|Date||Playful Idea||What kids learn||Resources|
|1||06/27/18||Tubes of Fun
Help your kids create their own totally tubular racetrack! Use recycled materials, like paper towel tubes and an open space of wall. They can race Matchbox style cars or little balls.
|This type of child directed fun allows kids to experiment with geometry, physics, fine motor skills, planning and decision making, and even cooperation.|
Help your kids build a hand-launcher and see how many things they can capture in a bin. Click the link to the direction page.
|In addition to construction work, a hand-launcher like this gives kids a chance to practice hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, measuring and problem-solving skills.||http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-play-MANCALA/|
For play all summer long, help your kids build their own Foosball Table! If you have a Summer Playcation Kit, this is your first project in the Kit.
> Click the link to assembly direction.
|This project encourages creativity, imagination, and utilizes math skills like measuring spatial relations, and cause and effect.||Click the link to assembly direction.|
|4||06/30/18||Oink Oink Piggy Bank
Do your kids need a piggy bank? They can create their own bank using recycled materials. It's a great place to save money.
|Creating a piggy bank uses creativity and imagination. Saving money in the bank allows kids to practice counting and delaying gratification.|
|5||07/01/18||Pull Back Racer
Vroom, Vroom! Have your kids create a recycle racer out of plastic caps and paper tubes! It can be as fancy or simple as they would like. Follow the link for directions to one style.
|A project like this fosters skills like creativity, dexterity, measurement, hand-eye coordination, graphing, prediction and the workings of simple machines.|
Come for a splash in the town pool
Take the kids for a splash in the town pool located at 19 North Main Street, behind the Lamagna Center. It costs $.50 per child, $1.00 per adult, or $2 for the whole family for the day.
|Swimming is an important life skill that can help keep your kids safe. It's also great exercise and super, splashy fun, especially on a hot day!|
Help your kids create a skateboard for their favorite Sleepy Buddy. Click the images for directions.
|Constructing a wheeled "vehicle" gives kids experience building and using simple machines like axles, wheels and ramps.|
Have the kids create their own Super Hero. Use this template (click here) and some scraps of colored paper to create their own paper doll style superheroes. There is also a character questionnaire to get the kids thinking about who their supers are. Post a photo in the comments!
|Creating a fictional character gives kids a chance to practice their understanding of other cultures (even invented cultures,) express various emotions, and be creative storytellers.||Download:
day 8 instructions (part a)day 8 instructions (part b)
Teach your family a new style of Tic-Tac-Toe. ACHI is believed to have been created in Ghana. If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a bag of bottle caps in it for this game and other activities.
|Learning and playing a new game helps kids practice following directions, following rules (not necessarily the same thing,) encourages decision making, conflict resolution skills, planning and prediction.|
|10||07/06/18||Create A Clay Monster
Have your kiddos create a sculpture of their very own using clay. The Playcation Kits have a clump of potters clay which will air dry in time - maybe a week. But you could make playdoh style clay using supplies you might have around the house, or you can purchase many different types of inexpensive clay.
|Sculpting encourages kids to think creatively, plan and bring their vision to life. It also gives them a chance to practice perseverance.|
|11||07/07/18||4th of July Celebration
Stop by the KITE booth at Enfield's 4th of July Celebration! We've got loads of playful goodies for your kids to choose from.
|Play lets kids practice all sorts of academic and life skills. Our Play Ambassadors will be able to tell you more with examples your family can take home. While supplies last, of course.|
Help your kids build a hand-launcher and see how many things they can capture in a bin. Follow the link to the direction page.
|In addition to construction work, a hand-launcher like this gives kids a chance to practice hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, measuring and problem-solving skills.||
Download day 12 instructions
Help your kids take on an old-fashioned weaving project. If you have a Playcation Kit, there is plenty of yarn in there, as well as a piece of cardboard for a loom and a plastic tapestry needle. You can also make a loom out of a cereal box. Follow the link for directions.
