Creative With Kids

Things To Do With Your Kids

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*Make an "Idea Box" for times when your child says "I'm bored!". Start with a tissue or shoe box and let your child decorate it. When you come across an idea that strikes your fancy, write it on a slip of paper and place it in the box. Send them running to the idea box when they say they are bored. You can start by using some of the ideas listed below. *Have a buzzing contest. Take a deep breath and see who can buzz-z-z-z-z the longest *Decorate a small clay pot. Plant flower seeds, nurture and watch them grow *Cut paper dolls out of catalogues *Find a construction site and watch the trucks and tractors *Paint the fence or side of the house with a clean brush and a bucket of water *Paint a rock with tempura paint *Hide a kitchen timer and have your child search for it by listening for it's ticking sound *Make your own puzzle by coloring a picture, gluing it to cardboard and cutting it into simple shapes *Print on paper by dipping the following objects in tempura paint; a potato cut in half with a design carved in the raw end; a cork; a bottle cap; or a spool *Fill a sink with soapy water, spoons, egg beaters, plastic dishes and a straw to occupy little ones while mom cooks *Glue yarn around a tin can and use it as a paint roller. This makes interesting pattern for cards and wrapping paper *Make beanbags from scrap fabric to toss at a target *Make a fishing pole with a stick and string.Tie a magnet on the end and fish for paper clips *Use sidewalk chalk to draw a city complete with roads. Use toy cars and trucks on the roads *Play hopscotch *Make a sponge garden. Soak a sponge in water and place it in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with alfalfa or rye grass seeds. Keep it moist and watch it grow *Create a mosaic by cutting construction paper into zillions of small pieces and gluing them to a sheet of paper to create patterns or scenes *Make frozen fruit juice cubes in an ice tray *Spray paint two-litre bottles and use for bowling pins. (Put a little water in the bottom of each one to weigh it down.) *Make a bird feeder by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter, then in bird seed. Hang from a tree with string *Have your children create books about themselves. They might want to include their birth date, handprints and footprints, drawings of themselves and their families and a story about themselves. These are wonderful keepsakes *Take dressed-up stuffed animals and dolls on a wagon ride *Make place mats by covering kids' art work with clear contact paper *Decorate empty syrup bottles; tag with each child's name and use as water jugs in the refrigerator. Keep them on the bottom shelf so your children can get their own drinks *Cover the top of a shoe box with felt for a flannel board. Cut more colored felt into various sizes and shapes, such as animals, cars, people, rectangles, squares, trees and triangles. Children can form objects and designs from the pieces. Store the pieces in the box. This is great for the car *Play a listening game. Ask your child to close his or her eyes and guess the sounds you make. Blow a whistle, drop a spoon, jingle money, snap your fingers or click your tongue *Read and act out one of your child's favorite stories *Make a mystery bag by placing familiar objects in a pillow case. Ask your child to close his or her eyes, feel the objects in the bag and pick out the item you name *Hide a small toy in a room. While the children look for it, give them clues such as, "You are hot" when they are close, and "You are cold" when they move away *Save and wash spray bottles and dishwashing liquid squirt bottles for water play *Be a limp rag doll. Lie on the floor and let your child move your arms and legs and roll you over. Then reverse roles and let him or her be the floppy doll *Put a sheet or blanket over a table and make a tent, doll house or secret hiding place. It's also a great place to take a nap or have a picnic lunch *Make modern glue art by forming designs on waxed paper with white glue. Dry until clear. Carefully peel dried glue off paper. These designs can be colored with felt markers. Tie with a string and hang in a window *Draw a clown on an appliance box, cut a round hole for a mouth and throw beanbags at it *Make a stick puzzle. Wash and dry several wooden ice cream sticks and lay them beside each other. Secure a piece of tape across all the sticks. Number them in order. Turn them over and draw a picture with markers. Remove the tape, then mix up the sticks. Try to put your picture together without looking at the numbers on the back *Make up fun jingles to recite when jumping rope *Soak a stalk of cut celery in a glass of food coloring and a little water. Watch what happens the next day. (You can also use Daisies for this experiment) *Write crazy commercials and perform them for each other *Peel broken crayons and melt them in a small disposable aluminum pan at 350 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool, break into pieces and you have new, multicolored crayons *Design stained glass windows. Shave crayons onto waxed paper in a pattern; cover with a second sheet and place inside a folded newspaper. Iron at low heat until colors are melted. Mount and display in a window *Make real people puppets by cutting out photos of family members and friends. Glue to Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors *Make sock puppets from old socks, extra buttons and yarn *Make a volcano. Mound dirt six to ten inches high and then clear a hole down the middle of it. