Do you ever hear the phrase “There’s nothing to do”? I used to hear it more than I should have. I came up with a list of things to do when there is "Nothing To Do". I thought of 50 things to do. I wrote them out and put them in a jar. When I was told “There’s nothing to do” I would pull the jar out and have my kids pull out 4 things to do from it. We would then do those things. If all of my kids were home, I have 5, they would go do those things. All of a sudden there was always something to do! Your kids will think of things to add to the jar as time goes on. Have fun!
Say words to rhyme with
Play "I Spy"
Try some tongue twisters
Pick a number between one and 10
Play "I Went to ..."
Sing some silly songs (softly)
Sing songs with hand motions, with and without the words
Play "20 Questions"
Look for things outside
Teach your child some clapping games
Have your child teach you some clapping games
Whisper secrets, silly and serious
Ask them, "Tell me three things you did today"
Tell a story, taking turns one sentence at a time
Write a poem, taking turns one sentence at a time
Hide something (even just your thumb) in one fist -- guess which hand?
Count your change
Count your currency
Make a stack or a snake with loose change
Fold or roll up currency
Make a pattern, train, or house out of cards.
Show your child the pictures in your wallet (yes, even your driver's license)
Try to remember one of your child's favorite storybooks; tell them the story. Let your child correct your mistakes.
See how your child looks in your glasses, or sunglasses
Give an invisible manicure
Give an invisible pedicure
Give or get a real manicure or pedicure
Have your child name all his or her classmates
See how many people your child can name in your extended family
See how many birthdates of friends and family your child can recall
Name a relative's birth year and have your child figure out how old; invent relatives if necessary
Guess what the people around your neighborhood do for a living
Make a Christmas or birthday wish list
Count how many words you can spot -- on signs, posters, clothes, books, or notes around the house
Make silly faces
Play Straight Face
Try to make each other laugh -- last one wins
Have a staring contest
Have your child narrate a favorite movie with the movie sound off
Interview your child for a make believe TV news show. Have them interview you.
Speak Pig Latin
Play "Truth or Dare"
Make up your own secret code
Think of rhyming words for items around you
Take turns naming words for a letter of the alphabet; last one to think of a word wins, and you move to the next letter
Same as above, but with rhymes
Same as above, but with entries in categories
Explain the meaning of various figures of speech
Make up silly similes
Make a puppet face with your fist, with your thumb as the lower jaw
Julie is a mother of 5, all of whom are gifted with assorted learning issues. She is the founder and creator of The BrainGame Bus; the nation's premier mobile classroom. She is the author of MindGames: Taking games out of the closet; making your kids smarter.