|Weaving encourages a sense of self, and utilizes counting, sequencing, creativity, pattern recognition, symmetry, and measuring.||Download Day 13 instructions pdf|
Have the kids make a musical shaker! If you have a Playcation Kit, in it there is a plastic egg for this purpose. Put a few beans or rocks inside and tape it up. Another option is to use recycled water bottles. Put a handful of different things inside and see how they sound differently.
|Using a percussion instrument like a shaker allows for practicing music fundamentals, creativity, gross and fine motor skills, problem solving, and counting.|
|15||07/11/18||Got a sheet or two? Tell the kids to grab some furniture and make a fort! Use lots of pillows to make it comfortable and curl up with a good book or play a board game together! There are some extra clothespins in the Playcation Kits to help out. As a bonus, the Play Lab is open at Stowe (117 Post Office Rd.) today from 10:00 - 11:30. Come on down and experience this incredible play space right here in town! If parking is a challenge, there is a lot in the back of the building. You'll want to walk around to the front and use Door 25.||A project like this one uses imagination and creativity. It also fosters dramatic play and role playing.|
We have a Play Event today! Join us at the Stowe Early Learning Center (117 Post Office Road) for our Children's Book Swap! Bring a book you no longer want and receive a "Book Buck" to redeem for a new summer read! We've got some fun activities planned too.
|Reading is the key that opens up so many of life's doors. Helping your kids develop a love of reading is a wonderful gift.|
Explore your neighborhood. Maybe head a different direction than normal! What can you find that you have never noticed before? If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a Neighborhood Bingo chart in it. Or you can follow the link and print your own copy.
|Taking a walk helps build family connection & bonds, experience w /nature, and encourages exercise.||Download day 17 Neighborhood Bingo|
|18||07/14/18||Guitar Cereal Box
Rock N' Roll is here to stay! Help the kids make a guitar out of a cereal box. If you have a playcation kit, there are rubber bands of different sizes inside to help. Follow the link to download instructions.
|A project like this one helps with concentration, following directions, sequencing, sustained attention, and self expression.||Download day 18 instructions|
It's a bird, it's a plane, it is your very own toothpaste box glider! Help your kids with this new take on the paper airplane using recycled materials. Follow the link to directions.
|Believe it or not, this kind of project is full of mathematics and science practice. It incorporates geometry, calculation, measurement, utilizing balance, as well as important life skills like patience and persistence.||Download day 19 instructions|
Help your kids create a pan flute with straws and tape. Follow the link to directions. Once it's assembled, see if the kids can recreate a familiar tune.
|This project gives kids a chance to practice sequencing, patience, experimenting with different length, encourages listening, breath control, and creativity.||Download day 20 instructions|
|21||07/17/18||We have a Play Event today! Bring the instruments you've made over the last few days to our Pop Up Parade. If you didn’t make them, or want to try again, we'll have materials available at 1:00pm on the Town Green.||Being in a parade, even a small one, gives kids the chance to shine in the spotlight while surrounded by friends. It's good practice for being in front of a crowd, as well as good exercise.|
Direct the kids to create a game called Capwords. Use recycled bottle tops (there is a bag of them in the Playcation Kit to get you started.) Follow the link to directions. The game can be played many ways. Create a word search grid and see how many words you can find. Or simply layout the letters and challenge yourself to spell at least 5 words you learned this year. See who can spell the longest word.
|A game like this gives kids a chance to practice literacy, letter recognition and uses both selective and sustained attention.||Download Capwords day 22|
|23||07/19/18||Have the kids draw a map of how they would rearrange different rooms in the home. What might it look like? They can use graph paper or plain paper. Follow the link to a template of furniture they can color, cut out and place. If you have a Playcation Kit, graph paper and the template as well as crayons are inside.||This type of play encourages math skills like measurement and spatial relations as well as skills like trial and error.||Download day 23 instructions|
|24||07/20/18||Visit one of Enfield's Libraries and check out a book or audio book for the family to enjoy together! As a bonus, the Play Lab is open at Stowe (117 Post Office Rd.) today from 10:00 - 11:30. Come on down and experience this incredible play space right here in town! If parking is a challenge, there is a lot in the back of the building. You'll want to walk around to the front and use Door 25.||Enjoying a story together gives kids a chance to practice holding different ideas in their head at the same time, learn about different times, places, cultures and people, and gives the family a quiet opportunity to bond.|
|25||07/21/18||Send the kids out to play an oldie but goodie - tag! Whether it's toilet tag (when tagged, one must drop to one knee and make hand into flusher, then untagged person must sit and flush the tagged person) or Marco Polo in the pool, or a rolicking game of Everybody's It (as the name implies) tag is great fun for the whole family.||In addition to being a great gross motor activity, Tag is a game that teaches strategy, teamwork, appropriate touching, and boundries|
|26||07/22/18||Visit a new park/playground
Did you know that Enfield has 34 different parks? Follow the links to the Neighborhood Park Map and detail list to find one your family hasn't been to before. If you have a Playcation Kit - there is a copy of the map in it.
