Activity Ideas for Matches

Running out of ideas? Here is where you can find ideas of things to do together with your mentor or mentee.

Integrate Community Service and Acts of Kindness

Last night LAMP had a mentor meeting/training where mentors were encouraged to share how their matches are going.  Each mentor was asked to share one struggle and one reward they find in mentoring.  All of the mentors beamed with excitement as they talked about the rewards they find in spending time with their mentee! Every mentor who spoke, noted how polite their mentee is(fantastic!)!  Many noted their struggles were with thinking of things to do, or how to encourage their mentee to spend less time  with technology.  The group brainstormed ideas of how to integrate community service projects or simple acts of kindness into their time with their mentee.  Here are some of the highlights we discussed:

  • Use Pinterest to find new things to do.  You can view LAMP’s postings that are designed for mentors by clicking here! (You can find school tips, craft projects, recipes, how to make invisible ink, texting abbreviations, and TONS more!)
  • Volunteer together (bell ringing, nursing home, churches, etc).
  • 15 potentially Free gift ideas you can make together or for each other. Examples: make cookies, burn a cd, create a recipe book, crochet or knit, or my favorite – Encouragement jar.  Fill a glass jar with multiple small slips of paper that include reasons why you love or appreciate that person.  When they are discouraged they can pull out a source of encouragement and remember they are loved.  You can also switch the theme to a jar of jokes, activities to do together, or conversation starters!
  • Random Acts of kindness: tape coins on a vending machine, hand out balloons to children shopping, take rolls of pennies and drop them all over a playground for kids to find!  Give small gifts or cards to the mailman, dentist, eye doctor, waiter, police officers etc.  Bring a bag of dog food to the animal shelter.
  • Give a small gift to someone who you struggle to get along with!  We have a match that does this each year-AWESOME!
  • Share a handful of M&M’s and use each color as a theme to discuss.  Yellow: share something about school, Green: ask a question to the other person about family, etc.
  • Cut open glow necklaces and pour into bubbles container and blow bubbles in the dark.  Better yet, blow glowing bubbles outside when it is cold and they freeze!  Use this recipe I found on Pinterest to make your own glowing liquid and place in a spray bottle for decorating a snowman!
  • Use tooth picks and mini marshmellows or dots to build with.

toothpicks and dots

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Inter-generational Jingo

LAMP was recently allotted funds from the Salvation Army to participate in inter-generational activities.  On October 18th, LAMP was able to spend some time at Ecumen playing bingo-I mean Jingo! I learned that Jingo is Bingo with a twist.  The group was asked a trivia question about Thanksgiving, and once the correct answer was determined, you could place your piece over the picture on the Jingo card.  Some of the questions were tough (I should have brushed up a bit on my Thanksgiving Day facts!), and some were more simple.  Either way, it was fun to see the residents interact with youth and mentors!  I saw kids helping residents find the picture answer on their card, and I saw residents helping the kids learn the answers (especially with traditional foods).  Thanks to a grant from the Salvation Army, LAMP was able to provide the prizes for our Jingo winners! 

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What is YCD and how is LAMP involved?

YCD stands for Youth Conservation Day.  YCD is August 25th! This is a fun event for kids to learn about conservation, eat lunch, and win prizes!!!  Parents please note that this a VERY safe and controlled environment for your child to learn about gun safety from trained adults!!   LAMP is planning to go as a group activity.  If you are part of LAMP and interested in attending please let us know and we can arrange for travel and fees to participate!  ALL participants must have a registration form completed by parents/guardians.  You can find the form at:  You can also find photos from last years event (LAMP is even in some pics!).  Parents also please notice the safety precautions in the photos (all safety equipment/trained adults provided!!).  If you have further questions please give us a call.

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Prairie Park Adventures

Congratulations to Cody’s team for finding the hidden treasure!  Thanks to his team, and the Pamida Foundation grant, we were all able to have ice cream treats after the scavenger hunt!


Did you miss this event?  You can still participate in the scavenger hunt portion of the event on your own!  Click here to print: Prairie Park Scavenger hunt 7-25-12

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Prairie Park

Prairie Park Activity

Wednesday, July 25th starting at 7pm at Prairie Park (Butler St.)!!

