1. Make nature confetti. Let kids duplicate the fun of tossing confetti without the mess to clean up– and help birds and squirrels at the same time. In a large bowl, mix up bird seed, dried corn, crumpled leaves, small dried fruits, flower petals and/or any other natural materials you have on hand. Take the bowl outside and encourage the kids to toss handfuls up in the air. They can shout happy new year, offer up wishes for loved ones and so on as they toss.
2. Use sand molds to make a really whimsical supper. Wash them really well and then use them to make mashed potato castles (make it thick, oil the mold, pack it in and then very gently unmold), sea creature ice cream shapes (soften ice cream and spoon into molds, freeze and gently unmold by dipping the mold side quickly in hot water) and so on. You can decorate the creations with fancy toothpicks, blueberry eyes, peas and carrots, you name it.
3. Be detectives. Take the kids to any public place and concoct a story together of what occurred there. The kids can use clues as small as footprints or litter to figure out what kind of people (or animals) were there and what they might have been doing. Invent the rest of the story together and weave an exciting tale based on the clues left behind.
4. If you’re in a cold state, make ice sculptures. Freeze colored water in all sorts of containers and then unmold them outside (dip them in a bucket of warm water to easily do this). Use snow to stick pieces to each other and make your creation as elaborate as you can. Proudly display them and take pics before the next warm day!
5. If you have snow in your area, get the kids wondering what kind of visitors have been poking about! Use carpet remnant, large pieces of cardboard or other scrap materials to make some giant beast prints. Cut them out (an exacto knife works well) and then poke two holes in each to tie them onto a pair of shoes. Now go stomp around in the snow while the kids are sleeping or away, and really get them wondering!
6. Go sledding or ice skating in the kitchen! Pull little ones around on towels, or have them put on socks and slip around the floor. Older kids can pull the little ones and accidentally get some exercise in at the same time! If you’re brave enough, give them a bucket of warm soapy water and have them "mop" the floor with their stocking feet. My girls used to love to do this, though it can get pretty wet!
7. Look for cake wrecks together or make one of your own!
8. Have your child use magic markers or fabric pens to alter a pair of old white tennies. Slip a bell onto each shoelace so she can jingle when she walks.
9. Print out some printable toys of your children’s favorite characters.
10. Gather a few branches in a pot or heavy vase to make a New Year tree. Give the kids strips of ribbon, small pieces of paper with a hole punched for hanging, and a pen. Ask them to write wishes, prayers or blessings for themselves and loved ones for the coming year. Tie the wishes to the branches. Kids can decorate their blessing tree throughout the year to match the season. At the end of the year, give them another color of paper to write out thanks and record accomplishments. The papers can be saved in a small container or scrapbook.
Have a magical week!