I think we can all agree that Katrina has turned lives upside-down and sideways. Amidst my feelings of sadness and horror, as a parent, I keep thinking of all of those kids displaced from their homes with little to do.
In addition to building and improv challenges, Ten Minute Tasks has several pages of simple verbal activities that are great for any age - parents or kids. No supplies are necessary. There are verbal challenges (there are no "right" or "wrong" answers!) such as these:
-- Name things that can be changed (your mind, clothes, direction)
-- Make a connection between a bear and coffee (mom is a bear in the morning until she has her coffee!)
-- The answer is one gallon. What is the question? (What do four quarts make?)
Of course, there are simple instructions to go along with each type of question in the e-book itself. These kinds of questions might be just the thing for a family to sit down with together, without taking too much focus away from the important business of making it through the trials of the day. They might be just the thing to coax a frightened child to talk. Or, they might not. I can't be in the shoes of those affected by Katrina, and what I think may be helpful may well be off the mark. But if you know someone who just might benefit from a diversion, I encourage you to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send Ten Minute Tasks (PDF) to you (or to another email address as specified). Take a look, and if you think some of the activities might be suitable, print it out and pass it around or forward the document to those that have internet access. Absolutely no charge.
If you are not a Katrina survivor but would like to order Ten Minute Tasks, know that **ALL proceeds from the sale of Ten Minute Tasks for the month of September will go directly to the Red Cross.
I only wish I could do more.