Story time! Find some great books.
Learn some new songs that contain activites, try searching the web. I love slippery fish and Bringing home my baby bumble bee.
Blowing bubbles can keep kids 4 and under occupied for a long time. And also, try the parachute, there are lots of games you can play with it and its simple to set up.
Also try look what I can do, there is a song that goes with it and each child gets to participate by showing everyone something they can do. Try preschool supply stores on the web or e-bay for more ideas.
hide and seek, tag, board games, clean up...jk. and tings like that. you could make up games and have them name it..use your imagination.
Dance-er-cise..exercising to music.
Play "hot tamales" - wrap them up in wax paper, tie string around them and set them in a vat of tomato sauce. Let simmer for the day in the hot sun, and wallah! You've got a nice evening brunch for the staff.
Kidding. Seriously. ;-) Kids love using their imagination, and slightly older kids -love- feeling like they're being "big sister" or "big brother" to the younger kids. And they're great at making up their own stories. One thing we used to do when I was a kid we called "visionizing". Tell them to team up into groups of about 2 or 3 kids each, and have one kid close their eyes. Have the other kids ask them what they see, and let the one who is closing his or her eyes lead the other two on an "adventure". If they don't seem to quite know how to start, show them examples first. You do it - close your eyes and tell them to ask you what you see. Describe a scene for them and let them tell you what to do in the scene with the characters and items you "see". You can make it all up or actually just try to let your mind go wild and see things. Naturally you'll know you're making it up, and they may, too, but you can tell them that they're peering into the mystical, magical land of "make believe" (if you wish). Though if you like, you can use the "world" we used when I was a child - we called it "The Equestrian". It was a world of make-believe, but it was about horses and magic and dragons and flying and all sorts of stuff - things which make for good science-fiction and fantasy as adults. It's amazing how complex any one child's imagination can be, and with two other children coaxing them to explore their imaginary world ever deeper - the interdynamic they set up among just 2 or 3 (3 is best - 4 is too many, 2 is too little) is almost astounding, even to an adult. It could be hours of fun for them - and what better way for them to enjoy spending their time than with their eyes closed and gathered in groups, enrapt in each other's stories?
The point of the older kids and younger kids in the same group is that whether the older kids are playing the part of asking questions, or closing their eyes and leading the imaginary adventure, they can feel like they're "guiding" the experience in some way, and the younger kids who naturally tend to look up to the older kids will love their attention and the adventure, itself.
_If_ they can get into it, that is. It was very effective for us, we made the game up on our own, and generally any group of other kids we taught it to fell for it very quickly. But today is a different time, I think kids will always be kids but you never know. It works wonders when it works, though, I can tell you that much. :-)
If that doesn't work, -then- you might want to consider the "hot tamales" game... muahahahahhh. ;-DDDD
I'm just kidding
Kids LOVE books especially sing alongs!
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