The new old-school activity these days? Finger songs. From itsy bitsy spider to A B Cs to Skinamarinky dink—finger songs are excellent because you can chant them at home, sing them in the car, whisper while waiting at the doctor's office. The perfect no-gear activity for little fingers. And what age is appropriate for finger songs...well, dear son is 1 and he loves them and I am lots and lots of 1s and I love them too.
Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
(index finger and thumb on both hands touching—moving up)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
(jazz hands making rain go down)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
(make a circle with your hands)
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the wall again.
(index finger and thumb on both hands touching and moving up again)
Simply youtube "Skinamarinky dink" by Sharon, Lois and Bram for finger actions to that great song (also check out "Peanut, Peanut Butter, Jelly").
Another favourite is "The More We Get Togther" by Raffi using American Sign Language (we do this one a lot because it helps learn the sign "more" which is a great 1st word to learn).
Need more finger action songs?
A B C (knocking hands together—teaches beats)
Head and Shoulders
This Little Piggie
Round And Round The Garden
I totally sang these songs when I was a kid...and they haven't gone out of style yet!
This homemade chalk recipe is not only frugal (it makes a lot), but it's also fun from start to finish, as the kids can help with measuring, stirring, and more.
You will need:
Toilet paper rolls or paper towel tubes
¾ cup warm water
1 ½ cups Plaster of Paris (available at craft stores)
2-3 tbsps powdered tempera paint
In bucket, mix warm water with Plaster of Paris.
Add colour using powdered paint and let mixture sit.
In the meantime, cover one end of toilet paper roll with duct tape.
Take mixture and pour it in the toilet paper roll (the duct tape ensures it doesn’t flow out the opposite end).
Place each filled tube on a cookie tray (duct tape end down!) and let it sit for two days.
Once dry, use scissors to cut the rolls and un-mold the chalk.
Click here for more tips on how to keep your kids busy during the summer months.
How much, hourly wage, do you pay a babysitter? Minimum wage? Round it off to the nearest 5? Pay to the cent? It can be a confusing concept.
My 11-year-old daughter took a babysitting course this year where she was told by the course facilitator that she could charge between $6 to $12 an hour. Honestly, I don't think I would pay $12/hour for an 11-year-old to babysit. And babysitting wages really depends on the situation...
Special needs means a special babysitter. Some children who have medical, developmental or other special needs may require a caregiver with specific training thus you would pay that babysitter more because of their qualifications. However, sometimes its the parent who has special needs. Like I do, because my son is a baby I won't leave him with a 14-year-old babysitter just because I have a special need (in my heart) that he be with an adult. So my special need is an adult babysitter.
What's the activity plan? Are you expecting the babysitter to engage your kids in full-blown play the whole time? Will the sitter have to cook, bathe and put the kids to bed? Does the sitter only have to push play on the dvd and watch for fires? The activities, within the babysitting timeframe, might impact how much he/she charges.
Wondering still about how much to pay? Research the student minimum wage in your area. Ask other parents how much they pay.
And be up front with your sitter—"How much do you charge?" (They may have more experience in setting babysitter wages than you.)