Tag Archives: easy activities

A Little Festive Fun

Want to have a little online holiday fun with your kiddos?  There are some really sweet sites that let you virtually decorate trees, make gingerbread houses, cut snowflakes and more.

Technology Rocks. Seriously has a fantastic roundup of gingerbread man fun storyboards, activities, interactive sites, printables and so on like these:

Then there’s the snow round-up of fantastic activities like these:

There’s the Christmas tree decorating roundup with fun links like these:

And oodles more! 

Be sure to check out the rest of the site for all sorts of great printables, educational games and other fun.

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Little Snow and Cold Fun When You Don’t Have Snow and Cold!

If you’re lucky enough not to live in one of the freezing cold places right now, you can still take part in lots of fun with snow and ice!

Here’s a list of ten ways to make the day magical, warmer style for warmer climates.  And here’s a little round-up of online snowy fun.  Help the kids make some snowmen, “cut” some snowflakes and more.  :)

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Marble Mice!

Here’s a fun little printable craft from The Toymaker — Marble Mice!  Just print out the pattern on cardstock, cut out, and add a large marble inside. 

The Toymaker says…

These Marble Mice are fun to make and roll around on your desk. Cats love them!

What fun!

 

 

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10 Ways to Play With Your Kids Today

10 Ways to Play With Your Kids Today

Photo by Victoria Bayer

Is summer slipping away as fast for you as it is for us?  Here’s a few easy ways to take advantage of the end of July with your kiddos this week…

  1. Grab some boats (or make some simple floating ones with bark or paper) and spread out a tarp, shower curtain or plastic tablecloth in the yard.  Drizzle water on it with the hose and sit right smack in the middle of it — getting cool, floating boats, making little island getaways, you name it.
  2. Have a photo shoot outside.  Be sure to let the kids take your picture too!
  3. Shoot some hoops — even if that means tossing balled up socks into a bowl on the coffee table because it’s 115 degrees outside.
  4. Go on a sprinkler walk.  Head to an area of town where people have their sprinklers going and sidewalks that go through them, and try to walk through as many sprinklers to cool down as possible.
  5. Make some real fruit slushies.  Toss frozen fruit like strawberries in the blender with some water and sugar to taste.  Blend like crazy and enjoy.  Make it extra fun by playing chef with a big variety of frozen fruit choices.
  6. Freeze lots of ice cube trays and muffin tins full of colored water and then put all your multi-colored ice treasures in a big bowl.  Head out to the kiddie pool and grab some buckets of water to melt and color mix like crazy.
  7. Take blocks of ice to the top of a grassy hill and go ice blockingHere’s more info on this activity that’s on our bucket list this year!
  8. Make mud pies.
  9. Play balloon volleyball.
  10. Go camping.  Can’t do that?  Camp in the back yard.  Can’t do that?  Camp in the living room.

And yes, I know it’s winter for some of you!  I think a lot of these are still options.  If not, please do something fabulous and then come back and tell us about it.  :)

 

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Colorful Baking Soda Busywork

Here’s a fun way to occupy the kids in a bubbly, colorful way.

Do some baking soda and vinegar experiments but add color!

You’ll need:

  • A box of baking soda per child (ours cost about .50 a box and we bought a bunch)
  • 1-2 cups of white vinegar (generally under a dollar)
  • Food coloring
  • One cake pan or similar container per child
  • Muffin tin (regular size if two kids will be sharing it the way ours did, or mini muffin size would be enough for one child — an ice cube tray would work too)
  • Eye droppers or pipettes (one per child)

Instructions:

  1. Fill the muffin tins half full with the vinegar, and tint each cup with a different color of food coloring.  We usually leave one clear so kids can mix a custom color.
  2. Pour one box of baking soda into a cake pan for each child.  Smooth out.
  3. Spread an old towel on the table (or do it outside) and put the cake pan(s), muffin tin and eye droppers on it.
  4. Show kids how to squeeze the eye droppers in the colored vinegar to fill them up, then have them drizzle and drop it on the baking soda to watch what happens.

This large amount of baking soda means that kids can happily do the activity for a good long time, making this a perfect activity for while you’re making lunch or taking a break. 

Kids can also experiment with things like pushing the eye dropper under the baking soda and then squeezing (tiny volcanoes!) and so on.

Science info:  Want to know why baking soda and vinegar bubble up?  Explain to the kids that carbon dioxide is released when acids (like vinegar) and bases (like baking soda) combine and react to each other.  If they want to do more colorful science to learn about acids and bases, consider the purple cabbage pH experiment (our family’s all time favorite science experiment).  You can also just bake something!  People make cakes and breads rise by either using yeast or relying on the same reaction with ingredients like baking soda and buttermilk. 

Have fun!

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Newspaper Acting!

Here’s a fun little activity my girls and I made up yesterday.  Newspaper acting!