|Visiting new places in town gives kids an awareness of the community and a chance to discover nature and their surroundings.||Download day 26 instructions|
|27||07/23/18||Have your kids try our multi-lingual matching game! If you have a Playcation Kit the basic template is in it. Or you can follow the link to print the basics yourself as well as a German, Hindi and Arabic sheet. Just have the kids cut the cards out, mix them up and then put them back in order.||A game like this one encourages reading, number sense and recognition, and memory as well as giving kids a chance to become aware of other cultures and languages around us.||Download Day 27 Template
(German, Hindi, and Arabic)
|29||07/25/18||Today's playful idea is The Battle of the Rapunzels. If you have a Playcation Kit, there are 3 Rapunzel LEGO sets in it. If you don't have a kit, come on down to the Enfield Farmer's Market. We'll be there from 4-8pm. Either way, see what your kids can build different from instructions when they combine the sets. If you come to the Farmer's Market, you can take your creations home, for free!||Building with bricks lets kids be creative while practicing engineering skills. It's great to be able to logically follow the instructions, but it's also wonderful to be free from directions and build whatever you choose.|
|30||07/26/18||Have the kids be creative and make their own Ring Toss game. They could use paper plates, aluminum foil, or something you find at home to make rings that will land on top of recycled water bottles. See how long it takes them to figure out that they might want to weight the bottles with something, like dirt or rocks.||In a game like Ring Toss, kids practice estimation, prediction, turn-taking and healthy competition in a group.||Download day 30|
|31||07/27/18||Have the kids investigate the yard using a magnifying glass like the one the Playcation Kits. What kind of bugs can they find? What flowers do they see?||Investigating is a form of critical thinking in its own right, but playing this way will encourage kids to explore nature. It also is open-ended play which will foster imagination an.|
|32||07/28/18||This one requires a little prep time, so if you do that now, your family should be able to partake in the fun activity this evening or tomorrow. Create a Polar Excavation by freezing a few small toys in ice. When it's solid, let the kids figure out how to free their treasures.||This is sensory play, fun for all ages, but particularly important for infants and toddlers. It's imaginative, fosters language development, fine motor skills and discovery of how the world around them works.|
|33||07/29/18||Have the kids help you set up a fancy meal. Set a table and use the fancy china if you have it. The kids can help you cook and serve the food. It's also a great opportunity for them to use their "dinner with the Queen" table manners. And of course, they can help you clean up afterwards too.||Participating in family responsibilities helps develop a child's social and emotional skills and improve their language skills while strengthening family relationships and bonds.|
|34||07/30/18||"Enfield Plays On! coordinated with the Enfield Public Schools to create our very own game: Healthy Highway. Kids in Parkman, Whitney and Crandall drew images that represent the ""lands"" of the game and six winning images were chosen for placement on the board! Right now, the only way you can get a copy of Healthy Highway is if you have a Playcation Kit, or if you picked one of the few leftovers at our 4th of July booth. Today's playful idea is to begin preparing your Healthy Highway game for the upcoming Family Game Night. Your kids will need to cut out all the cards and prepare the special dice (cut, fold, tape.) If you didn't get a copy of Healthy Highway, consider having your kids create their own game using recycled materials like cereal boxes, magazines, paper and crayons."||"If they are preparing Healthy Highway for play, then they are experiencing the idea of ""some assembly required."" This also gives kids the chance to experience anticipation and delayed gratification. And they get to practice skills like cutting and glueing. If they are creating their own game, then they are practicing creativity, planning, literacy and math skills."|
|35||07/31/18||"It's day 2 of Healthy Highway game prep! Just like yesterday, if you have a Playcation Kit, you have the materials for Enfield's very own game: Healthy Highway. Today, your kiddos need to create the game avatars (the people game pieces by cutting them out, coloring them and using paperclips to give them some weight) and to prepare the board itself. We recommend glueing the paper game board to recycled cardboard like a cereal box. If your kids are creating their own game, they can take time today to finish what they started yesterday and practice playing the game to work the kinks out."||If they are preparing Healthy Highway for play, then they are experiencing the idea of "some assembly required." This also gives kids the chance to experience anticipation and delayed gratification. And they get to practice skills like cutting and glueing.|
