Kids love to have fun at parties with their class mates. Our School party is a mix of the funniest and the finest circus games, events and snacks-just the right atmosphere for a top birthday afternoon.
- Clown School Decoration: When splashed with red, blue, and yellow balloons, streamers, and tablecloths, an ordinary room or outside porch takes on all the gaiety of the big top. A clown doll or a big stuffed monkey, sitting up in a chair, can hold a bouquet of helium balloons. If you have time, custom-made circus posters portraying each guest as a three-ring circus performer are a welcoming touch (and can be taken home later as favors). Using poster board or heavy white paper and markers or paints, draw a picture of each guest doing an act and add in large print his or her specialty. For example: “Ladies and Gentlemen … we bring you Paul the Fire-eating Birthday Kid!” and “Come one, come all to see … Kelly the Trick Rider!”
- Fox and Hens: One person is the fox, and the rest are hens. Designate three to five “safe spots” that are spread all over the yard, where the hens gather. Hens must run from one spot to the next without getting tagged. When the fox tags a hen, they become the new fox.
- Sand Relay: Pass handfuls of sand down a relay row, being careful not to spill much. The team with the most in the bucket at the end wins.
- Sponge Toss: Have team members stand two feet apart with one holding a soaking wet sponge. Toss the sponge back and forth, stepping backwards with each successful catch. The game ends when one member drops the sponge.
- Fishing: Fill several dozen water balloons up with water, and drop them in a wading pool. Kids must race up and grab fish, one by one, and then transport them back to a waiting bucket.
- Water Limbo: Set up a garden hose so the water streams out in an arc, and then have kids limbo under it. Lower the hose after everyone has had a turn until there is one winner who is still relatively dry.
- Water Piñata: Fill a 10-gallon plastic trash bag with a few gallons of water, and suspend it with a rope or cord. Blindfold guests and give them three swats at the bag with a broom handle. Plan on doing this several times so each child can unleash the splash.
It may surprise your kids to learn there was life before television. Also, before DVRs, and before remote controls.
At one time, parents kept their kids independently busy without the aid of television, freeing up valuable time to wash dishes, make phone calls, churn better, scare away dinosaurs-whatever responsible grown-ups did back then. Experts have warned us that televisions make lousy babysitters, so here are some contemporary TV-free suggestions to keep your kids doing their thing while you do yours.
Good for Ages: 3 to 7
Kids love stickers, and so should you-as long as they don’t become furniture graffiti. Collect lots of different stickers (pick them up when you see them on sale) and keep them in a box. When you need some free time, give your kids a cheap blank notebook (or scrap paper stapled together) and tell them to create their own storybook with the stickers and washable crayons.
This is a great, goofy, get-active game that challenges kids’ collective brain power. The kids will discover that they need to work together and think through the problem, with everyone giving their input.What you need
- Ask the kids to stand in a big circle, slip a hula hoop onto one child’s arm, and have them all join hands.
- They then must find a way to move the hula hoop all the way around the circle without letting go of each other’s hands.
Ramadan is a special Islamic ritual when healthy, adult Muslims fast from sunup to sundown as an expression of their faith in Allah (God). In order to make Ramadan extra special for the little ones, prepare finger foods and tasty drinks.
Things you will need: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 cups softened butter, 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of blanched almonds (halved) and 1 tbsp of almond extract.
Quantity: 15 cookies
Bake Time: 10 minutes
The Process: Begin by preheating oven to 300 degrees F. Use an electric blender to beat butter until fluffy for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add sugar to the fluffy butter, then the almond extract. Gradually add flour to the mix. Add flour and butter together. Mix for about 4 minutes to make sure all ingredients are mixed to perfection.
Place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to chill. Roll out the cookie dough on a floured surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll into a ropelike shape about 2 inches thick. Cut the rope into diamond-like shapes, diagonally on both ends. Place the shapes on a cookie sheet and add one almond to the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and let them cool down before serving on a plate.
In order to make Ramadan extra special for the little ones, prepare finger foods and tasty drinks. Dates are a traditional way to break one’s fast, and a date milkshake is a refreshing way to do so.
Quantity: 2 Date Milkshakes
Things you will need: 5 pitted dates, 2 glasses of milk and 2 tbsp vanilla ice cream.
Process: Cut dates into small pieces, than place all ingredients into the blender. Mix for 30 seconds. Serve in a long glass with a straw. Cut a date into half and fix it at the top of the glass. Add sugar if needed.
Here’s a healthy sweet to serve as a snack or a dessert, garnished with a mint sprig or thick dollop of whipped yogurt.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes
Yield: 4 small servings (1/2 pear each)
Kids trained in the use of a microwave can make this simple recipe by themselves, with just a parent’s supervision.
Ingredients and Steps:
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe pears
- 1/2 cup sugar
1. Mix the cranberry juice and cinnamon in a microwave-safe baking dish, just large enough to hold 4 pear halves.
2. Peel, halve and core the pears. Toss them in the cranberry juice as soon as you’ve prepared them to prevent them from turning brown.
3. Arrange the pear halves in a single layer. Sprinkle the sugar on top.
4. Cover the dish and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
5. Using potholders (the dish will be hot), carefully remove the lid, opening it away from you so you don’t get burned from the steam. Pierce a pear with a fork. If it pierces easily, the pears are done. If not, cover and microwave on high another 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Toss the pears in the syrup. Cover and let cool for 20 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to serve. These pears will last several days in the refrigerator, if they don’t get eaten up first!
Here are some super tips to inspire your children to love reading:
- Be a good reading role model: Make sure your child sees you reading often, even if it’s a magazine.
- Make reading fun by reading books your children enjoy.
- Read at the same time of day or in the same place, so your child knows the routine.
- Promise to buy your children the books they want.
- Set up 20 minute read-a-thons.
- Take your child to the library.
- Give books as a gift to them, and other friends.
- Always read out loud to your children, even if they’re old enough to read to themselves.
- Add drama to stories to make them more exciting.
- Bring books to life, by doing activities like crafts, cooking, and trips related to the book.
- Put labels all over the house, and get your children to read them regularly.
- If your child asks a factual question, look up the answer together.
- Have your child to describe to you what’s happening on the pages.
- Encourage your child to ask questions.
- Keep it short with toddlers. Keep reading to them even while they play.
- Try rhyming books, to help develop their ear.
- Have your child draw the characters.