Thursday 6 March 2014

March Break Geek-Activities for Your Little Monsters

by Jenn Kelly

Notwithstanding your usual routes of checking out the local libraries, museums, newspaper, bookstores, movie theatres and March Break Camps, here are five ideas (I was only allowed to write about five) that can entertain your little monster so you don't pull out your hair or begin drinking.

1- Cosplay.  Little Monsters love make-believe.  And it is so much more fun when you can make-believe with a costume.  Remember when you were a little monster yourself?  Look deep into your closet, check the internet and help them make costumes. But remember, let them be in charge. And guess what? Darth Vader is totally allowed to wear a pink tutu. And then you re-enact scenes from movies or books.  Be sure to participate.  Your little monsters will love you for it. And how precious would it be to video it?
 This is my little monster and his garbage pail R2-D2 costume.

2- Create Your Own Comic Strip.  This will involve some printer paper, a ruler and a thin black marker.  Sketch out an empty comic strip.  Let the kids draw in their own characters, create a story and then colour it.  If your child is stuck for ideas, offer them a scenario. "Hey, what if Batman broke both legs falling out of a helicopter and the alligators are going to eat him and only Wonder Woman can save him, but she's mad at him?" Even better if you can help them create their own characters. My child has created an amazing character called 'Ninja Abby' and I adore her.  Try looking here for more ideas.

3- Make Your Own Movie!  This is a lot of fun. If you are privy to a tablet, you can download the Lego App for making still-shot movies. So the idea is that your little monsters can pull out all their Lego, set up a scene, and shoot a movie. Then they get to play it back with effects and music and sounds. And if the snapshot movie making is too time-consuming, you can download many 'video' apps and then boot it up into YouTube. Just make sure it's private.  It is ridiculously cool, and eats up a lot of time for those important phone calls and emails you have to respond to.

4- Grow A Garden. Of course I put this in. There is nothing wrong with getting your child excited about planting sunflower seeds or even sprouts.  Cut up the cups from your egg package, fill it with moist soil and plant a seed. Create markers for them.  There is nothing more fun than digging your fingers into cold, moist dirt and slapping it around, making mud. And the smell is the smell of springtime.  And it teaches them how the seed cracks and germinates, the little endosperm grows, the cells duplicate rapidly, the first leaves pop out and if they turn yellow it means they don't have enough nitrogen, and purple means they need potassium... I'll stop here.

5- Make Harry Potter's Wand! Found on Pinterest of course. This super-cool tutorial encourages you to use the glue-gun! Which if you don't have, you can purchase at Michael's for about 3$. Don't forget the costumes!

I want to encourage you parents, care-givers, and relatives, that March Break doesn't have to be stressful for you, or for your little monsters.  This is a precious time where you can be a kid too and just come down to their level and play.  Pay attention to them, talk to them, play with them. Because this time will fly by and you will miss it when you're older.

Jenn Kelly is a published author who is learning the girl geek-dom.  You can visit her webpage that she is supposed to update, but never does. Um...that's all.

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