|36||08/01/18||"It's Family Game Night! If you've been working on Healthy Highway or if your family invented their own game, it's time to play! If you've skipped both of those ideas, consider dusting off an oldy-but-goodie like checkers, or go fish, or charades! As a bonus, the Play Lab is open at Stowe (117 Post Office Rd.) today from 10:00 - 11:30. Come on down and experience this incredible play space right here in town! If parking is a challenge, there is a lot in the back of the building. You'll want to walk around to the front and use Door 25."||Playing games encourages unhurried and enjoyable family time, good sportsmanship, conversation, vocabulary, literacy and understanding diversity.|
|37||08/02/18||Come play at Enfield's very own Luau! This Hawaiian themed play event will make you think you are in the tropics! We'll be dancing the hula on the Town Green from 2:00 - 3:30 (weather permitting, of course.) It's free and fun for all ages!||An event like this one gives kids a peek at a different culture to help build their understanding that people have different traditions in different places, even here in the United States! It builds language skills, creativity, fine motor skills, and more.|
|38||08/03/18||Play school! Let the children be the teachers and teach the family their favorite subjects. If you have a Playcation Kit there are a few "dittos" in there and a potential reading list with suggestions of books for different ages, all of which are available at Enfield's Library.||This type of play encourages imagination, role playing, and the development of social and emotional skills. It also gives kids a chance to play at being in charge.||day 38 a and b|
|39||08/04/18||Today, consider taking a Youtube tour of some fun origami shapes, like a frog that really jumps, a paper cup and many others. Here are a couple of links, but there are many. Post pictures of your favorite shapes!||The inventor of Kindergarten, Friedrich Frobel, recognized that the ancient art of origami could be used as a playful teaching tool.||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOUgrJo2kIg|
|40||08/05/18||Have the kids grab a blanket and watch planes fly overhead! Where might they may be going? If you want to do so, check your smart device's app store for free apps that tell you where planes flying overhead are going.||An activity like this one encourages discover, imagination, discussions about geography and other cultures. It also encourages dreaming and goal-setting.|
|41||08/06/18||Snow Snake is a North American tribal game traditionally played outdoors during the winter months. Have the kids cool off by creating their snakes and dreaming of snow! Who's snake will go the farthest? If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a paint stirring stick (thank you Enfield Home Depot!) in the kit for this very purpose. Follow the link to directions.||day 41|
|42||08/07/18||We have a Play Event today! Bring the kids down to the Stowe Early Learning Center from 11-12 to see how lunchtime can be an opportunity to play!||As parents, we all know that kids often need to try new foods many times to develop a taste for them. Giving them opportunities to do so means they have opportunities to taste a world of flavors, learn about the different cultures that embrace those flavors, practice new vocabulary and more.|
|43||08/08/18||Today, consider helping your kiddos find a place in your home to host an epic build for a week. It could be a town built from blocks or LEGO, blocks. Instead of putting the materials away at night, leave it up for a few days and encourage the kids to come back every day and improve it or simply engage in creative play. How can they incorporate mixed media like blocks, small action figures, their origami animals from previous days or recycled materials?||Child-directed open play is super important. It builds self-confidence, encourages creativity and perserverance and gives the kids a chance to figure it out, whatever "it" is.|
|44||08/09/18||Crank up the tunes and dance it out! Kidzbop has great kid-friendly versions of todays hits or put on your favorite dance song and introduce the kids to some oldies but goodies! Spotify and Pandora are free music services for smart devices if you don't have access to a radio in your home.||Dance is great exercise and it encourages expression through movement. The music is an opportunity to talk about different sounds, instruments, rhythms and more.|
