Keeping Kids Creative: Book Spine Poetry

With the invention of the TV remote control came a game that we (my kids and I) have played for years. It was to channel surf for funny composite phrases. We’d start on one channel and change the channel in the middle of a phrase. Sometimes, the next channel had someone finish the phrase with hilarious results.

Well I just happened on the art of Book Spine Poetry. I know…everyone else already has heard of it. I had not. So for the two or three folks who will find this enlightening, I’ll continue. 😉

This activity requires one to stack books in order to create a meaningful phrase from their titles. Here’s mine:

Besides giving you a quick view of a sample of my library, these titles created a message. Cool huh?

On your next visit to the library, consider having the kids stack a few funny phrases. Take your camera and record them too. I know I’ll be having lots of fun in the children’s section myself!

PS: Please replace all books where they belong on the shelf. Librarians will be hunting me down if you do not! 🙂

Keeping Kids Creative: Summer Book Club

With the last day of formal schooling racing toward us, the question of how to entertain the kids and keep them learning arises.

I have a few ideas for activities in my category named “Keeping Kids Creative”.

My mother had a great idea inspired by our own book club meetings. Why not start a Kids Book Club?

There are so many ways a gathering of similar aged kids could be successful.

A few ideas:

  • Offer prizes to those who participate and make the gathering a party-like atmosphere.
  • Have kids write their own stories to share from photo or word prompts. Compile the entries in a homemade book for them to keep.
  • Ask kids to bring and share their favorite books.
  • Offer a book topic, have the kids find a book that reflects the topic, then have a read-a-thon.
  • Give kids a camera and have them print out a photo journal of their vacation trip or a topic of interest. (Walmart prints photo books rather cheaply…check out their photo gift page.)
  • Have a letter writing campaign. Maybe to long-lost relatives or to a children’s book author.
  • Make t-shirts and name your club. Possibly follow one or two specific authors. Contacting that author may be a great idea too. They just might enjoy reaching out to your club.

I’m sure with this germ of an idea, creative parents can come up with others. Consider the cost of the pizza party or photo books, an investment, rather than a burden. When you compare what you spend on day camps, video games and gas running them to other activities, it isn’t much.

Remember parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and mentors: You are the most influential  teachers that your kids will ever have.

Just a thought…have a great summer people!

Any other ideas would be appreciated in my comments. 🙂

Safety Bees or Worst case scenario…

In the winter, often I find myself just hanging around with the school aged kids while waiting for parents. They like nothing more than talking with me and so I often quiz them. One thing that we cannot take too lightly are the rules for safety.  I offer a “worst case scenario” and they tell me how to get out of it.  Forewarned is forearmed you know.

I think of all the crazy implausible scenarios, that I can, while tending to my daily chores. Then, I spring them on the kids when there is a lull in our energy!

Everyone loves to feel smart or Jeopardy wouldn’t have lasted all these years on TV. Kids are no exception. Practicing safety while playing, is a win/win scenario in itself. Sometimes the kids come up with their own situations and we solve them together. The wiser they become, the safer they are in this world of unknown dangers.  We also have other quiz themes such as, “Can you remember?” or “Let’s talk about Nature” but the interest is the same. Kids need to know what their adults think on all kind of issues. Those that they trust have a responsibility to tell them what is “proper” so they can develop values. I cannot over emphasize the value of talking WITH kids. Quizzes make them feel involved rather than lectured.