Tuesday, February 2, 2016

~*Pillow / Blanket Forts!*~ (Indoor Activity : All Seasons)

      I was really stumped on where the idea for pillow / blanket forts first came about, I am sure reflecting on my younger days, it was an idea presented to me by an adult or another child, but where did they get the idea? What I do know is that they possess a certain magical and charming appeal and something so simple and creative can be so exciting every time you crawl into your fort. I personally think it is the mystique of "bigger on the inside" or the hideaway escape where you can create your own little world. I have read a theory on how for children it symbolizes a womb, or it goes back to our primitive cave dwelling days, either way most of the time if you ask a child what they like about it, the responses will be simple: "It's fun!" 

     It is fun, and the magical aspect comes in when you take ordinary furniture, blankets, and objects and wrap them all together to make a completely different space! It's suggested that this is a fun activity for both a parent and a child to experience, although supervision when handling heavy objects just makes sense. So, if you need an escape and something fun and magical to spritz up your day, make a pillow / blanket fort! Some people even add in a string of lights, or special lighting, with different colours, you can make it whimsical, invite all your stuffies for a sleepover, or even adjust for a special setting. 

     Here are some ideas on how to make blanket forts: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Blanket-Fort. Interesting fact, a blanket fort was mentioned in an older children's storybook from 1968 called "Corduroy's Sleepover". Who knows, maybe even pets would enjoy a blanket fort! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

~*Bring the Stars to You!*~ (All Season) Indoor Activity

     The night sky is a glittery backdrop full of twinkling stars, and though you can look up and view them with the naked eye, or an instrument such as a telescope, here is an activity to bring the stars right into your home! With a shoebox, some paper, a flashlight and some books you can create your own planetarium to bring the night sky to life! Learn about the patterns of the constellations, or create your own designs to name, however this activity is constructed is sure to be both fun and educational,

     There are a lot of constellations with stories behind them, for they were named long ago in ancient cultures. Here is a list of constellations and descriptions: Constellation List. Humans have always looked towards constellations and here are some reasons why: 

      1.) Since stars have been grouped in constellations, they help humans recognize them 
      easier and quicker!

      2.) In Ancient Times, constellations served as a way to keep track of the calendar and 

      when to plant and harvest crops.

      3.) Ships used them and the North Star to navigate the seas by figuring out the latitude 
      due to the season and position of the constellation.

      4.) Ancient civilizations also used the stars to align their architecture to, for it had
      significant meaning. 

So for instructions on making this shoebox planetarium check out this website, which also has other scientific activities for kids! Make a Planetarium! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

~*Puppets!*~ (All Seasons) Indoor/Outdoor

      Many people have been charmed by puppets, and throughout the ages too! Puppets have been around for thousand of years, thought to have originated in either Egypt or India, they have been the actors and source of entertainment for many cultures. Puppets could really bring a story to life, and they would act out different tales for enjoyment, to teach, to warn, to preach the morals of the culture. Sometimes the puppets would act the tales of heroes, Gods, evil, just about anything could be and was illuminated by these charming dolls. 

      I believe storytelling is an art in itself, and if you find an amazing storyteller, you will hear some of the best stories! True one will find a great story in a book, but to have puppets act out that story makes it all the more magical! Puppets come in many forms and many cultures have their own style of puppets and story-telling, for instance Vietnam have their own water puppets that were adapted to be entertainment for the villages when the rice fields would flood. 

     Puppets can be made out of almost anything, it just takes some materials and creativity, mostly anything lying right around the house! Puppets can be made out of paper, socks, shadows, wood, felt, they can be small like finger puppets to giant ones like Jim Henson's Muppets! They can also be simple as masks, but those normally take on a more ceremonial purpose. Either way, making your own puppets and putting on a show for your loved ones will create cherished memories. Here is a lovely instructional on how to make some easy puppets: Let's Make Puppets!~