Hello dear readers! My wife and I just moved to our new house, and there’s no internet there yet, which is why no post this week until now. But! New house! Of the many exciting things about it: it’s about an 8-minute walk to Children’s Community School, where I’ll be teaching starting in a few weeks. Not only is that awesome for my quality-of-life, but I’m excited to have the kiddos on a field trip to my house. Picnic on the front porch! Story time in my living room! Meeting my dog! It’s gonna be awesome.
Anyway. It’s rainy here in Philadelphia today, so I thought a good rainy-day activity might come in handy. When you’re inside for long stretches of time, you need some activities that are physical and sensory, but also don’t take up too much space. You need to make a burrito.
Not an actual food burrito—though cooking projects, which are ALWAYS good for kids, are ESPECIALLY excellent on rainy days—but a full-body burrito!
Get yourself a blanket—ideally one that’s about the same width as the children’s height. A big beach towell might work. The blanket’s your tortilla. Have one child lie down on the blanket, on their back or front, with their head just out the side (“Who wants to be my burrito?”). Ask the other kids to help you make a burrito. “What goes in a burrito?” Rice? Use your fingers to pitter-patter all over the child’s body. Beans? Maybe gentle pokes all over. Guacamole? Everyone smear their hands all over the child. You get the idea—use your imagination. When everyone decides there’s enough stuff in the burrito, it’s time to roll it up! Everyone can cooperate to roll the child up in the blanket, nice and tight. If it’s a long blanket, you can roll the child over a few times, which is fun. Everyone can help “pat it nice and tight!” Finally, everyone can gobble it up!
You can do this with just one adult and one child, of course, but it works really great as a group activity. There’s a lot of teamwork and cooperation and listening. Even better, kids really get a sense of caring for each other physically—what are okay and fun ways to touch each other, how to keep each other’s bodies safe, etc.
For the child in the middle, it’s usually fun to get tickled and poked and such, though of course you’ll want to help the other children adjust their touches based on what you know of each child’s preferences, and how each child reacts as you go. Some children REALLY love being wrapped up tight—it’s a very comforting sensation for some. Children who are especially physically active may find the sensation calming. If there’s a child you want to help calm down, you can get the other children to cooperate. “Keep patting it tight! This one really needs to be patted. Gentle, though! Okay, let’s eat this one quietly. Little nibbles! Keep eating!”
And of course, if you happen to follow this game with making actual Mexican food for lunch? Well, you could have a whole morning of curriculum right here.