As I’m just entering my 9th month of pregnancy, I thought it appropriate to share this game with you now.
 
I call this game the “9th month game” because I came up with it when I was in my 9th month of pregnancy and had no energy to move.  What’s great about this game is that the kids can get their energy out without you having to move off the couch! You can play it while you’re resting, nursing or just need some quick way to entertain your kids.

Here’s how it goes:

The idea of the game is that you tell your kids things around the home to touch and they have to run and touch them and then run back to you. Start off with simple things and then make it harder.

For example:

“Run and touch the fridge and then run back to me.”

“Go touch the front door and then come back.”

Other items can be:

Your bed, the bathroom door, the kitchen table, etc.

Next, have them touch two things.

“Touch the fridge and then touch your bed and then run back here.”

After a few rounds of this, change it up a bit by having the child/children do things

as they are going to touch the fridge (or door or table…)

For example:

“Jump all the way to the fridge and then jump back to me.”

“Hop like a bunny to the table and then hop back.”

Other examples:  Crawl to the fridge, walk with your eyes closed, walk backwards, walk holding both hands with your sibling (reduces the competitiveness!), pretend to be a chicken all the way to the fridge and then a frog on the way back, etc.

Be creative, and of course, HAVE FUN!

 
Here’s a fun way to encourage your kids to clean up when there is a huge mess of toys on the floor:
 
Call out a color and everyone has to clean up that color.
For example, “Red” and everyone has to put away all items that are red.
Then call out another color, etc. until the entire room is clean.
Alternatively, assign each child a different color to clean up.
To vary it, you can also call out shapes.
This is a great way to reinforce colors and shapes for a child who is learning this.

For older kids, instead of calling out colors or shapes, give clues.
For example:
Pick up something that keeps you warm and put it where it goes (sweatshirt)
Pick up something that you can look through and has a button to press (toy camera)
Etc.

Use this fun and creative technique to get kids to pick up toys, clothes or just about any mess.

 
A few weeks ago, I went to a laughter workshop.  The presenter taught us all sorts of exercises to get us to laugh.  A few days later I was attempting to serve my kids dinner. But they were all crying!  I couldn’t get them to stop crying and I simply didn’t know what to do.  And then I thought of the laughter workshop I had gone to a few nights earlier. So I decided to laugh.  While they were busy crying, I just laughed.  And one by one, they each stopped crying and just stared at me.  (“Uh oh, this time Ema has really lost it” is what I think they were all thinking.)  And then I started doing one of the laughter exercises I had learned.

It’s called The Laughing Tree.

You crouch down on the floor and pretend to be a little sapling.  And you let out a little giggle. And then very slowly, you start straightening your body and spreading out your hands. As you do this, your laughter gets louder.  You keep straightening out until you are standing fully upright with your hands up in the air like branches on a tree. And as you straighten out completely you let out a huge loud laugh.

Well, I started doing this in front of my kids (who were slowly wiping away their tears) and then next thing I know, my 5 year old jumps down from her seat and starts doing it with me. And then my 2 year old joined in.  And pretty soon the mood had completely changed and we were all laughing as we pretended to be laughing trees. Now when my 2 year old wants to do this exercise, she goes around saying “laughing tee, laughing tee.”
 
So when the kids are crying and you just don’t know what to do, instead of throwing your hands up in despair, throw your hands up and LAUGH!

To learn more about Laughter Workshops by Yehudit Kotler, visit her website at www.yehuditkotler.com