I encourage you to all attend, as this not our “typical” type of group activity-it’s more individualized than most!  This is a great activity for all ages, for matches who like to do things on their own, or who are looking for a quick 1hr event!  Mentors-if you are not able to attend please let your mentee know they can attend with a parent instead!  Any youth who are not yet matched are welcome (AS ALWAYS!) and are highly encouraged to bring a parent or another adult!!

During the event, I will send each mentor/mentee match or child/parent out on their own for a scavenger hunt on the nature trail (for 30mins).  We will then regroup and send you out again start the treasure hunt (hidden treats for everyone!).  After that is completed you are free to stay and enjoy the park, or head out!  If you plan to stay, there is plenty of room for playing catch, frisbee, etc, and a small playground.-feel free to bring along a ball/glove if you wish (I’ll plan to bring some items too).

The LAMP group has several newer matches, and unmatched youth, many of which are new to the program…this would be a great way for everyone to have a quick few minutes to meet each other!

Please RSVP to let me know if you are attending (and how many of you-so I have enough treats!).

I look forward to seeing you all on the 25th!


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Match Activity Ideas

Winter things to do:          Summer things to do:

– Go sliding, skating or skiing                         – Build a campfire, make S’mores

– Build a snowman or snow fort                       – Take a tour of historical sites

– Borrow movies from the library                   – Learn how to canoe

– Learn winter survival skills                         – See a parade & fireworks display

– Winter camping or winter cookout               – Attend local fairs or state fair

– Play cards. Learn a new game each month      – Picnic. Both bring something

– Learn to play cribbage                               – Spend a day at the lake

– Take a life saving course                             – Play catch or Frisbee

– Work out at the YMCA                               – Try mini-golf or go-carts

– Study the stars, chart a course                   – Go camping

– Check out the Nature Center                       – Check out the Nature Center

– Take a Community Ed course together – Try water skiing or tubing

– Try woodworking or stamping                      – Become a rock hound

– Repair a broken toy or bike                        – Attend each other’s church service

– Take a craft/art class                                – Wash the car together

– Attend a school band concert                      – Go to Paul Bunyan Center

– Tour a local factory, police station,             – Play badminton, croquet or

The Dispatch, fire station or jail                   shoot baskets

– Read together, share the stories                  – Try horseshoes

– Ice fishing                                                 – Go fishing, then cook your catch

– Learn to play pool                                                – Plant a garden

– Take in a high school sporting event             – Volunteer at Camp Confidence

Spring things to do:                  Fall things to do:

– Plant a vegetable or flower garden                        – Play touch football

– Color Easter eggs                                                 – Get ready to go back to school

– Learn a new sport like tennis or golf                     – Rake leaves – press a few

– Go bird watching, find & name the species              – Make Halloween costumes

– Go for a hike in the state forest                           – See a spooky movie

– Have an indoor picnic or bar-b-que                       – Go for a drive – see the leaves

– Fly a kite                                                            – Have an end of season picnic

– Watch a baseball or soccer game                          – Bake cookies

– Go to a garage sale                                               – Carve a jack-o-lantern

– Build a bird house                                                 – Go on a hay ride

– Do spring cleaning together                                  – Clean & put away lawn furniture

– Visit an airport, watch the planes                          – Have a taffy pull

– Watch for school carnivals                                   – Go to school athletic events

– Go to a play at the high school or college               – Join KP activities

– Take your bikes to a different town & explore       – Check out local concert series

– Swim at Ramada Inn or a water park                      – Teach each other a new dance

– Borrow books/CD’s from the library                     – Make homemade fudge

– Go for a walk                                                       – Learn to use a compass

– Plan a summer outing                                             – Make Christmas gifts

– Clean out the garage                                             – Volunteer at a local site

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What would we do together?

People who are considering becoming a mentor often ask… “What would we do together?” My response: “simple stuff”. It doesn’t take a ton of creativity. Simply ask yourself: what things did you like to do as a child? What things do you like to do now? For example: Insects-some kids LOVE bugs! Take a minute to check out an ant hill. Examine how they all work together to build their home, capture food, and escape danger. We took it to the next step and created a bug catcher with a cup and a couple of straws. This provided us at least one hour worth of entertainment with just one ant hill! If you really wanted to make it an event you could search out different types of insects. You could learn more about each type you found at the library and make a chart of all of the types you found, and list what you learned about each one. You could play catch, cook, or catch insects. Really, kids just want one thing. They want to spend time with someone who cares about them and everything else they learn in the process is a bonus!

Bug catcher instructions:

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