Make a 2017 Calendar – Activity for Kids

The ideal way to welcome the New Year with your kids is to try your hand at this homemade calendar making activity with them. It’s simple, it’s fun and it’ll adorn the kids’ study table all year through!

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Advent Calendar” by Pixaline is licensed under CC by 2.0

What you need:
- 12 cardboards (in different colors, if possible)
- Glue
- Ribbon
- Sketch pens
- 12 family photographs/pictures of cartoons the kids like
- A pair of scissors
- A ruler

What to do:
On each of the 12 cardboards, ask your children to write in clear block letters the names of the month on top from January to December (one name on each).
Next, ask them to use glue to stick on one photograph on each cardboard below the name of the month, in a way that it covers almost half the cardboard, with the bottom half remaining empty.
Now, using the ruler, carefully draw a box on each comprising of six rows and seven columns (below the stuck on photograph).
The top row on each should now be filled in using sketch pens with the initials of the seven days of the week (S, M, T, W, T, F, S).
Refer to a 2017 calendar online to see on what day the month begins and allow your child to carefully fill in the dates for each month in the rows and columns, so that the day-date corresponds.
A fun way to remember birthdays and anniversaries would be to use different colored sketch pens to color in the box corresponding to a family member’s special day. This way the kids (and you too) won’t easily forget!
Punch in a hole at the top and run a piece of ribbon through it; there, you’re all set for 2017 to begin!

4 Popular Thanksgiving Books for Kids

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Turkey” by GraphicMama-team is licensed under CC by 2.0

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and it’s a good idea to let our kids know what the festive occasion is all about. Here are 4 popular Thanksgiving books which will make enjoyable reads for kids this season.

Thanks for Thanksgiving (by Julie Markes): There is always, always, always something to be thankful for, and Thanksgiving is just an excuse to give thanks for all the little blessings that we have. Thanks for Thanksgiving has beautiful illustrations and thoughtful words which remind us to be grateful for all the small things in our life which make us happy.

The Thankful Book (by Todd Parr): Music makes one want to dance, having feet helps one run around and play, hugs and kisses from parents and loved ones make one feel loved. The Thankful Book reminds one of all life’s special little moments through its brightly colored pages, ideal for preschool-aged kids.

Thank You, Thanksgiving (by David Milgrim): Thank You, Thanksgiving is the story of a little girl who goes on an errand for her mother. She feels grateful for the birds singing along the way, the beautiful clouds in the sky and the warmth of her boots.

The Great Turkey Race (by Steve Metzger): Farmer Joe needs to pick a Thanksgiving turkey and Cassie, Wing and Ollie decide to have a contest for the same. Who will emerge to be the winner from among the three friends who live together on a farm?

Happy reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Different Types of Fun Halloween Games for Kids

Halloween is all about ghosts and witches, sinister black cats and grinning jack-o’-lanterns. Or in Shakespeare’s words:
‘Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’

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Pumpkins” by Antranias is licensed under CC by 2.0

Halloween is also a time of bonding with near and dear ones, of scaring the wits out of one another by jumping out unannounced from the shadows, of doing up the décor of the house together to make each nook and cranny look creepy and of course, of playing fun games and spending quality time together as a family.

Talking about games, here are a couple of ideas which would be ideal for this Halloween.

Indoor Games
The classic bowling-turned-mummy bowling game is a big hit indoors. All you’ve got to do is wrap up each of the bowling pins in swathes of toilet paper and mark out eyes at the top with a black marker, so that the 10 pins appear to be staring at you through unblinking eyes like wrapped, ghostly mummies. After that, it’s not how you bowl, it’s how you roll! This can be given another interesting twist if you use discarded tin cans for the purpose. Ask your kid to double it up as a painting activity and paint scary faces on the cans, then stack them one on top of the other for a novel type of bowling game. If younger kids are involved, make them stand in a circle, hand them a ball of black yarn and let them throw the ball to each other in a random fashion, holding on to one side of the string when it lands on each of them – thus creating a haphazard spider web in the process, in true Halloween style.

Online Games
The plethora of online games available in the present day and age is truly mind-boggling, Halloween or otherwise. A few examples are as follows: directing a witch flying around on a broomstick to collect as many pumpkins as possible, jumping high on a trampoline to catch monsters which are in free fall from a haunted house, pet games which allow you to use magical paint brushes to get your virtual pets their own unique Halloween costumes, mixing up creepy crawlies of all kinds to come up with weird potions, and lots more to choose from. The list is endless!

Outdoor Games
Nothing like a ghostly Halloween party in the bright sunlit garden or backyard! Kids will enjoy taking part in a ghost relay race in which they are required to take a white ghostly balloon from the starting line to the finishing line without once holding the balloon in their hands – the rule is to keep punching it in the air and not let it fall to the ground even once before finishing the race. If there is a larger group of slightly older kids, a good idea would be to provide them with old and ragged clothes, pumpkins and hay to construct a scarecrow – the team whose scarecrow is the scariest one in the end will be declared the winner. When it comes to outdoor games for Halloween, the more kids involved, the merrier it turns out to be!

Have a fa-BOO-lous Halloween!

The Jack-O'-Lantern Grin

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Jack-O-Lantern” by BarbaraALane is licensed under CC by 2.0

The best marker which indicates Halloween is just around the corner? Spooky jack-o’-lanterns burning bright on neighborhood porches, with their evil and crooked grins getting all the more sinister as day turns into night.

It is fun creating your own personalized pumpkin carving design – it could be a really petrifying grin with sharp and pointed teeth, or a friendly old welcoming grin of sorts. Talking about grins on jack-o’-lanterns, here is a fun game for kids to play this Halloween.

All of us have time and again played the ubiquitous ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Well, why not try something like ‘pin the grin on the jack-o’-lantern’ this spooky season? Simply get hold of a large piece of paper and draw a big circular jack-o’-lantern on it, replete with eyes and nose but minus the mouth. Now blindfold the kids and ask them to stick a piece of black re-stickable tape where they assume the mouth of the jack-o’-lantern to be.

Simple, spooky and fun!

The Importance of Parent-Child Play

Playing comes naturally to children – it’s their way of knowing and discovering more about the world and people around them.

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Boy” by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC by 2.0

Play therapist and author of Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen, put it thus: “Play allows parents to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence and connection. Playing is how children show themselves to us. It’s also a way to be close and to reconnect after closeness has been severed (by an argument or conflict). The more we join them in their world, the more cooperative they will be when we drag them along to ours”.

Be it multiplayer racing video games like Mario Kart, the guessing and drawing word game Pictionary or simply a game of hide and seek, you playing with your kids amounts to them getting the message that you are being supportive of how your child thinks. Spend the next weekend getting competitive together playing the Super Smash Bros or just the board game Monopoly on the living room carpet. It’s the best way you can bond with your kids.


I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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