You and me time vouchers

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You and me time vouchers

Age

3 years and up

Duration of activity

This activity lasts all year round.

Materials/equipment

You can use either our ready made printable me you vouchers (we’ve also made blank vouchers so you can add activities which are important to you) or you can make your own from scratch using:

  • A book of large raffle tickets
  • Stickers
  • Old magazines or brochures
  • Glue
  • Coloured pencils

Cost

The raffle tickets will cost about $3. Or just use plain paper and staple a book of raffle tickets together. You can pick up stickers and coloured pencils at a $2 shop if you don’t already have them lying around.

Preparation

  • Write the name of the special time or activity that the child will be entitled to using that voucher.
  • Decorate the voucher with pictures or stickers which show the article, for example if you are making a horse riding voucher you could cut a picture from the brochure of a horse riding centre or stick on a sticker of a horse.
  • Staple the strips together to make a book.

What to do

  • Give your child the voucher book as a present, for example on their birthday or at Christmas.
  • Show your child the vouchers and explain that each one can be exchanged for the activity that’s written on it.
  • Tell your child that they can chose when they want to use the vouchers and agree on a system for organising the activities. For example, your child may be able to spontaneously exchange the vouchers for extra bedtime stories or time at the park, but you may need to agree that they give some warning if they want to go camping for the night.
  • Optional: When your child exchanges the voucher, record the date on which you did the special thing and take a photo of it and jot down funny things that may have happened or particularly interesting or exciting things you saw. Then stick the photos with the vouchers in a scrap book and as a record of all the special times you have had together.

Tips

  • Get your child to exchange one of their vouchers straight away, so they understand how the voucher system works. For example, you could say I’m going to go do the dishes now, or if you like you could cash in one of your vouchers first? You could demonstrate using one of the vouchers that there are multiple copies of, for example random cuddles or a trip to the park.

Ideas for vouchers

Special outing vouchers

  • Take a trip to the local museum
  • Go to the swimming pool
  • A day at the beach
  • Horse riding
  • Camping overnight at a national park
  • Taking a ride on the ferry/train/visiting the airport
  • Spending the morning reading in the library
  • Include some blank day out vouchers so that they can fill them in with activities that are announced throughout the year, for fairs and fetes organised by the council or local schools.
  • Aquarium
  • Wildlife sanctuary or zoo
  • Neighbourhood treasure hunt- spend time walking around your neighbourhood looking for treasures like special leaves or stones or beautiful secret places you could return to.

Fun activity vouchers

  • Spend an extra 30 minutes at the park
  • Have a sleep over party
  • Make a new toy
  • Play a favourite game
  • Bubble bath
  • Get a movie out to watch together

Fun day vouchersLittle girl jumping

Theme days can be lots of fun. All you really need to do is think of a theme (one that starts with the same letter as the day of the week works well, but it really doesn’t matter). For example you could make vouchers for:

  • Silly hat Sunday
  • Strawberry Saturday- make strawberry icey poles and other strawberry treats.
  • Funny fan Friday
  • Character Thursday- spend a Thursday role playing various characters – e.g. playing doctor or shop or acting out scenarios with their favourite toys.
  • Water play Wednesday- spend the day playing games with water
  • Trick or treat Tuesday
  • Movie star Monday- if you have a camera or mobile phone that takes videos, spend a Monday making movies of your child and yourself. You could dress up like movie stars or make a movie about your day to day life.

Food vouchers

Kids love helping you cook and eating the rewards of their efforts, sovouchers forfoods that you can cook together, and eat or give to loved ones make great vouchers. For example:

Vouchers for keeping in touch with loved ones

Kids love seeing relatives and friends and they’re bound to get excited about having vouchers they can exchange for a visit to grandma or catching up with friends. For example you could include vouchers for:

  • Visit to grandparents’ house
  • A playdate with cousins
  • Invite a friend to play
  • Write and post a letter to a loved one who lives far away

Special you and me time vouchers

  • An hour of just me and you (particularly valuable for larger families)
  • Two extra bedtime stories
  • Random cuddles

Educational outcomes

Language and literacy skills

You can help your child develop their language and literacy skills by talking to them about the vouchers and helping them read out the activities. Because the vouchers contain words and pictures, reading them will help your child develop a sense of the way words and pictures go together and are different ways of representing the same thing. Talk to them using simple sentences and help them learn new words by using them and giving your child an opportunity to pronounce them. Your child’s pronunciation will improve and they will use increasingly complex sentences and grammar as they develop their language and literacy skills.

Communication and social skills

As well as learning the words needed to communicate different concepts, this activity will help your child master the art of communicating using spoken and written words as well as pictures, gestures and facial expressions. As you talk to them about the vouchers and the activities they have used, ask questions and listen to their responses to help them understand the conventions of having a conversation, for example that they need to take turns, listen when someone else is speaking and answer when they are asked a question. Encourage them to use words that express their emotions, for example describe their feelings of excitement about an upcoming me and you time activity or how they felt when doing one of the activities and you’ll be helping them develop their ability to express their emotions.

Mathematical skills

Using the me and you time vouchers and recording the date and/or time on which they did the activities will help your child learn about time and how it is measured. Looking back over the activities can help your child understand sequence, for example how some things come before others. They can also learn about concepts like past, present and future when talking about the vouchers they have already used and those they are looking forward to using. You could also count the vouchers (e.g. how many have been used and how many are remaining in the book) to help your child learn to count or talk about the size or colour of the pictures.

Fine motor skills

Turning the pages of a book is a fiddly task for a child which requires the small muscles in their fingers. It’s a great way to develop the fine motor skills which will help them perform all sorts of fiddly tasks throughout their lives. Writing in the dates and details of when the you and me time vouchers were used will also help develop your child’s fine motor skills.

Understanding the world around them

Me and you vouchers will increase your child’s knowledge of the world around them. They might demonstrate their knowledge by recounting the activities they have done using the vouchers, discussing the order or sequence in which they used them or asking questions about the activities or the things they saw whilst doing them (e.g. animals at the zoo). They’ll also be learning about the people around them, for example members of the family, the interdependence between adults and children and the differences and similarities between men and women and people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds.

Download

VOUCHERS-v4-Aug2015-thumbnail-100x100Download printable you and me vouchers
Blank-Printable-vouchers-thumbnail-100x100Download blank printable you and me vouchers
vouchers_pictures_only-thumbnail-100x100Download printable you and me vouchers with pictures only

 

References

  1. Virginia Early Childhood Development Alignment Program. Milestones of child development- A guide to young children’s learning and development from birth to kindergarten. 2009. (cited 26 July 2013). Available from: (URL Link)
Date Created: November 18, 2013 Date Modified: March 24, 2016

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