Bake together- you can use biscuit dough to make letters, or make cup cakes and decorate them
Make Pizza for tea. Make bread. Take a lot of cream and put it into a screw top jar and shake it till it turns into butter.
Make things with playdough – recipe on the internet: http://www.mumsnet.com/Recipes/i/1675-Playdough-recipe
Put a piece of paper on the wall, put someone sitting so that their profile [sister, you, etc] is in shadow on the wall and draw round it.
Do wax crayon drawings – draw something with wax, and paint over to show what was there.
Make rubbings of coins, tree trunks, unusual textures – put the paper on top of something and rub gently over the object until the shape comes through.
Take a flat mushroom and press it firmly between two sheets of [kitchen] paper, leave it for a while. What can you see?
Make pictures by gluing pasta shapes etc onto paper – if you are using a lot of paper, a roll of cheap wall paper lasts for ever.
Cut the stem of a white flower in two upwards, and put each half into a different coloured jar of food colouring.
Get some mustard cress seeds and plant on a flannel or in an egg shell
Use dry pasta, rice, wheat etc to put in jars you can seal to make shaky musical instruments.
Put a row of jars side by side and put different amounts of water in each – if you tap the top of the jar gently, this will make different notes – make up a tune.
Make musical instruments with vegetables. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5aUz9cDaCY
Decorate toenails with nail varnish
Make a floor plan of your house – you could even cut paper out into the right shapes
Use a box [something like the size of a shoe box] and put a miniature garden inside it.
See how many reflections you can see by putting mirrors facing other mirrors
Make puppets – it’s good fun using carrots and other vegetables. Make a hole up the inside for a finger, put buttons or sequins on for eyes etc and make up a play.
Use thin cardboard and split pins to make doll or animal puppets: just the last minute of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6EawmtD3d8
Use paper maché to reproduce balloons or make plates or cups.
Visit a church and a mosque and notice the differences
Sit on a bus for all of the route – take sweets.
Go to a cemetery and find the oldest grave, the dead person with the most unusual name, the grave of the youngest or oldest person.
Make a chart and sit by a window counting how many different coloured cars come past.
Play Pub Cricket on car journeys [in a country with pubs] – count up the legs on each pub name that you go past on your side of the car: Coach And Horses is worth 16 [4 horses],The Queen Victoria only 2.
Look up the names of all the family and see what they mean.
Have a treasure hunt in a park – use a list including a perfectly round stone, a leaf that has turned to veins, a leaf with spots on it, a blue flower etc.
Draw a straight line on the pavement and try to walk along it without falling off – you can use a skipping rope to walk along.
See how many twirls you can do with a hula hoop, how many hops with each foot, how many times you can throw a ball between two of you without dropping.
Decorate eggs – either hard boil them [works well if you are going to eat them] or pierce fresh eggs at both ends with a needle, blow the egg out, rinse the egg and then decorate: as people, with patterns etc.
Have backwards races with your friends.
Take a catalogue and choose everything you would like for your bedroom
With help, melt left-over candles or soaps and put them in to a new mould to make your own special one. Remember to put a little string for a wick in the middle of the candles.
See how long you can hold your breath for.
Do the smallest drawing or signature that you can – some people can write on a grain of rice
Make a family tree, using photos, and ask all your relatives to help.
Games to help develop auditory memory:
I went to the moon and I took – each person repeats the list and adds one item.
Each player says a number, and the next player adds a number.
Variations on the above might be to learn important telephone numbers, and then the car registration plates of family or friends cars.
Similarly, give the child a list of 2 numbers to repeat, then 3, then 4 and so on. If this proves too easy ask the children top say the numbers backwards.
Instructions: give the children a list of instructions to follow – these should start at two instructions and increase, and should start with a sensible sequence and move on to silly things. So you might start with: put the book on the table, then put the pencil on top of the book, take the book and pencil and put it on the chair, now shut the door. When the child is able to do a series of instructions, move on to put the book under the table, put the pencil behind your ear, turn the cushion upside down, cough, spin round, put you elbow on the table.
Limericks: limericks are those funny poems where the last word on three lines, rhyme. By teaching them, you can help the child to remember/guess the last words.
Read a short story and ask questions about it – choose a story that is appropriate both in length and content for your child.
Games to help develop visual memory:
Pairs. All the cards in the pack are placed upside down on a table or floor. The first player turns over two cards – it these are a pair, he keeps them and turns over another pair, and again until he fails. When he turns over two cards that do not match, he turns them back exactly where they were and the next player takes a turn.
Choose a segment from a DVD that lasts about three minutes and show it to the children. Then ask a series of prepared questions about the piece – what colour shirt was the hero wearing? how many people were in the room? was it raining outside? etc
Kim’s game. Put twenty small objects on a tray. Allow people to look at them for a short while – 2-3 minutes and then cover them up. Ask the players to list the objects on the tray.
Variation: After time is up, secretly take eight objects from the tray, show the tray again to the players and ask the players to list what is missing.
Snap is initially random, but once you have turned the pack over, the child may start to remember what comes next.
Lists: turn over a small pack of picture cards, then ask the child to repeat the list in order either in words, or by drawing the pictures. An alternative would be to shuffle the cards and then ask the child to put them back in order, or remove three cards and ask which are missing.
Games to help with reading:
Everyone, starting with the youngest, has to give an animal OR boys name/food/footballer where the name starts with a, b, c etc. Sometimes start later in the alphabet.
Each player has to give a word which starts with the last sound of the word before: table -> leaf. When this proves too easy, each word should start with the last letter of the previous word: table -> egg
How many words can you think of in one minute that start with: s, t, m etc
Describe yourself –or someone else – with positive adjectives that start with the same letter as your name: I am beautiful, brilliant, bashful, brainy Bethany. [negative words are NOT allowed]
Pairs – letters or simple words are written on two cards [the same size as playing cards] and all turned upside down on the carpet. Take it in turns to turn up two cards you hope are matching, and if you can say the letter or word correctly, you keep the pair.
Label common objects around the room on card and stick the words on with blutack. Then take them off and see if the child can put them back in the right places.
Mazes and WordSearches in puzzle books
See how many smaller words can be made out of the letters of e.g. your name, your favourite football team etc.
Make up simple rhymes and allow the child to guess what word is needed:
O No, I’m going to be late
And still there’s some dinner on my ……..
I’ld better set off straight away
Or she’ll make me stop in and miss my……
If I run very fast and don’t trip up
Oh No, now I’ve broken my ……….
As I was skipping down the lane
I met my friend, her name was………..
Her shorts were red and her shirt was white
Her nose was bleeding – she’d been in a ……..
Think of different meanings of words which sound the same: whole and hole, bow and bow, which and witch, hare and hair, nose and knows etc