1. Make snow cones! You can make up your own syrup for on top (here’s an easy recipe using kool-aid powder) but it’s even easier (and loads healthier) to just use fruit juice concentrate (undiluted). Crush your ice in the blender or let the kids pound it in a big ziplock baggie covered with a dish towel. Then scoop it into cups or dishes and just drizzle your syrup of choice and serve!
2. Fill a small kiddie pool with something unexpected — flour, uncooked rice, balled up newspaper, dried corn, packing peanuts, whatever — and make an outdoor sensory table the kids can get into! Add in some treasures to find (tiny toys and trinkets) and let them scoop, sift, search and wiggle around in it.
3. Have a puzzle marathon. Pick out a big, challenging puzzle and clear a spot at the table. Get some snacks, arrange a great soundtrack and sit and chat and eat and work on it together as a family until it’s done.
4. Help the kids run a popsicle or lemonade stand. Decide on a great goal for the earnings, whether it will be donated to charity like a local animal shelter, used for some fabulous family fun or applied towards a treat the kids have been yearning for.
5. Find an outdoor concert or play to attend together.
6. Make a date with one of the kids for a daybreak breakfast together. Get some tasty treats for the occasion like a thermos of chocolate milk and some blueberry muffins and wake your child just in time to find a cozy spot to watch the sunrise and enjoy your special breakfast. Then, if you get so lucky, you can go back to bed!
7. Scatter wildflower seeds in dull places.
8. Make up a bunch of wonderfulpictures and bring them to decorate doors and walls at a retirement home. Go door to door offering them to residents and make people’s day (and let your kids get delightfully fawned over!).
9. Make squirt art! Fill some buckets with colored water (use powdered tempera paint, watered down paint, food coloring or whatever your imagination dreams up) and dunk some squirt guns in to fill them up. Hang an old, light colored sheet on the clothesline, put the kids in art clothes and let them paint the sheet with the colored water. Be sure they know to squirt the sheet and not faces, natch!
10. Make moth paint! From a very old issue of the Magical Childhood newsletter:
Did you know there are more than 10,000 species of moths? For an interesting nocturnal adventure, mix up a batch of this goo and trek outside after dark to see how many you can spot. Mix two over-ripe bananas, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of apple juice and paint it onto several tree trunks. After dark, head out with the kiddos and a flashlight to see if any moths have come to dine. Their eyes will reflect the light and they will often stay and munch despite you, so you get a chance to identify different kinds and get an up-close look at the little creatures. Some people mix up very elaborate concoctions, often involving beer and molasses, while others say that just smearing a mashed watermelon will do the job. Still, warm, moist nights are supposed to work best. Happy hunting!
And with that, I’m off to con the rest of the kids into going to bed. Not that my kids are still up at nearly midnight of course! ;)
Have a magical week. Don’t forget to take care of you!