Our office is closed this week of December 24. We’re taking a little break but we’ll start blogging again on January 7. Wondering what to do ‘til we get back? In addition to supporting the Promise Me Campaign, here are ten and a half things you can do while we are away. (Last year, a few of you complained that you ran out of things to do as we offered up only 6 ½ ideas.)
1. Read aloud to a child. Kalamazoo Public Schools has identified eight pillars for building a college-going culture and reading is one of them. You can find all eight pillars listed here in our CIS Connections newsletter.
2. Take a look at this compiled list of each state’s most famous book. My friend Miriam Downey wrote about this list this past fall in her blog, Cyberlibrarian Reads.She is half way through the states and has me beat by eight. How many of these books have you read? Anybody read more than Miriam?
3. Invent something. Using items from around your home, create stuff. Gather up that scrap of twine and lonely paperclip. Drag out that fuzz ball from underneath the bed and start inventing! Or, make up a story using the items you’ve found.
4. Ride the Holly Jolly Trolley for free. It’s a fun way to teach time and map skills to kids. You can find the hours and map of the course it runs throughout downtown by going here. And don’t forget to be jolly while you enjoy the downtown lights. Belt out a song and the person next to you might just join in.
5. Create snow art. Fill a few spray bottles with water, adding a few drops of food coloring. Go outside and paint a masterpiece or two on the snow.
5 1/2. Take a picture of your snow art and send it to us. You just might win a fabulous prize.
6. Make snow dough. Too cold to play outside? Snow dough is a fun activity and, as an added plus, your hands will feel nice and soft after you are done. You need two ingredients, lotion and corn starch. (You can add a dash of peppermint or glitter if you want your dough to have some bling to it.) Put both in the fridge overnight and then mix together until you are pleased with the consistency. Start creating! (The best recipe we found uses a 16 oz box of corn starch and about half of a 20oz. bottle of unscented lotion.)
7. Go to New Year’s Fest. Geared for the entire family, this Kalamazoo tradition brings the community together for a night of fun-filled activities. The entertainment lined up for this year looks, well, entertaining. Check it out here.
8. Make ice bubbles. Find those leftover bubbles from summer. Don’t have any? Make them. (Here’s a recipe.) Then go outside with one or more of your 12,000+ kids and start experimenting. This idea had never occurred to me. I can’t wait to try this with my son!
9. Do more fun stuff in downtown Kalamazoo. Go to the KIA’s Fantastic Rumpus exhibit. Check out Downtown Kalamazoo’s Holiday Guide for ideas or head over to Discover Kalamazoo website for upcoming events throughout the area.
9 ½ I would be remiss if I didn’t add that you should take a sibling or someone you love to the Spirit of Kalamazoo, located on Portage Road. My brother was in town for a visit and looking for a few Kalamazooey (is that a word?) gifts. They had a lovely assortment of local college clothing and gear and he found just what he needed. Pop in and check out this gem of a store. They even have Plainwell Icecream available! Yum.
10. Make some simple gifts. How about a snowman votive holder? Have empty glass jars or bottles around the house? Baby food jars work great for this project. Paint your child’s index finger with white paint and have them press their finger to the object. Repeat process until snowman or two or three is made. After paint is dry, dress them up with eyes, nose, buttons, etc…using permanent markers.
Stay safe and warm. See you in 2014, dear readers!