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FAB FIVE for TV Turn-Off Week

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 at 6:05 am in Crafts, Fab Five.

Family Fun This is TV Turn-Off Week, but wooing kids – and yourself – away from the TV can be challenging. So here’s a fab five round-up of alternative pastimes.

1. Make flower fairies. These Family Fun magazine creations play off one of our all-time favorite craft projects, the Beadle dolls from the Family Fun Craft book, by teaming up the basic body – a wooden bead for the head, pipe cleaners for limbs and torso, and embroidery floss for hair – with faux flowers and wings. Adorable. (If you’ve got non-fairy-loving kids, make mad scientists instead, using neon green embroidery floss for the hair and white felt for “lab coats.”)

2. How about a game of golf… on the driveway? Use sidewalk chalk to plan a course. Tape cups to the asphalt as “holes” and break out the plastic golf clubs, Swiffer or whatever impromptu clubs you’d like to use.

Beach Checkers (Crayola) 3. Make your own beach checkers set, using a plain bandana, fabric square or even a white beach towel. Mark off squares in an 8×8 pattern and color them in with fabric markers (or regular ol’ markers, if you’re not planning to wash this … ever), then make two sets of 12 checkers using modeling clay, salt dough or flat stones, and a little paint.

4. Hopscotch is a classic outdoor game, but why stop at the usual 9 or 10 squares when you can use a variation? Heck, the original Hopscotch courts were 100-ft. long. Break out the sidewalk chalk and invent your own version.

5. Build a skyscraper. Raid the recycling bin for cardboard boxes. Stack them, break out the markers and start “building.”

Click “comments” to add your own suggestions…

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No Responses to “FAB FIVE for TV Turn-Off Week”

  1. Mark Chipkin Says:

    Here is another TV Turn off Week activity
    My name is Mark Chipkin. I started an educationally oriented seed company that sells the TickleMe Plant (Mimosa pudica). A plant that moves its leaves and branches when it is tickled. We developed kits and activities to help children (and those young at heart) get excited about plants and indoor gardening. I provide individual support, growing tips and experiments for kids for free. Would you (or someone you know) consider sharing any of the information indicated below or from our web site with your readers. You have my permission to use any of our photos, graphics, videos, pricing and text from our web site or below in your writings. Please write or call if I can be of any help! We will answer ALL your reader’s questions as well!
    TickleMe Plants are now being featured by the National Gardening Association which have similar goals to ours! Below are directions for growing your own TickleMe Plant and other information I hope you will find useful!

    Mark Chipkin

    My Niece Rebecca and Her TickleMe Plant
    Some additional information on how to grow a TickleMe Plant:
    Ever Grow The Plant That MOVES When You Tickle It?
    Now you and your family can grow your own TickleMe Plants™! I have been growing TickleMe Plants™ with my sixth grade students and family for over 30 years. Imagine the amazement of your friends, family or students when your living TickleMe Plant™ closes its leaves and lowers its branches as you tickle it.

    • TickleMe Plant™ Seeds
    • Flower pot or cup with hole on the bottom
    • Soil
    1. The day before you plant your seeds, soak them in warm water overnight.
    2. Fill a flower pot or cup ¾ of the way with soil.
    3. Plant three to five seeds by covering them with 1/8 inch of soil.
    4. Water your seeds gently.
    5. Place your newly planted seeds in a room that receives bright light or sunlight for part of the day.
    6. Temperatures in the room should be above 70 degrees.
    7. Water before the soil dries out.
    8. That’s it! Your plants will begin to grow in less than a week.
    The first two leaves will not be ticklish. In about three weeks, the second set of TickleMe Plant™ leaves will appear and they will move when you tickle them. TickleMe Plants™ are best grown as house plants and can even be placed in a bright location outside during the warmer months. They are frost sensitive, so be sure to bring them inside before the cold weather arrives. The sensitive plant seeds of the TickleMe Plant grow to produce beautiful pink cotton puff ball flowers.
    TickleMe Plants™ can live for a year or more and grow to about one foot plus in height.

    What is a TickleMe Plant?
    Native to Brazil, TickleMe Plants can be found growing wild there and in other tropical areas. The scientific name for the TickleMe Plant™ is Mimosa pudica. It also has been called shy grass, sensitive plant and other names throughout the world.
    To learn about the natural history of the TickleMe Plant™ go to

    Don’t be surprised if you find yourself and your children developing a greater sensitivity to plants. When my students first tickle their plants, they often scream “It’s ALIVE!”
    Even students that are sometimes hard to motivate, can’t wait to take home their pet TickleMe Plant™ to show off to their friends and family. I grew my first TickleMe Plant™ when I was 9 years old and I never looked at plants in the same way again, nor have I ever forgotten the experience. Neither will you!
    To learn more about growing TickleMe Plants™ or to order seeds go to Seed packets start at $4.95, Growing Kits and TickleMe Plant Greenhouses with mini flower pots available.
    TickleMe Plants can be found online, in science catalogs, at science museums, botanical gardens and toy and gift stores.

    Mark Chipkin is a middle school Science Teacher and an Educational Project Director for the TickleMe Plant™ Company. He has sent hundreds of students home with their own Pet TickleMe Plants™.
    Thank You,
    Mark Chipkin
    Educational Project Advisor and Co-Owner
    TickleMe Plant Company
    Pawling, N.Y.

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