|45||08/10/18||Join us at the Central Library for a drive in movie. Come early and buid your own vehicle to sit in during the show. While supplies last, of course!)||In addition to being nice family bonding time, watching a movie outside is a different experience. And tonight, the kids will have a chance to practice their creativity and drawing skills while building.|
|46||08/11/18||Today is a great day to play cards. Really, isn't everyday a great day to play cards? One deck, available everywhere including the a dollar store, can provide hours of fun. From Solitare to a raucous game of 9 and 5, if you have a deck of cards, you'll never be bored.||Card games provide opportunties to practice numeracy skills, logic, planning, strategy and important things like good sportsmanship, taking turns, and learning how to lose.||day 46|
|47||08/12/18||Tonight is the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. Consider taking the kids outside after dark. To see the shooting stars even better (or with a fun prop) consider using the magnifiying glasses in your Playcation Kit to make a telescope. Follow the link for directions.||Doing something unusual like heading out to watch the stars encourages an interest in the night sky, and discussions about sciences like astrophysics and astronomy. It gives your kids a chance to plan for the event, think about items need to pack up (a blanket, maybe a snack) and delay gratification by having to wait for night. It's also wonderful family bonding time.|
|48||08/13/18||Host an Open Mic Night (or morning, or afternoon.) The kids can gimprovise a microphone! Everyone can take turns performing a favorite song, a poem or a joke cheering!||An activity like this gives everyone a chance to be the center of attention. That's great for helping those who might be shy and those who love the spotlight. Kids learn to take turns, be respectful audience members and supportive friends, while also getting a chance to bask in applause.|
|49||08/14/18||Have the kids make a blanket for their favorite stuffed animal. If you have a Playcation Kit, there are two pieces of fleece in there for this purpose. Follow the link to video instructions.||Making a blanket is great fine motor skill practice. It's also an opportunity for kids to practice a skill like empathy and engage in creative play.|
|50||08/15/18||Visit the Enfield Farmer's Market. Let the kids explore the vendors on the Town Green and see what kind of goodies they can find. There are real-life farmers to talk to, music to enjoy and the occasional visit with a goat.||A trip to the farmer's market is a great chance to talk about healthy eating, where food comes from before it gets to the grocery store, and the importance of supporting local farms.|
|51||08/16/18||Join our Play Event Today! We're having a Raingutter Regatta. Come on down to the Playground at the Lamagna Center, buid a boat and race it. Fun for all ages.||An event like this one gives kids a chance to experience science come to life. What kinds of things float? What happens when wind is applied? How do you catch the wind to generate energy? And it gives them a chance to practice their good sportsmanship.|
|52||08/17/18||When was the last time you made the time to go out side and have a catch with the kids? For me, I'll admit it has been quite a while. If you can, take 20 minutes today to toss a ball around with the kids. Maybe a frisbee. Maybe something else - like an empty drink bottle weighted down with a few rocks. Or teach the kids one of your favorite childhood "ball" related games. Hacky sack, anyone?||Tossing a ball (or whatever) around is an activity that gives kids a chance to practice their gross and fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, build muscle, increase flexibility and otherwise promote physical activity. It's also a chance for some joyful parent-child interaction and to enjoy the outdoors.|
|53||08/18/18||Ask the kids if they remember that Action Figure they created way back on day 8. Well, it's time to dust him or her off again. This time, give the kids a few pieces of paper and something to write with to create their own graphic novel starring their Superhero. If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a graphic novel template inside. It's a few pages, folded together like a booklet, with various frames for the story's action.||Creating their own story is a great way for kids to practice writing - both physically forming letters and intellectually creating a story. It increases vocabulary, develops critical thinking skills in the editing process, and fosters reading.|
