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Twenty Minutes Until Dinner

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Dinner-time is quickly approaching and the children are distracted and bored. Besides begging them to help with the chores what can a parent do to make the best of this in-between time that is fun, fast, and enriching? Here are a few ideas, using magnets, which will amuse the younger members of the family.

Keep that ever useful set of refrigerator magnets handy. These plastic letters can keep the children busy and challenged. To play the memory game put up about ten or twelve letters. Be sure they are at kid’s-eye level. Then set a kitchen timer for one minute and ask the children to memorize the letters you have displayed. Once the minute is over, have the children turn their backs to the letters. Remove one or two of the magnets. Ask the children to name the letter(s) that have been removed. You can even further test the children by mixing up the remaining letters. Once the children have the idea, allow them to take turns removing the letters.

For the elementary aged children in the family, practice the ABCs by having the children put the magnetic letters in alphabetical order. Make it a race against the clock to see if they can beat their previous best recorded time. Or ask them to practice their spelling words by using the magnets. In this case have a few plastic sets available. Call out the spelling words for the week in a random order and have them correct their work from the take-home list.

Another idea for these magnetic letters includes the rhyming game. Simply call out a short word (think—dog, cat, or wig) and have the children think of a word that rhymes with it and then, spell it out. 

If you do not have a variety of non-letter magnets allow the children to turn magazine pictures, old photos, or other light objects into magnets by attaching double-sided tape (found at local art supply stores) to the back surface. These might magnets are sure to please!


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