Parent-Child Club – Part B


These activities are also available in Romanian ro_ro

Download “Parent-Child Club – Part B” in pdf format

B2: Soft and Hard Touch

Activities: (choose one or more)

1. Set out a container with dry sand (soft) and a container with wet sand (hard). Everyone may feel this, but with their eyes closed. Guide the person’s hand to a container. They say whether it is hard or soft. (May use other materials such as fresh peas [soft] and dried peas [hard]; soft bread and dried/ toasted bread; dried noodles and cooked noodles . . . .)

2. Clean cloth is soft; dirty is hard. Show an example—a shirt or a cloth. The clean one is soft. The one with dried spills or mud on it is hard.
Group discussion:

  • what makes your clothes dirty (will differ in different cultures)
  • what about dirty clothes? How do you feel/think about them?
  • when you use a cloth to clean, the floor/furniture/car/dishes gets clean, but the cloth gets dirty. Talk about this. How come the cloth gets dirty? What makes it dirty? Explain about bacteria (“germs”). Ask how the cloth or how clothes can become clean again.

3. Act out someone who washes clothes, from the beginning through to drying the clothes. Use only gestures, no words. Be sure to wash the way it is done by the people in the club. Perhaps arrange ahead of time to have a parent do this part. Be sure to exaggerate. For example, if soap bubbles or lather are part of the washing process, exaggerate how soft this would be. The group guesses what is going on and what the soft stuff is.
May also act out washing dishes or some other cleaning task.

4. Hitting is hard; stroking or petting is soft. Demonstrate on a hard surface like a table. Discuss this in the group. Do you have a pet or work animal (horse, for example)? What is the best way to touch the animal—soft or hard? Why?
Does your mother or father ever touch you softly on the head/cheek/shoulder? When do you like that? When do you want someone to do that?

  • when you go to sleep
  • when you’re sad
  • when you cry because something hurts
  • when you are going away
  • when you come back.

5. When children fight, they do not touch each other softly. They hit each other very hard. Discuss this. Have you ever seen children fighting? Is it good to hit other people? What other options are there?

Bible story/song/prayer or story-reading

Handwork (choose one or more)

6. Make something soft, such as a pompom from yarn or a bit of cloth on a stick or a fake feather. It is nice to touch.

7. Make a box (hard). You can collect soft things from nature in the box like dandelion heads that have gone to seed.

8. Make little drawings about doing the wash. Make these line drawings ahead of time and let the group color them OR have the group draw the steps to doing the wash. Each step should be a separate drawing. (Depending on local circumstances, this might be: get bucket, put water in, add soap; scrub clothes, rinse clothes, wring out clothes, hang up clothes to dry; fold clothes, put clothes away.) Mix up the drawings. Have the group put them in the proper order.
9. Make a “feeling sack” with soft and hard things in it. Anyone who wants to feel the things in it (and guess what they are) must first wash their hands. Wash your hands as an example.
10. Everyone pets or strokes softly over their own hand before going outside.


B3. Soft/Loud Sounds

Introduction (choose one or more activities)

1. Ask who knows how you can make a loud sound? And how to make a soft sound? Take turns making loud and soft sounds.

2. Play “telephone.” Sit or stand in a circle. Whisper a word in one person’s ear. They whisper it in the next person’s, on around the circle. Is the last person’s word the same as the first person’s?

3. Sing a couple of songs. After that, the leader claps out one of the songs without words. Clap so that syllables that are accented get a loud clap; other syllables get a soft clap. Who can tell which song it is?

4. Someone sits in the middle with their eyes closed. The leader points to someone else. This person goes as quietly as possible to stand behind the person in the middle. Continue doing this with several people. After a time, the person in the middle guesses how many have gone to stand behind them. Did they hear correctly?

5. Everyone spreads out in the classroom and closes their eyes. The leader sings a song while walking through the group. When the leader stops singing, everyone (with eyes still closed) points to where he/she is. Then everyone opens their eyes to see if they heard and pointed correctly. Take turns being the singer.

6. Group discussion: A sudden loud noise can be startling. It can make you jump. Who has had that happen? Have them describe the situation.

Bible story/song/prayer or story-reading

Handwork (choose one or more)

7. Give everyone (or every parent-child pair) 12 little pieces of paper. Everyone draws 6 things that make a soft sound and 6 things that make lots of noise. This will differ depending on the situation.

8. Exchange papers with your neighbor. The neighbor sorts out soft and loud noises. Does the neighbor put things in the same piles as you would?

9. Someone covered with a cloth or blanket makes a loud or soft sound. The rest of the group guesses what it is.

10. Choose a dance that fits the group. Many dances include clapping, stomping, or making some extra noise. Learn the dance with the group.

