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.
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.
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!
Here’s a fun way to occupy the kids in a bubbly, colorful way.
Do some baking soda and vinegar experiments but add color!
- 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)
- 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.
- Pour one box of baking soda into a cake pan for each child. Smooth out.
- Spread an old towel on the table (or do it outside) and put the cake pan(s), muffin tin and eye droppers on it.
- 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.
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.
Remember when I recommended microwaving a half a bar of Ivory soap as a way to make the day magical a couple of months ago?
We took it a step farther and had the most fun!
We microwaved the soap for about 30 seconds (set your microwave for about a minute and just stop it when the soap stops expanding) and watched it puff up.
Then I gave the kids muffin tins filled with colored water (we used water and food coloring but you could also use liquid watercolors) and eyedroppers.
They had so much fun!
I highly recommend it!
Here’s a fun and inexpensive way to make some neat building blocks for little ones.
Our fabulous friend Jan, a local Head Start teacher, came up with this idea. She purchased a couple of $1 bags of foam blocks from Target and then purchased some adhesive velcro. She cut the velcro into tiny squares and affixed it to most sides of the blocks.
Our boys played with the new sticky blocks yesterday and had great fun.
You could also use the idea with wooden blocks or any number of household objects.