Developed by:Jumping Pages
A fanciful story about a house that organizes a strike against its owners’ non-existent housekeeping, we love this app for its unusual approach to a common theme (do your chores!), fabulous narration and rhymes, and interactive elements such as a staircase turning into a slide and an angry dishwasher throwing dishes!
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities.
- Storytime.Read about stories about different types of houses and homes! Check out titles such as A House is a House for Me, Houses and Homes, Home, The House that Jack Built, and If I Built A House.
- Imagine.Tell your child to imagine they could live in any type of home they wanted. What would it look like? What would it be made out of? What would be inside? Have them draw a picture of this house!
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
- Motivations.Chances are the family who lives in House was not trying to be mean or neglectful toward House in the beginning of the story. Ask your child to think of reasons why the family might have let House get so dirty. Would it not be nicer to live in a clean, organized house? So what happened? Hopefully this activity will help your child make the connection between the app and real life. Perhaps cleaning and organizing are not always fun chores, and people do not mean to be disrespectful of the space in which they live or the people with whom they live, but doing a little bit of extra work makes a living space more enjoyable for everyone!
- What Do We Want? Definitions! When Do We Want Them? Now!Ask your child, based on what the story app, how would they explain a strike to someone. What purpose does it serve? What did the house and appliances do in order to strike? Why did they do it? Why might a strike occur in real life? Help your child research some examples of strikes from history or present day. What are some reasons workers go on strike? How can a strike be helpful to workers? (More pay, better hours, fairer or healthier work environment, etc.) How can it be harmful? (Go without pay during the strike, examples of workers losing their jobs completely, strike fails, sometimes dangerous, etc.) Look at books such as Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 for a child-friendly approach to historic strikes, and see how children and young adults sometimes became involved, too.
- House of Representatives.The narrator of the story app, Pat Schroeder, is a former congresswoman and member of the House of Representatives. Guide your child in learning more about Pat Schroeder’s job and legacy. Did you know Pat Schroeder learned how to fly a plane when she was 15 years old? She served Congress for 24 years! Books such as The U.S. House of Representatives and House Mouse, Senate Mouse form a great starting point for learning about the House of Representatives and Congress.
Extend the app experience with these real life activity.
- Get Crafty… And Clean. Make A Chore Wheel!This can be as simple as a couple of paper plates with a brass fastener stuck through the middle and magic marker used to write out each chore, like this. It can also be more elaborate with more layers of chores, like this blogger’s example. Personally, I like to build in a “free day” or “free week” depending on how your family decides to make its chart. Together with your child, discuss what chores should be included, what seems reasonable to ask and complete. Have them help you create and decorate the chore wheel. Stickers, markers, crayons, and/or scrapbooking paper are all ways to spruce it up a bit! Including your child in the creation process will help them take ownership of their responsibilities down the road, too.
- Home Is Where The Heart Is.Help your child learn about all different types of houses and dwellings. Begin by taking a trip around your city, town, or region by foot, bicycle, car, bus, whatever your preferred mode of transportation may be. How many different types of homes can you find? Are there apartments? Townhouses? Farmhouses? Condominiums? Trailer homes? Cabins? Cooperative housing? Mansions? Houseboats? Ask your child to describe what they see, and encourage them to ask questions about their observations, too. Follow up this activity by reading some books such as Houses and Homes, If You Lived Here, or Wonderful Houses Around the World, which can help teach your child about housing in other countries and cultures.
- Build A House.My favorite crafts as a child involved Popsicle sticks and pebbles, which just happen to make great housing materials. Other great materials to use with this craft are: construction paper, cotton balls, buttons, shells, twigs, etc. There are many variations to making a Popsicle stick house:
- Show your child how to lay the initial Popsicle sticks side by side with a bit of glue between each one to create a floor. Then layer the Popsicle sticks on top of one other to build up the sides. Only build three sides so there is a little play space, too! To make it easier for little ones, make a flat roof, too, like a box. Shingle or decorate by gluing on pebbles and stones!
- Another version of would be to simply glue popsicle sticks (flat-side down) to a piece of cardstock, and then gluing on a construction paper door, window, roof, etc. Use other materials such as cotton balls, pebbles, or paint and markers to add more details.
- A final idea is to use an empty juice box as a frame for your child’s house. They can cut or break the Popsicle sticks to fit if necessary then glue them to the juice box, adding decorations as desired. Have fun!