11. Think up a lot of things or animals that make a noise. Name one. Whoever makes the sound that goes with it, gets to be “it” and name another one. (If many get the right answer, choose one person.)

Closing: Choose a soft sound. Everyone makes this sound as they leave.


B4: Rough/Smooth

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Put something smooth and something rough in a box or bag. Let people feel these things without looking at them. Ask what the difference is in what they feel—one is _____ and the other is ______.

2. Group discussion: name something that is smooth and something that is rough. (Note: this will differ per culture and language.) Maybe take turns calling out something that feels smooth and something that feels rough.

3. Talk about a little baby that the whole group knows. Discuss how soft the baby’s cheeks are. Then name someone who doesn’t shave very often. Their chin and cheeks feel rough.

4. Gather 10 pieces of cloth that are about the same size but have different textures: from very soft to very rough. Have the group put them in order, from softest to roughest. If the group is very large, divide into several groups, each with their own set of pieces of cloth.

Story time or Bible story/singing/prayer

5. Everyone draws an activity that makes hands or faces rough. This will differ depending on the people’s circumstances (doing laundry; working in the fields; selling things in the outdoor market; hand work . . .).

6. Treasure hunt. Divide the group into smaller groups of three, four, or five. Each group searches in the classroom for at least three things that feel smooth and three things that feel rough. Then each group shares what they found with the larger group. (Note: you might hide things around the classroom ahead of time. Or the groups might find things that they cannot pick up—the wall might be rough, for instance.)

8. Make sand paper with sand and glue. Use stiff paper; spread glue over it; spread sand over the glue; let dry. Have everyone sand a little piece of wood. The sand paper is rough, and the wood becomes smooth.

9. Use the sanded pieces of wood to make a little table, birdhouse, or some other thing that fits the local culture and situation.

10. Walking barefoot makes the soles of your feet tough. If it is culturally appropriate, have everyone look at the soles of their feet. Discuss: how many toes do you have? On one foot five and on the other foot five. Which toes are similar? Do these toes have specific names (example in English: big toe, little toe, middle toe). How do you take care of your feet? Talk about trimming toe nails and washing the feet. Discuss what happens when you walk through something dirty.

Closing: Have the group sort themselves out in the following order: littlest feet first; biggest feet last. Leave, single file, in this order.


B5: Thick/Thin; The Thickest

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Paper People—Thick (Fat) and Thin. Ahead of time, cut out two paper people—one thin and one quite a bit wider.
Also needed: Bright light. Paper and scissors for every parent-child unit.
Shine a bright light on the board or a sheet of paper. Hold the thin paper person in front of the light, then the thicker, wider person. Talk about the differences between “thin” and “thick.” If fat children or skinny children are teased, discuss the difference between friendly teasing and bullying. Bullying is not a good thing to do. It makes the one bullied feel bad.
Have everyone cut out their own two paper people—one thick and one thin.
What this teaches:

  • Having fun together reduces stress.
  • If the children’s fine motor skills are developed enough, they can create and cut out their own paper people. Using scissors is preparation for writing.
  • Vocabulary: thick and thin.
  • Working together is part of social development.
  • Social development: discussion of teasing and bullying.

2. Fat Food. Lay out five different kinds of food (or pictures of those foods) that are familiar to the group. Discuss how just eating one type of food is not healthy. If you eat too much of this or that, you will get too fat/thick (pasta, sweets, fat things). If hunger is an issue in the community, be sure to have people eat the foods you lay out.
Talk about what makes a balanced diet. Use a nutrition guide such as ‘de schijf van 5’, MyPlate, the food pyramid, etc.

  • Talking about concepts such as portions is preparation for math.
  • Vocabulary: foods and food groups.
  • Learning about how to stay healthy.

3. Put a bunch of sticks of varying thickness in a box. Let everyone pick a thick one and a thin one. Some people might need to trade sticks before everyone has a thick one and a thin one. Trace the sticks on a piece of paper. Turn this into a drawing.

4. The seed of a legume first gets fatter when you add water, then it starts to sprout. Everyone gets a pot with soil and a seed. Put the seed in the pot and add water. Put the owner’s name on the pot. Let everyone take their pot with seed home or let the plants grow in the common area first.
Talk about growing vegetables.
What this teaches:

  • Vocabulary
  • Order of events prepares for math.
  • Talking about what you can do to improve your own life.
  • Explain why it is important to eat vegetables.

5. Let everyone feel an empty wallet: it is thin. What can you do to make the wallet thick?
Group discussion: How do you make money? By earning it. Doing what? That differs according to the situation.
Introduce the idea of savings.
What this teaches:

  • Vocabulary
  • Possible social development: stealing, begging, earning, getting.
  • Savings prepares for math.
  • Talking about what you can do to improve your own life.

