CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 16. . . . April 11, 2003
Enjoy golf? Get your son involved in a game of putt-putt by creating a miniature golf course in your house or yard. You'll both get a kick out of making tricky holes and then playing a round or two. Half the fun of this activity is designing your own course. Take a bit of extra time to come up with creative, challenging holes. Plot out your course and then build the ramps, tunnels, buildings or other obstacles for the duffers to tackle. You can even pick a theme and design your obstacles accordingly; a castle and a moat is an easy option.
Although geared towards home activities for fathers and sons, this wonderfully creative little book is also perfect for special education teachers with classes that are made-up largely of boys. There is no reason, however, that girls wouldn't enjoy many of the activities Ed Avis has compiled! They are as simple as having the child help to wash the family car, congratulating him on a job well done and taking the lad out for an ice-cream cone (Car Wash); designing paper airplanes together (Paper Air Force); showing him proper shaving techniques (Shave A Day); or just a good old fashioned water fight (Water Fight). Others, such as building a thermometer (Thermometer), organizing a backyard campout (Backyard Campout) or building a time capsule (Time Capsule), require a little more organization, time and planning. None are very taxing, however. Although meant for fun, any teacher looking through the book will quickly see that many of the suggested activities fit nicely into early and middle year's science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics curricula. Sinking, floating, and displacement can be studied by building a bathtub navy using different sized and shaped aluminum foil ships and trying to sink the other person's vessels with shampoo bottle water cannons. Activities that center around building family photo collages, writing a book of family stories, or starting a family newspaper fit nicely with social studies and language arts. What is most important for Avis, of course, is for fathers to be involved with their children. It's not hard, and fathers might find it fun.
Ian Stewart is a regular contributor to CM and the Winnipeg Free Press.
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