A Saturday Curriculum: What should I make my kids do to get to go to Kiddieland?

Well, our Labor Day weekend plans just fell through.

As an alternative, we will probably take the kids to a local amusement park paradise called Kiddieland on Sunday. (All the ChiDopers will remember this little collection of Scramblers and Pirate Ships and Bumper Cars and arcade games–it’s a low-tech, relatively unspoiled institution.)

This leaves Saturday entirely open. Since I believe kids should generally have to do something to merit the generosity and parental sacrifice of the sort that Kiddieland entails, the TV will be shut off and my darlings will be put through the paces of a schedule of worthwhile activities which I am now preparing.

School has just started, so this will be Mom’s school. It will have snack and lunch times, as well as recess and chores, art class and silent reading time. I would like the content to focus on interesting stuff that is not typical school work.

My kindergartner, the ballerina, will get the story of Swan Lake from a Tales from the Ballet book we just got. We will also get her shoes and costumes out and maybe pretend to dance Swan Lake.

My 4th-grader will be horrified and disgusted by the ballet thing. Therefore, he will use the time to answer a quiz about sports rules that I will have prepared in advance.

I haven’t yet thought any farther than this. So, give me your suggestions on how to edjumacate, fascinate and annoy my bairnies for a day. Thanks.

(I know that unscheduled downtime is important, as is playtime with friends; they will have all day Monday to goof off, and many of their friends will be gone for the holiday weekend. Thus, the need to plan something out for Saturday.)

Maybe you could have a “correspondence” hour, and supply them with stationary or postcards. Do they have grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even friends they could write to?

IMO, writing lettters is truly a vanishing art, and one that should be encouraged in the kiddies.

Great plan, BTW. I hope you guys have lots of fun!


I think forced labour such as scrubbing the bathroom is always good. (one of five children - I don’t think my mother ever cleaned a bathroom or washed a dish after we got old enough)


Here here StG. I don’t think my mother ever cleaned since I was one of seven. Hell, now that only one still lives with her, I don’t think she cleans at all. It looks like she will have to hire a maid soon.

Give them some chores and if they don’t do them actually follow through and make them stay with a sitter. My mother didn’t always follow through and we abused that privelege to no end.

I know we’re veering slightly off topic here, but there are fun ways to get them to do hard labor. I’ll set a timer in their room and we have a 10 minute clean up time–see how much they can get done neatly and efficiently (it’s really good to stipulate that!) in that amount of time.

Somehow socks seem to mysteriously disappear in my house so I’ll designate a given evening to be “sock night” (I know, we’re just a wild bunch of madcaps!) The kids race around trying to locate as many socks as they can–in seat cushions, under furniture…The one who finds the most socks gets a special treat–usually an extra oreo for dessert.

8am–8:40am: Rise, shine, wash, brush, breakfast, make beds
8:40am–9:10am: Write letters to 3 people [Thanks bella]
9:10am–9:40am: Physical labor [suggestions needed as to chores; 9 and 5 is kinda young for safely mowing the lawn, etc., and the house is pretty clean right now because our 2x per month maid service was here this week–all socks currently accounted for lauramarlane, except those inarguably caught in the space/time anomoly in the dryer hose;)]
9:40am–9:50am: snack [snack, eat snack, eat a snack with Brown and Black]
9:50am–9:20am: Swan Lake/Sporting Quiz endeavor [gaah, do I know enough sports rules to provide a half hour list?]

2:00pm–2:15pm: water balloons

Can I come by when you make time flow backwards? I’ve always wanted to see that.

And lauramarlane, if I were one of your kids I’d have already cornered the clean sock market and I would never lose that game. Just wondered if you realized that you’re motivating them to lose/hide socks…

9:50am–9:20am: quantum physics; special guest: ShibbOleth

Well, ShibbOleth if I’d noticed this having to become a nightly event, I’d definitely take other measures. I specify they have to be dirty socks and there is to be no raiding of the hamper or their own feet in the process of the hunt :slight_smile:

You could make a collage on a poster board. The theme? Labor day! Cut out pictures of people working all different kinds of jobs, and glue in an artsy way to the poster board. You might talk to them about how some labor laws were created so as not to exploit young children…

Yes! I made the cut! :smiley:

As for chores they could do…hmmmm. Do you have any closests or junk drawers that need cleaning or organizing? Kids are great at running stuff hither and yon all over the house while you sit there separating stuff and giving marching orders. My mom was the Queen of marching orders.


Well, seein’ as how I’m the one plannin’ to exploit 'em, I’m not gonna be giving 'em any ideas;)…

I sing 16 Tons when they moan about having to do chores.

Got any random musical instruments knocking around?? You could try teaching them something basic. Recorders / Guitars / Piano etc. if you’re any good with them yourself.

And even if you’re not, recorders are hardly rocket science, (which, incidentally, might be a nice follow on from quantum physics). You could teach them about the planets or somesuch. A quiz!! Which planet has a day longer than its year?? Which planet rotates in the other direction from all the others?? Which planet has the highest surface temperature?? Which is the brightest planet in the night sky and sometimes known as the morning star / evening star?? Where did the Venera project head off to?? (All Venus, by the way. I like that planet. I did projects.)

Other than that I suggest you drive them to a random spot, give them a map, and tell them to navigate themselves to an ice cream shop / playground / home. (With your guidance of course).


Hi Zenpea. Welcome to the boards.

I would really like to teach my kids to read music, but I learned on a piano, which we do not have. It seems to me that learning to read music necessarily involves doing. I wonder if there is anything on the web…

We have added a donut shop to the schedule, and craft time will include building something out of mini-sugar cubes. We’ll probably go with a pyramid (such a cliche!), but if I could think of another Famous Building relatively easy to construct, I’d adjust–I think the effect will be more white marble (sugar and Elmer’s–enough splendor to blind ya)…

For anyone’s who’s interested, here’s a slight hijack:

I grew up 10 minutes from there, and still have very fond memories.