What’s the weather like where you are? So far this spring, ours is alternating between a tiny little peek of sunshine and blue skies with longer periods of rain and a few last hurrahs of winter with light snow showers. In other words, a typical spring in Canada. Because of that, these ideas for 15 Minutes of Family Fun in April include indoor and outdoor ideas. Remember – Family fun doesn’t have to take much time. Other related lessons? Fun doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be fun.
15 Minutes of Family Fun in April
~ Head outside to play a rousing game of Duck Duck Goose. Or play inside if the weather is bad.
~ It’s Math Education month so do something numeracy related. Send your kids on a scavenger hunt to find numbers on items throughout the house (or on signs and buildings outside!), or arm them with a measuring tape and have them look for items 2 1/2 inches or 11 cm long (or whatever measurements you want to use). This is a good waiting for dinner to be ready game.
~ It’s also National Poetry Month. Write some simple poems to pop into your kids’ lunch boxes as a surprise. Or write a collaborative poem on the family chalkboard, one line at a time.
~ April can be a great month for flying kites (there is such a thing as TOO windy). Tie some yarn to the handles of a plastic grocery bag and let the kids run in the yard, wind helping their homemade kites take flight. Don’t forget to take your turn too! Or serve some kite shaped (diamond shaped) snacks and read Curious George Flies a Kite.
~ This is National Bedtime Story Month. Find a book with some easy characters (like bunnies) and challenge your kids to help you make character-shaped shadows as you read. Or wrap up enough books for the entire month (much like Advent books) and let kids have the fun of unwrapping a book every night for their bedtime story. It’s always fun to add in 1 or 2 new ones. Or how about sitting down to write your own bedtime story together? This doesn’t have to all be accomplished in one sitting! Start the story one day. Draw some illustrations the next. Write the middle of the story on the third day. And repeat until completed. Or just tell a progressive story (you could record it for future reference!) with the goal of starting it at the beginning of the month and keeping it going until the very end!
~ Go bird watching. I don’t know about in your backyard, but they are crazy busy in mine, hunting for food and building nests. We’ve seen cardinals, blue jays, robins, sparrows, and wrens so far. You could even create your own field guide by drawing and coloring each bird you see as a family.
~ World Penguin Day is April 25. Have a penguin race with each of you putting a foam ball between your knees and seeing who can get from point A to point B the fastest.
~ International Astronomy Day is April 21. Go stargazing before bed. Look for familiar constellations or make up some of your own.
~ Plant a tree for Arbor Day April 27.
~ Establish a rule for no talking at dinner time on every 5th Monday of a month. Instead of talking, if someone wants to say something, they must sing it!
~ The average preschooler laughs 350 times a day. The average adult? 15 times a day. Have a laughing contest and see who can make the funniest sounds, faces, and movements to make the other one laugh.
~ The second week of April is National Wildlife Week. Play a game of animal charades!