Story time or Bible story/singing/prayer
(Isaiah 55:10 clouds grow thick and then it rains, seed gets damp and gets thick. In Noah’s ark they had fat elephants and thin antelopes.)

6. Make a wood fire. You start with kindling, thin twigs that catch fire easily. The thicker branches catch fire later, but they can keep burning for a long time.
What this teaches:

  • Vocabulary.
  • Order of events prepares for math.
  • Personal safety: Be careful around fire, it’s hot. You could burn yourself on it.
  • Health: What should you do if someone does burn themselves?

7. Give everyone a piece of paper with a picture of a wallet. Have them draw the coins that need to go in it to make it thick. You could also have them draw the coins on colored paper and cut them out. Also have everyone draw what they think is worth saving up for.

  • Drawing prepares for writing.
  • Everyone gets to decide for themselves what they find important.
  • Saving up money prepares for math.

8. Have everyone draw three animals: one skinny, one a bit chubbier, and one fatter than the other two.

  • Drawing prepares for writing.
  • Using your imagination: what do you like to draw?
  • Vocabulary.
  • Fat, middle, and thin prepares for math.

9. Have the people wrap string around a stick to make it thicker, then fold cloth around it to make a doll.

  • Wrapping string around a stick develops fine motor skills and so prepares for writing.
  • Making a doll means using your imagination.
  • Talking about how to make your own toys from what’s available develops thinking about what you can do.

10. Have everyone draw a head and attach the drawing to a small stick. Discuss the different things people have put on the heads (hat, headscarf, beard, moustache, ponytail, etc.)

  • Understanding of what is normal in your own culture.
  • Vocabulary.
  • Drawing prepares for writing.

Who can make a fat belly with their hands? If you wish, hold the drawn head on a stick (activitiy #10) to finish the figure. Leave the club with the fat figure.


B6: Light/Heavy

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Act out. One person acts like they are lifting something very, very heavy. Another person acts like they are picking up something very, very light. They pantomime this (do not use any words)

2. Group Discussion. What are some things that are very light? What are some things that are very heavy? Talk about things which are found in the community. Name them in the local language and increase the children’s vocabulary.

3. Work together: how many people are needed to pick up this heavy table (or some other heavy thing in the classroom—if necessary, use a grown-up person!)? First have the group estimate or guess. Then try it with that same number of volunteers.
4. Scale. Everyone weighs themselves and gets a paper with their name and weight written on it. The leader might also ask who is lighter and who is heavier, grown-ups or children?

5. Lay a little piece of paper and a heavy block of wood (or stone) on the table. Everyone takes a turn choosing one or the other to pick up. If they choose the light thing, they have to name something which is also light. If they choose to pick up the heavy thing, then they need to pay attention to the muscles they use. Tell a bit about muscles.

Story time or Bible story/singing/prayer

6. Suppose you need to move something that is too heavy for one person. How might you do that? (For example, a big truck that won’t start—push it with a couple of people? Pull it with a horse?) Everyone draws possible solutions.

7. Birds are covered in feathers. Are the feathers heavy or light? Why? Show the group a feather. Give everyone a piece of paper with the shaft of a feather already drawn on it. Have everyone finish drawing and coloring the feather.

8. Do a craft to make birds. Perhaps use templates to trace birds or to decorate something (a pot? A box? A card?) with birds.

9.  Have everyone in the group draw heavy and light things on little pieces of paper. Mix up the papers. Everyone exchanges papers with the person sitting next to them and sorts their neighbor’s drawings into light and heavy things.

10. Together, make a quartet card game of light and heavy things. (Example: one set of four is a house with a window, a roof, a door, and a wall; another set of four might be a bird with a wing, a tail, a beak, and an eye or a truck with a steering wheel, a cab, a wheel, and space for freight.)

Everyone walks outside pretending to hold something very, very heavy. Look like this is hard to do, walk like it is hard to do, set the pretend heavy thing down outside and take deep breaths (or groan or . . .).


B7: Short/Long

Activities (choose one or more)

1. Sing a short song. Sing a longer song.
Discuss the difference; the short song has less words. If you walk here from home and you sing the same song all the way, which song would you sing more often?
Have one person sing the short song and another sing the long song. Who is done faster?

2. Have everyone stand in a row and stretch out their arms. Who has the longest arms? Now have everyone change places so they’re lined up according to the length of their arms, with the person with the longest arms on one side and the person with the shortest arms on the other. If the group can sort themselves, let them, but if this is too complicated for the group take charge or appoint a suitable leader.

3. Have each child stand in front of their mother. Who is tallest? Is your mother? Where do you come up to—your mother’s knee? Her elbow? Her waist? Let everyone pick another person to compare themselves with.

