Play With Me: Action [Part 1]

By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

This is the first week of the Play With Me: Action series.  I hope you found your sillies because the Action series will focus on fun and active games that you can do over technology with the special children in your life. Each week in this series we will have two silly activities that will for sure make your little ones laugh and ask "just one more time" "please!".  If you are used to acting silly these games will be something to add to your bag of tricks. If you are not so silly by nature don't worry these activities are super simple and sure to get both of you laughing. But be prepared after you share this series with your child you may be labeled by them as silly from here forward. 

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance. This week's theme is: Copy Me

  • Four unused not melted butter sticks 
  • Mirror 
Activity #1 - Rhymes and Motion

This activity is in honor of the Durham Parks and Recreation Mascot Parkson Rex the squirrel and squirrels everywhere. It is a hand movement game. As you recite the poem below move your hand around your head and shoulders. Use your middle and pointer fingers to look like walking legs. Use your finger legs to move from one part of your body to the next.  
  • Say "Squirrel on me"- Put you finger legs on your shoulder.
  • Say "Squirrel in the tree" - Walk your finger legs to the top of your head. 
  • Say "Squirrel on my shoulder"-  Run your finger legs onto your shoulder.
  • Say "Squirrel come over" -Walk or run your finger legs across the front of your body to your other shoulder.
  • Say "Look for the nuts, 1, 2, 3"- Put your flat hands over your eyes and use them like doors opening and closing as you say look, one, two and three.
  • Say "Munch them all up, yummy as can be" - Use your hands to make eating motions as you say this. 
The more emotion and energy you can bring to this the more your child will like it. 
Once you have done this two times teach it to your child and have them do it with you.

Activity #2 - Play with Shapes

This activity is called Butter-sticks. Start with four not melted butter sticks in their wrappers. Leave the wrappers on the butter. You will make simple shapes with the butter sticks that your child will copy. The challenge is for you both to make all of the shapes before the butter melts. This activity is fun because the child will get to "play" with food and it will be challenging for them to copy the shapes you make. 

Below is an example of making a shape with butter sticks and shapes that you and your child can make with your butter sticks. Feel free to make your own shapes as well. When you are done you may want to ask your child to put the butter back so that it does not become a messy distraction.


Activity #3 - Mirror Faces

This activity is deceptively simple. You will make seven faces: Happy, Sad, Mad, Surprised, Silly, Excited, Confused

As you make each face ask your child to make the same face. If they can do it go back and forth each taking a turn at making the face. After you both have mastered it talk about what each part of your face was doing to make that particular emotion. You should each have a mirror handy (unbreakable for the child is best) so that you can practice together. You may want to try making all of the faces beforehand so that you can make sure they all look distinct from one another.

Secret Message!

Did you decode the three part secret message from the Play With Me: Art series? Drum roll please! PLAY MORE WITH DPR

Did you guess how many pine cone seed scales there were? 373! What? Can you imagine that 373 pinecone seed scales fit into that tiny jar!

I hope you enjoyed this week's Play With Me: Action series activities. Next week let the party start as we will be learning a few party games for the next segment of the Play With Me: Action series. Stay connected & vibrant and remember to Play More with DPR!