By Julie Diamond, OCT
Do you ever need a good activity to give your child or student a fun break? I’ve compiled some activities for those few moments to help minimize anxieties and (secretly) maximize learning. My kind of way to use an extra few minutes!
1.The Creativity Bag: I always like to keep a bag handy of various items that you would find in a junk drawer (markers, elastics, shoelaces, bottle opener, batteries, etc). Ask your child/student to pick an item from the bag and brainstorm how this object could be reinvented for another use. They can write or draw out their idea. As an extension ask them to think of two ways.
2. Storytelling: Sit in a circle together. Using a ball, start a story with a couple of sentences then toss the ball to your child/student. They then continue the story with another sentence and throw the ball to another who continues with adding a sentence and so on. You can have someone writing down the sentences and type it up as a funny book.
3. Squiggle Story: Draw a line and challenge your child/student, using their non-dominant hand, to make the line into a character for their story. You can time them or, if they don’t respond well to the pressure of a timer, opt to let them complete the drawing at their own pace. Ask them to then create a story and tell it to your orally.
4. Compliment Game: Write each person’s name of a piece of paper. Everyone chooses a piece of paper so they are partnered up with another. Have them sit together in pairs and give one compliment to the person whose name they drew.
5. Multiples of 7: Sit in a circle and start at the #1 then go around the circle counting forward in sequence. When a person lands on a multiple of 7 (7, 14, 21, 28, etc) they have to make another sound and not say the word. For a challenge, you can also add any numbers containing 7 (7, 17, 27, etc).
6. Body Brain Teasers: Have you tried tapping your head and rubbing your stomach before? Not so easy, right? Try blinking your right eye and snapping the fingers on your left hand at the same time. Or blinking your left eye and snapping with your right hand. Have your child/student create another body brain teaser.
7. Rock, Scissors, Paper & Math Game: Have your children/students play the RSP game and on the last ‘shoot’ movement they both lay down 1-5 fingers. The first one to say the sum (or product if you want to practice multiplication tables) wins the round.
8. Languages: Take this opportunity to learn a new language together or get creative and create your own language together. Your children/students can take turns speaking and translating with each other.
Try out one of these activities and let me know how it went by commenting below. 😊
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.
Julie Diamond speaking at the OISE conference for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers at the University of Toronto.
Jenna Srigley is the administrative assistant/social media co-ordinator at Teachers to Go and offers invaluable insight as a mom of 2 teens.
Fun Fact: Her and Julie (see above) are also sisters :)