Sunday, May 17, 2009

Free Activity For Almost Any Age: Use Toilet Paper Like An Egyptian

It's a dreary day of thunderstorms and pounding rain  here at the Juice household, meaning there's no way to go outside and burn off energy. We've colored, built towers, watched Elmo, and been to Gymboree and we still have four hours until bed time.

What to do?

Why, break out ancient Eypgtian arcehology and toilet paper, of course. Isn't it obvious? This activity is messy and a bit wasteful, but if you do it right, toilet paper will buy you an hour of free time. Here's how...

1. For older kids, make like an Egyptian and TP your offspring. Yes, I'm serious. First, visit National Geographic's mummy page or Discovery Kids Mummy Maker to learn about mummies. Then, hand kids a roll of toilet paper and instruct them to make themselves into mummies. Supply stickers and markers for children to decorate their bandages with. This is a great activity for sibling groups because they will help wrap each other up.

Then play Walk Like An Egyptian by the Bangles and encourage a mummy dance party. (Discussion of the 80s pop culture movement is optional and perhaps better left unexplained.)

2.For older preschool age kids or younger elementary age kids, use toilet paper as a measuring tape and have kids number the squares sequentially in marker. For example, how many toilet paper squares tall is your child? How big around?

Wrap them up in toilet paper or let them wrap and unwrap you. Play TP catch or roll TP on the floor to see who can unravel the most toilet paper in one push.

3.Toddlers will marvel at how the toilet paper unravels as it rolls. Put on some upbeat music and let them run wild. If they have the coordination to kick, play TP soccer, which for toddlers means kicking TP around the room, missing often, and occassionally wiping out.

4.For infants, substitute tissue paper for toilet paper and use a pacifier to avoid unwanted snacking. Tissue paper works better for infants because it's more durable, comes in a variety of colors and designs, and crinkles delightfully in little fists. It provides sight, sound, and tactile stimulation to get baby's brain buzzing.

5.Most kids would enjoy toilet paper streamers in a door way for an impromptu, sensory stimulating curtain that will take peek-a-boo to a whole new level. Secure streamers with painter's tape to minimize potential damage to wall finishes.

Mess Control

You will have toilet paper every where if you don't confine kids to one room. Shut doors, lock the baby gates, and set some ground rules.

Provide a trash bin and suggest kids dispose of toilet paper they are finished with.

If you want parenting time-out, though, let the kids run wild in limited space and deal with the mess later.

Engage kids in the clean up by making it a race to see who can clean up the most toilet paper first.

Photo Credit:jeltovski

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