out a play together.
Books like Fifty Fabulous Fables, by Suzanne Barchers and Tadpole Tales and Other Totally Terrific Treats for Readers’ Theatre, by Anthony Fredericks, can help brainstorm script ideas.

Create awesome costumes.
Make them from found items around the house.

Make shadow puppets.
Try making them with your hands or with small objects.

Create sock puppets and a play.
Assist your child in making tickets for the rest of the family to attend the show.

Our environment and how it changes is really fascinating, and it’s happening all of the time. Here are a few activities to further explore the weather.

Create a weather report.
Go outside, take in all of the current weather conditions with your child and then create a weather report for the rest of your family.

Check your climate.
Record the weather on a daily basis for a month and then look back on your recordings to talk about the different types of weather we had.

With your child, draw or build weather-related craft projects.
The book, Weather & Art Activities, by Janet Sacks, can be the foundation for this activity.

Market Fresh Grocery

The grocery store is often a very familiar place for young children. Children may repeatedly pretend in familiar roles as a way to explore and try on ideas about themselves. Here are some ideas to build on experiences from Market Fresh Grocery.

Make a grocery list together.
Bring the kids on the next grocery trip.

Empty your pockets.
Examine the different types of coins and then talk about how many coins are needed to make up the next largest coin (such as 5 pennies make up one nickel).

Try something new.
Go to the grocery store and find unusual fruits, then taste them for a snack.

Go on a coupon frenzy.
Cut out coupons from the local grocery store’s advertisement and then use them while shopping. Talk to your child about the function of coupons. Ask your child to match the food item with the coupon or use the coupons as your source for a ‘treasure hunt’ around the grocery store – looking for the items on the coupons.