|54||08/19/18||Did you ever make one of those plastic lace/gimp lanyards when you were a kid? Maybe at camp? Time to share that tradition! Who remembers how to do the box weave? Or butterfly? If you have a Playcation Kit, there is enough gimp in there for 2 lanyards, and two lanyard hooks. If you want to, you can follow this link to a video for instructions.||Weaving a lanyard encourages creativity, fine motor skill, planning, and decision making. It also gives kids a chance to be persistent.|
|55||08/20/18||Here's another old school "toy" you can make with recycled materials - a ball-in-a-cup game. Follow the link to directions.||This oldie-but-goodie fosters creativity, persistence, hand-eye coordination, and competition - with oneself or another person. How many tries does it take to catch the ball? How many can you get in a row?||day 46|
|56||08/21/18||Did you know that there are many styles of paper airplane to be folded? Give the kids some paper and let them figure out who to make a plane that goes the furthest, goes in a circle, or plummets to earth the fastest. Follow this link to directions.||In addition to practicing skills like fine motor, sportsmanship and the science of wind-resistence, this is an opportunity to talk about what being successful means. Success can be measured in so many different ways. It could the plane that goes the farthest, but it could also be the plane that goes the shortest distance.|
|57||08/22/18||Did you know that you can build your own bowling alley with recycled materials? Have the kids put some dirt in a set of used drinks bottles, screw the caps back on, and set them up like pins.||This is an activity that includes planning, production, and playing. Challenge the kids to see what kind of ball they need to knock the pins down. Will a beach ball work? What about a home-made tin-foil ball? A basketball?|
|58||08/23/18||With school starting next week, consider connecting with your kid's school friends (and their families). You could plan a picnic at the playground at school.||In addition to being fun and social, this can help alleviate any anxiety your little ones might be feeling about going back to school, or starting at a new school.|
|59||08/24/18||Consider having a family slumber party. If you don't have sleeping bags, your kids can make them by folding a flat sheet in half and clipping it closed with clothespins or safety pins. Maybe let the kids "sleep out" in the living room. Play a game of flashlight tag or tell camp fire stories! If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a not-so-scary ghost story Mad Lib template in it.||New experiences in familiar settings can help kids be comfortable trying new experiences in unfamiliar settings later on, an important life skill.||Day 59|
|60||08/25/18||Have the kids try an art project with unusual media. They can paint on wet glue with food coloring and see what happens when it dries! Maybe they could make decorations for the upcoming holiday season.||This activity fosters creativity, open-ended designs, bilateral coordination, focus and concentration, as well as problem solving skills.|
|61||08/26/18||Introduce your kids to the art of crocheting by having them make a bath scrubby square. A couple hundred years ago, all children (boys and girls!) would spend quiet time before the fire knitting or crocheting socks and other things. If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a crochet hook and yarn in it for this purpose. Follow the link to video directions.||Once kids learn the most basic of stitches, they can create all kinds of things either with directions/pattern, or creatively on their own without a pattern. They will practice patience, creativity, fine motor skills, new vocabulary, planning, persistence, and a sense of accomplishment.|
|62||08/27/18||Join us at a Play Event today! Let's end the summer swapping stories, singing silly songs around the campfire and enjoying s'mores! We'll be at the Weymouth Fire Department at 6:30 pm with a campfire burning and s'mores materials on hand.||Telling and listening to campfire stories is a tradition as old as humankind. Kids might learn new vocabulary, practice active listening skills, and gain experience public speaking.|
|63||08/28/18||It's the last day of summer vacation! If you have a Playcation Kit, there is a Scavenger Hunt template in it. If you are comfortable doing so, send the kids out to see what they can find in the house, the yard and the neighborhood. You can also find a copy of the Scavenger Hunt list by following this link.||Completing a scavenger hunt gives kids a chance to practice their critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, prediction, teamwork and is good exercise.||day 63|
|08/29/18||First of Day of School!|