Teach Kids Diversity: Game 1 (Pakistan)

We live in a very diverse world, and even though we have come a long way in the tolerance department, we still have a ways to go. That’s why the month of July is all about tolerance and diversity. For the rest of this month, We will be playing games, eating snacks and doing crafts that teach kids all about the benefits of having friends from other cultures and backgrounds. Come along on our journey to learning about other cultures and how interesting and diverse this world really is!

Let’s start this week off with a game from Pakistan. It can be played with several, or a few kids at a park or even in the backyard.
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Ounch Neech

Country: Pakistan

Players: 3 or more

Materials: A large open field with lots of places to stand, like trees, benches etc.

How To Play

One child is “it.” It must yell out one of two words, “ounch,” which means up, or “neech,” which means down. If It yells “ounch,” the ground is like fire and all the other players must find something to stand on before they get tagged. If It yells “neech” everything except the ground is like fire, and all the players must stay on  the ground or risk getting caught.

Extra Resources

Check out this article by Parents.com for more great ethnically diverse games to play.

~QOTP~

Try out some of these games, and send me a pic through Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #teachingkidsdiversity. Got any ethnically diverse games you like to play with your family? Email them to me, and I just might post them on my website!

More About Teaching Kids Diversity:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/school-age/10-ways-to-teach-kids-about-diversity

https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/index.php/parents/news/newsletters/916

http://momsmagazine.com/2015/07/09/5-books-that-teach-diversity-to-read-this-summer/

Just Try To Put the Toddler To Bed

Okay, I know I have not been posting much the past couple of months. But  I promise I have a “semi- good excuse.” I just wanted to add a short post about something that has been on my mind for quiet some time. Last night I had an unexpected date night  babysitting job with a seven year old and an almost two year old. They were supposed to be in bed by 8:30 pm. I started getting them ready about 7:45 or so. We watched “The Bubble Guppies” for about twenty minutes and usually, by this time, both the girls would be fast asleep.

I thought they were, but when I left the room the 22 month old started screaming. She seemed genuinely terrified. I have only taken care of her one other time, but it was enough to know that she usually goes to bed just fine (a blessing with a two- year- old, I know). I went back into their bedroom and rocked her until she calmed down and put her back in her bed. After at least 5 minutes of quiet, I was relieved. “Your work is done, Merissa. She was just a little scared.” After about seven or eight minutes I heard a loud THUMP! I opened the door, and the look on her face was priceless. As if she was saying “What? I’m just moving around a bit…”

I proceeded to pick her up to put her back into her bed. She began to scream again. She shares a room with  her sister who is in first grade and needing to sleep. I tried to take the little one to a rocking chair in the living room to help her calm down, but every time I took more than two steps away from their bedroom door, she would start to scream again. So, with one good foot and a mind to “tune- out” the pain in my other one, I stood in the living room less than two feet from the bedroom door and swayed back and forth

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This swaying soon got too painful on my ankle to handle, but when I tried to sit down or put her down, she only screamed some more. After about 45 minutes I asked her mother for suggestions. It turns out the problem was the simplest one to solve. I actually felt embarrassed that I didn’t think of it. The girl could not sleep without her pacifier! So, after handing her the pacifier, I let myself back into the living room laughing and mentally kicking myself all the way. Then I felt the pain in my ankle from standing too long and I thought to myself “The things we do for the next generation.” But it’s all worth it in the end, because we get to nurture a new generation who learn to put others first.

Have you ever had that kind of “brain- fart?”

Make Frozen Banana Pops

Summer may have ended, but I banana pops are a great treat all year round. These tasty looking, sweet- smelling pops will have your kids begging you to give them their fruit. Frozen bananas are a great way to teach your kids that the healthy foods do not have to taste nastily. You can even get your kids involved for a better learning experience. Snack time doesn’t have to mean junk time.

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What You Will Need:

  • Bananas
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Butter Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • A Large Plate

Awesome Optionals:

  • Chocolate pudding
  • Sprinkles
  • Yogurt
  • Peanut or Almond Butter
  • Dried Fruit Pieces (eg. raisins, mango, strawberries)
  • Cinamon
  • Cocoa Powder

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  1. Peel all of your bananas and cut them in half with a butter knife. Place your cut and peeled bananas on a plate, or just leave it on the cutting board. wpid-20141114_125829.jpg
  2. Stick one Popsicle stick in the middle, through the biggest end of each banana. Dip the banana in some yogurt or pudding, and sprinkle some dried fruit, nuts or sprinkles on top. Put the completed bananas on one large plate, or several smaller ones. wpid-20141114_130318.jpg
  3. Place the decorated bananas in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.
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Enjoy your Easy Banana Pops!

Eat these tasty pops all year. You can dip the bananas in almost anything that sounds good. Let your imagination run wild. Encourage your kids to help you invent a new kind of pop, a s’mores pop, perhaps, with rolled oats instead of graham cracker crumbs. Try replacing the bananas with other fruits, apples and strawberries, maybe? By using healthy ingredients to make fun snacks, your kids will learn to value healthy eating habits, and will be more likely to choose the healthier options in the future.

 

5 Fun Tag Variations For All Ages

Everyone has played tag. Kids love it, and it’s a great way to help them let off some steam. Tag is an especially great game to play if you have a lot of rowdy kids. But the “regular version of tag can get boring very quickly. Sometimes it is fun to shake it up a little bit. Here are some of my favorite tag variations to have kids I care for play.