Story time or Bible story/singing/prayer

4. Give everyone 8 pieces of string of varying lengths. Measure them as you cut them, so each piece is a whole number of centimeters or inches. Have everyone do the following exercises:
a – Which string is shortest?
– Which string is longest?
b – Find two short strings which when put together are the same length as one of the long strings.
c – Lay all the pieces of string end to end.
d – Put the strings in order from short to long.
e – Lay strings end to end so they form multiple ‘lines’ of equal length.

5. Have the children use all of their strings to make a picture of a house. Glue the picture to a piece of paper.

6. Give everyone a piece of straw and a pair of scissors. Have them cut their own straw into longer and shorter pieces. Next have everyone team up with the person sitting next to them. Have them mix their straw pieces together, then sort the straws in order of length.

7. Have everyone trace on of their hands on a piece of paper. The leader adds the names of the fingers. Be sure to use the right script. This can be done in the mother language, the national language or both. Have everyone measure their fingers with a piece of string. Which finger is shortest and which is longest?

8. To leave, line up from shortest to tallest.
OR Stand in two lines. One line sings the short song; the other sings the long song. Walk out singing.


B8: Small/Big; Smallest/biggest; Same size

Introduction/Activities (choose one or more)

1. Everyone gets a very small piece of candy (or something else good to eat).

2. Small steps/big steps. Have four children walk to the other side of the classroom. Two take very small steps. Two walk with the biggest steps possible. Which two took the most steps? Which two took the fewest steps?

3. Big/Small measured in height. One person stands in front of the board. They have spread their legs out as wide as possible. Mark how tall they are on the board. Then have this person stand normally, with their legs close together. Is this person now bigger? You can also have someone with a measuring tape measure precisely how big (tall) this person is when they stand with wide legs and when they stand normally.
Ask who knows how they can make themselves very small? And how they can make themselves very tall (stand on something; walk on stilts; have someone lift you up . . . )?

4. Strips of paper. Cut strips of paper different lengths. Give everyone one strip. Ask them to stand in the proper order, from small piece of paper to big. (Note: may also use sticks or pieces of straw or grass)

Bible Story/singing/ praying/or time to read outloud

5. Draw big and small circles. Everyone gets a piece of paper. They draw circles on it in different sizes. Talk about “big” and “small.” Then play a game where the children (with their mothers) follow directions:

  • -put your little finger on a little circle and your big thumb on a big circle;
  • -put two fingers that are about the same size on two circles that are about the same size;
  • -put the finger you haven’t used yet on a big circle and your thumb on a circle that is much smaller.

Tell the children that if their hands are not big enough to do this, they can use both hands: little finger of one hand on a small circle; thumb of the other hand on a big circle. They may also do this together with their mother.

Option: Have mothers take turns giving directions in whatever language they use at home.
Option: If fingers have different names (ring finger, index finger, middle finger . . .) use these names.

6. Draw big and small. Everyone gets a piece of paper and a pencil. The leader choses something that everyone can actually see to draw which are big and small. For example, a big tree; a big cow; a small calf. A big fence; a small bird. A big truck; a small car. A big cloud in the sky; a small cloud in the sky. A small airplane high in the sky; a big sun. A big apartment building; a small house/kiosk/busstop. Everyone draws for themselves. They decorate the top and bottom edges with a border design (preparation for writing). If crayons or colored pencils are available, give everyone time to color in their drawings.
Put all the drawings next to each other. Point out that everyone has done it differently, in their own way. Altogether it’s beautiful. Everyone is different and what they add/contribute makes the whole nicer/better/more beautiful.

7. Question: suppose you need to fix something or clean something at home, but you aren’t tall enough. How do you manage to reach it, anyway?

8. Talking to big and small. Pretend to talk to someone and have the group guess who this person is/who old (“big”) this person is and draw a picture of them. Choose from age groups used in the culture. Examples from English:

  • -baby
  • -toddler
  • -school child (6-12 years)
  • -teenager (before they marry)
  • -adult
  • -elder

Discuss the different ways you talk to people in different age groups.
Have the group discuss what they consider the ideal age.
If it’s appropriate, do this in the mother tongue. How you talk to people of different ages and how people of different ages live is culture-specific.

9. Three sizes. Set out three big things of clearly different sizes: big, middle, small. For example, three tables or three floor mats. When you say, “Big,” everyone goes to stand by the big one; when you say, “Small,” by the smallest one, and so forth. Later, divide the group in two (boys and girls; children and grown-ups; red shirts and blue shirts . . . ); each group has a different leader. The two leaders give directions. Take care to listen to your own leader—and not to run into each other.

10. Closing. Put a big thing and a small thing by the door (mat, chair, stuffed toy). Everyone may stand in a line behind the one they like the best. Count the people in each line. Tell which line is longer. The “small” line may go outside first, then the “big” line.