I grabbed a copy of our local newspaper and a few junk mail flyers and challenged them to read lines in all different types of voices.  For instance, Victoria read a sentence about a basketball game as if it were an ad for a horror movie.  Anna read a sentence about a city council meeting as if it were heartbreaking news.  I read a sentence about a budget proposal with terrible rage.  :)

Want to play along?  Just grab some really boring or random reading materials like newspapers, ads and magazines.  Even homework pages would work!

Here’s some suggested voices and styles:

  • As if it’s the funniest thing you’ve ever read
  • Like an action movie preview
  • In the voice of an evil genius
  • With great rage
  • As if you’re heartbroken
  • With a strong, funny accent
  • As if it’s a children’s book for very young kids
  • As if you’re super excited
  • With terrible sorrow
  • As if it’s a line in a romance movie
  • Like you’re terribly scared

We had so much fun doing this!  We were all laughing like crazy and the girls have asked repeatedly to do some more. 

Happy Thursday!

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Quick Bath Fun

Here’s a simple way to make baths a little more fun (and colorful!).

Freeze some colored water in muffin tins or other medium sized containers, and then add a few to the kids’ baths when you want to make things a little more interesting.

They melt pretty fast but it sure is fun while they do!

 

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Snow Day!

We got a wee bit of snow around these parts recently.

I used the opportunity to have a bit of snow fun at the dining room table.

I had my faithful assistant, Victoria, go get bowls full of fresh snow and fill an under-the-bed storage container with it.

Then I put it on the table with an assortment of little cars and a bulldozer for Alex to do a version of Lonni’s shaving cream snow plow idea from the silly assignment day.


He plowed for a while but his hands got too cold, so we moved on.

First I packed down the snow and gave him a big paintbrush, a jar of water (right in the tub, so spills wouldn’t matter) and some watercolor paints.  He painted the snow for a bit, but it was a bit tricky.  So we moved on.

I put out a muffin tin of water and added primary colors to three of them, and then we made all different colors in the cups.  I gave Jack, Victoria and Alex all pipettes (like tiny medicine droppers, I get them in bulk from a science surplus store for science and art fun!) and they squeezed colors to their hearts’ contents.


It was a colorful, artistic, crazy bunch of fun.


Even I got into the act!


I  highly recommend it next time you have a bit of the white stuff to deal with.  If you don’t have any snow, try mixing up anything white in a similar container and dropping colored water on it.  Dry rice, pale sand, shaving cream… Lots of things would be fun to experiment with!

In my book, any activity that involves pipettes and colored water is a good idea.  :)


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Colored Salt Paintings!

Here’s a simple, fun and nearly free craft that’s really fun for kiddos of all ages.

Colored Salt Paintings!

You need:

  • Sturdy cardboard (cut up cereal boxes and cardboard boxes are ideal)
  • Salt
  • Small bowls
  • Food coloring
  • Glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pen or pencil (optional)
  • Small spoons or scoops (baby spoons or souvenir spoons work well)

Directions:

  1. In the small bowls, pour several spoonfuls of salt and add a few drops of food coloring to each.  Stir well and add more to get desired color.  We used paste food coloring, which is very intense and requires very little.  If your salt ends up too wet from the coloring, you can microwave it very briefly or put it in a hot oven for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, give the kids each a piece of cardboard (blank side up, or vice versa if they want to do the art over a pattern) and ask them to draw a simple design on it.  It should be big, without tiny areas.  Flowers, fish, designs and patterns work well.  Little ones can skip this step.
  3. Have the kids paint sections of their designs with the glue, and then scoop the colored salt onto the sections.  They can then pour the extra salt back into the bowl.
  4. They can then paint the next section with glue and sprinkle a new color, repeating until the picture is finished.
  5. Allow to dry.

Our kids all loved doing these, from 3 year-old Alex to 12 year-old Victoria.

Be sure to take pictures, as they can be a bit delicate!  :)


Happy Saturday!

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Dinner Conversations!

Apparently the link to the dinner conversation starters has been moved.  A couple of people asked about it and until I can find its new location or another set, I figured I’d just write up a list of my own.  :)

Just highlight these and paste them into a word document, print and cut out.  Why not add some of your own with the kids too?

What’s something you did today that you’re proud of?

If you could be one animal in the zoo, what would you be?

What’s something funny that happened today?

What food would you be happy to never eat again?

Name someone you’ve helped recently.

Would you rather that schools stopped giving out any homework or stopped giving tests?

What’s something nice that happened today?

What do you wish you were better at?

Name three things you’re really good at.

Say something nice about the person to your left.

What famous person would you like to meet and why?

What time period would you visit if you could go back in time?

What do you wish you’d done more of today?

What would your superhero name be?

What movie or TV show would you like to be in?

If you were a food, what food would you be?

If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

There’s a good start.  Now you, dear readers, add some of your own in the comments!

Happy weekend!


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