Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fun projects for kids

You'd be surprised how easy it is to keep kids occupied on a rainy day. Here are some ideas that have worked for me for keeping my kids happy on those "We're boooooored" days. (My big kids are 9 and 5)

1. A bag of mini marshmallows and a box of toothpicks. Put them on the table and let the kids go wild. It's a mini construction set and the possibilities are ENDLESS! (You can see one of their marshmallow creations in the background here)

2. Make Oobleck put 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch in a bowl and stir to combine. Add food coloring. The harder you stir, the more difficult stirring becomes. (slowly add more cornstarch if the mixture is too thin.) Stop stirring and quickly poke the oobleck with your finger. Notice that it feels solid. Now slowly dip a finger in and it feels like a liquid! Take some Oobleck and roll it into a ball. Keep rolling or else it will melt! Have fun!

3. Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Divide it equally into 4-6 parts. Add food coloring to each one and mix each one until color is thoroughly mixed in. Now let the kids go wild, making their own cookie creations. Bake at 350* for 10-12 min.

4. Turn your livingroom into a movie theater! I like to hang dark colored sheets on the windows, and I cover the door, also. I position the couch about 5-10 ft directly in front of the TV, and put tray tables in front of the couch. I always have movie theater size boxes of candy hanging around for this reason. I pop a few open, share them equally among the kids, pop a big bag of popcorn and give them each their own, and give them soda (usually sparkling flavored water with some fruit juice in it, but sometimes I surprise them with actual soda). Get the DVD, turn on the surround sound, and turn off all the lights. It doesnt matter if they've seen the movie a hundred times, or it is a brand new one, I guarantee they will love watching it in their very own "theater"!

5. Have a picnic! Put a large blanket on the floor in the livingroom, in the kitchen, under the diningroom table, and bring a packed lunch/dinner/breakfast and enjoy it on the blanket. Sitting on a blanket in the middle of the floor will definitely not only bring you physically closer, but emotionally, too! This always opens the lines of communication for my family.

6. Set up an indoor target. We have a long hallway where this works perfectly, but an empty wall works fine, too, even if its in cramped quarters. If you are brave enough, use pencil (test your wall to see if it will wash away with water or a magic eraser first.....We have kid friendly paint on our walls, and a gentle swipe with a baby wipe does the trick to remove the marks.... to make small dots on the wall. Write a number next to each one. Then pull out those Nerf Guns, or Suction cup darts that are up on a high shelf because the kids drove you crazy one day and you took them away (come on Moms, you know that's where they are...lol) and let the kids go nuts! Keep score with the points, or just play for fun. Either way, you'll earn some "cool" points with your kids for letting them do that indoors!

7. Play Beauty parlor. Let them pamper you!! Get out a tupperware/rubbermaid bin big enough to put both of your feet in. Place 3-4 towels in a large area in front of your favorite chair. Add enough warm water in the bin to go up to your ankles. Add a gentle soap, some essential oil, and hand each of the kids a foot scrubber/pumice stone, foot brush. When they adequately scrub and rub your feet, let them dry them off and polish your toes. Grab your favorite book before hand and you just may get a few pages of reading in! My kids love this. EXTRA BONUS if you let them play with your hair, and an even BIGGER bonus if you are brave enough to let them put makeup on you. Take lots of pictures and post them here if you dare!!! ;-)

8. Let them play in the rain! A little rain wont hurt. As long as its not thundering and lightning (or heavily downpouring), I let my kids play in the rain. Their favorites are riding their bikes in the rain, pretending its a carwash, or using their sidewalk chalk to make neon drawings in the driveway or on the front porch. This is the big kids using their blankets as Superhero capes during a rain storm.

9. Have a tea party. Make a kid friendly tea, my daughter likes sugar and spice, or any type that ends in "zinger". Make finger sandwiches. Our faves are cucumbers and cream cheese (add some dill to the cream cheese before spreading) or ham and cheese. We use regular bread and cut each sandwich in quarters. Put milk, sugar and the fanciest tea cups you are brave enough to let them use, on the table. Wear your fanciest dress or outfit. Refer to each other as Ma'am or Sir, and don't forget to lift those pinkies when you take a sip!

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