Small

Snake- In this version of tag, all the kids hold hands to become the “snake.” The one at the front of the line is the “head” and the one at the back of the line is the “tail.” The object of the game is for the head to tag the tail while the other kids in the middle try to keep the head from succeeding. When the head tags the tail, the head becomes the new tail and the next one in line becomes the new head. Have the kids play this until all the kids get to be the head and the tail. Or, if you have a lot of kids, until they seem to be getting tired of playing.

Hook, Line, Sinker- The game starts out with just one “hook.” The hook tries to tag the rest of the kids. When hook tags someone, that person holds hands with the hook and becomes a part of the “line.” Now the line and the hook can try to tag other kids. The kids may not break the line. When all the kids are a part of the line the  game is over. It’s a “sinker.”

muddy-kids

Pop culture- In this game of tag, “it” chases kids just like in normal tag. When a child is about to get tagged, have them sit quickly, and yell out the name of a television character, actor, singer, etc. If they are able to say the name before they are tagged, they save themselves from becoming the new “it.”

This variation of tag is a great game to play as an icebreaker, because most of the characters and people the kids say will help the other kids find out about things they have in common.

Zombie Take Over- The game starts out with only one “infected zombie.” The zombie has to stagger around to tag kids, thus “infecting” them. When he infects another person, that child also becomes a zombie. The game is over when all the kids are zombies.

This is a great game to play when it is close to Halloween, or with kids who love to be dramatic and pretend.

Operation- I remember playing this game a lot when I was a child. It was so much fun.

To start this game, “it” must try to tag other kids. When it tags someone, that child must put their hand on the place they were tagged, this is their “injury,” and continue to avoid being tagged. Once both hands are holding an injury, the child must freeze and wait for two other kids to “operate.” Two kids who are not it must run up, touch the child at the same time while counting to five. This game can be played as long as the kids want, but please remember to change “it” often.

Activity is very important for kids, and it does not have to be boring. By adding variety to their game play, you will show them that exercise can be fun, and will encourage them to make up their own games to play.

 

BENTON; And Other Things I Am Thankful For

Today, some of my best friends had to put their dog of ten years down. He started getting sick on Halloween and was diagnosed with diabetes, which is common for schnauzers, I guess. I was attached to him as well since I was his dog sitter for most of his life. But it got me thinking about being thankful, and how much I take the people and pets in my life for granted. I think that is something we are all thinking about.
It is getting close to Thanksgiving, and I want to  let everyone I love know how greatful I feel to have them in my life. This one is for Ben: 2002-2014…

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                            BENTON
B uddy 4 life
E xcitable!
N  ew experience
T ough guy
O n FIRE!!! (Or so he thinks, haha)
N o nonsense

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Old Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do Is Now In My Shoe

When I was about ten years old, my brother and I had just switched bedrooms. I was really excited because I liked how much smaller my brother’s bedroom was (it was easier to clean). When I get excited I like to tell silly stories, or sing silly songs. So my first night in my new room I was standing in front of my mirror and the words, “well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart,” just came out of my mouth.

I wrote that down, and over the next few days, I continued adding to it until I felt like it was complete. Below is what I came up with. It is very silly, I am not sure how in the world this came from my head. It doesn’t mean anything at all. But it is a song, which I plan to record myself singing and upload tomorrow.

Well, I was going to school one day, and a giagantic bear came crawling my way.
And inside that giagantic bear, was old Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do
So I caught that giagantic bear, and I put him into my shoe.
And I said…

Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.
Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.

Well, I was going to church one day, and a little tiny snake came crawling my way.
And inside that little tiny snake, was old Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do.
So I caught that little tiny snake, and I put him into my shoe,
And I said…
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Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.
Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.

Well, I was walking to the store one day, and a big fat monkey came crawling my way.
And inside that big fat monkey, was old Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do.
So I caught that big fat monkey, and I put him into my shoe,
And I said…

Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.
Well, goodbye Mr. Cocka- Doodle Do Do, gotta give me something from the heart.

Well, the bear ate the monkey, the monkey ate the snake.
‘Cuz now we’re all here, so lets give a cheer.
Put ’em in the toilet AND…

FLUSHEROO!

Most of the things I write comes seemingly from nowhere, and is slowly turned into what you see on my blog, or in a book. Where are some strange places you have been inspired?

UPDATE 10-30-14

You may have seen at the bottom of this page my anouncement that my free ebook “Lily C. Pancakes” would be available October 19th. You may also have noticed that I have been writing a lot more posts about things you can do with kids. Below is an update about how I am doing, and what I have been up to.

Free ebook
Several weeks ago, I went to Kindle to upload my free ebook, but I found that they do not allow free ebooks on Kindle for small press or self- publishing. I will be using a different company to publish. Unfortunately, the new company I will be using takes several weeks to create and format. That is why “Lily C. Pancakes” has not been released, yet. As soon as I know the release date, I will be posting again. Keep your eye open!

Babysitting
I started to look for a full time babysitting/nanny job about a month ago. I had only been looking for about three days when I was blessed with one. I changed the look and design of my website recently from being all about freelance writing and grammar to being about what I really love, which is kids. Babysitting nine hours a day gives a lot of time to take pictures of the things we do, but it does not give very much time for me to actually blog about it. But to me it’s worth it, because I am combining the two things I love most, writing and kids.

Contact me
I realize that I have not updated my “About Me” page,  or my “Contact” page. I wrote it quiet a long time ago, but did not realize that it the updates have not been published. I will do so as soon as I can.

Just as a quick reference, you can like me on facebook at http://facebook.com/merissawrites or you can email me at merissawrites@gmail.com Continue reading