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in the hole. Pour in some vinegar and watch your "eruption" *Make musical jars. Line up an assortment of empty jars in various sizes and shapes, add water and tap on the jars with a spoon. Experiment by pouring out of filling the jars with different amounts of water *Save pennies in a jar. When the jar is full, use the money for a family outing to the ice cream parlor *Picnic at a different park each week *Lie on a blanket in the backyard at night and look at the stars *Dress up and serve dinner by candlelight once a month *Have a sock fight. Roll socks into balls and throw at each other *Have a scavenger hunt *Have a smile contest. See who has the biggest smile; measure them with a ruler *Have a family car wash. Wear bathing suits and be ready for sponge fights and water squirt wars *Go on a long bike ride. Map your route before you leave, choosing new and interesting destinations each week *Plan a special bake day and discuss what you will bake *Read a book from back to front instead of front to back *Take a flashlight into a dark room and make "shadow pictures" *Fill a flour shaker with cornstarch and take the kids outside. Let them sprinkle everything in sight. The first rain shower will clean things up *Look at Me! Have your child observe you for a minute. Leave the room. Return to the room, having changed a small detail in your appearance. Remove an earring, put on some lipstick or change your hair. Can they guess? *Fill a tin can with a very small hole in the bottom with colored water and attach the can to a tricycle. The child rides until the "gas" is gone *Let your toddler use a dustpan for a snow shovel - right size, right height *Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring and "paint" the snow *Let your child finger paint with shortening on cookie sheets *Serve alphabet soup and help your child find the letters of his or her name *Play the "message game" at bedtime: draw letters on your child's back and have him or her try to decipher them *Make suncatchers. Give your child two sheets of wax paper. Set out small containers of white glue mixed with food coloring. Let the kids use popsicle sticks to apply this mixture to one piece of waxed paper in swirling designs. Sprinkle glitter over glue if you like. Cover with the second sheet of wax paper and press lightly. Let dry and hang in the window *Wind Me Up. Your child pretends to be a wind-up toy that gradually winds to a stop - and then winds back up again *What's Missing? Place a group of common objects on a paper plate and give your child a few moments to study the collection. Ask the child to turn around and then remove one of the objects. Ask "What's missing?" *Dip the end of a toothbrush in paint and splatter it onto a piece of paper by running a finger or stick across the bristles *Find a quiet moment and call a family pow wow to talk about what happened that day. Who has a funny story to tell or something new to share. A pow wow is also a good time to give someone a compliment or to tell what's bugging you on a day when things don't seem to go right *Draw an "invisible" picture or message on a piece of white paper with a white crayon or candle. When you color over the paper solidly with a wash of paint, the original picture will "magically" appear as the color is applied *Sponge splotches. Use a piece of sponge instead of a brush, one for each color. Dip in poster paint and experiment on your paper *Make a button whirl. You need 4 feet of string and a large button with two holes. Pass the string through both holes and tie the ends so that the button is threaded on a long loop. Whirl the loop of string like a jump rope until it's tightly wound up. Then pull on the ends. The button spins and dances as the string unwinds *Get a Charge!! Static electricity at it's best! Have your child rub an inflated balloon vigorously against his or her hair or sweater. Experiment with different objects...where will the balloon stick? The drapes, wall, refrigerator...Older kids can graph the static results: Where did it stick, how long etc. *Arrange stuffed animals and dolls around a blanket and have a "teddy bear's" picnic *Dance to old Beatles tunes, or to anything with a good strong beat. Use silky scarves to twirl and toss while dancing *Make cookies. Mix up the dough, roll out, cut into shapes, decorate and bake *Enjoy old or new photo albums. Tell stories of the "olden days" (before your children were born) or relive more recent memories *Kick small pillows or little beanbags into an empty laundry basket or carton for a mini soccer game *Nestle into the couch with a bunch of blankets and read some favorite books *Play a game of "What if....?" - What if cows could fly? What if your pet could talk? What if it never rained? *Play "Me in the Mirror". You and your child mirror each other's motions: stretch your arms up tall, and your child follows; rub your stomach and stand on one leg and see whether he can follow suit. Then switch roles *Your child pretends to be a balloon. She can start as a deflated balloon on the floor, Mom or Dad can blow her up, and she can float away and dance around on all kinds of journeys *Make a sand painting. Have your child draw a simple large picture (a dinosaur for example) then take a small dish of white glue and a Q-tip outside to the sand box. Once your child "paints" the white glue on his drawing, have him or her sprinkle their picture with sand *Let your child do YOUR hair *Make an edible necklace using licorice laces and Fruit Loops or Cheerios *Make your own bubbles. Mix up 1 cup water, 1/3 cup dish soap and 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup. If you don't have bubble blowers, be creative! Bend some pipe cleaners or you can use cookie cutters or even a potato masher! *Feely Box. Cut out a hole on the side of the box about 10 - 12 cm. in diameter. Without your children present, put various household objects inside the box such as plastic spoon, small toys, foam, pieces of yarn, sandpaper... Tape the box shut. Have your child put a hand inside the box and feel different objects. Let them describe these objects to you and you have to guess what it is they are feeling *Bean Bag Box. Using six to eight different boxes and cut off the tops. Have your child throw bean bags inside the boxes. Use this activity to reinforce words like inside, outside, and beside. They'll be practicing their throwing skills as well *Make Sparkle Snow Paint with 1/2 Cup flour, 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup water. Mix together and put in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze doughy paint out on to black construction paper. Make anything snowy, snowflakes, snowmen, etc. Let dry thoroughly and it will sparkle. May also be painted (when dry) and allowed to dry again *Play indoor Basketball. You'll need a wastebasket, paper from the recycle bin, and masking tape. Tape lines on the floor to mark distances from the waste basket. Your child can "scrunch" up the paper for balls while you do this. It's now time to start shooting "hoops". Begin at the easiest tape line and work up *Make your own memory game. Cut out twelve 4 x 4 pieces of cardboard. Find double pictures in magazines or catalogues (or draw your own) and glue onto the cards *Make Play Slime. Mix 2 parts cornstarch in a bowl (now is the time to add the food coloring). Slowly, add 1 part water, mixing with your hands (there really is no other way) to get all of the powder wet. Have another measure of water handy, and drop in a little at a time, mixing as you go. It will take much less water than you might think to change the consistency much, so add only a few drops at a time. You will know when it is the right amount, as the wet powder will stick together and suddenly start behaving very oddly. This slime has some of the weirdest properties. It will flow fairly quickly into the bottom of the bowl, and your fingers will sink into it readily, but just try and punch it! *"Spin" Art. Make a great spin-art picture using a salad spinner and washable paint. Cut paper plates to fit in the bottom of the spinner and let your child drip paint onto the plate. Put the lid on and have your child spin the top. Ta da! A little work of art. And the salad spinner will wash up with ease *Make a Jumbo Painting Pen. Clean out an old roll on deodorant container and fill with tempura paint That's it! Paint, write, doodle, ton's of fun and easy to hang on to! Cap goes back on to keep paint good indefinitely! *Make an indoor "Sand Box" You need one large Rubbermaid container, a bulk of white rice (found at any bulk food store), some measuring cups, small bowls and even a few small cars. This combination will amuse children for hours! It's easy to clean up, (rice is easier to find and sweep than sand) and it stores in your Rubbermaid container on a shelf until it's next use *Make a grocery shop. Save all your empty grocery cartons for a week or so and you'll soon have a shop any aspiring grocer would be proud of. Gluing down the flaps makes cereal boxes, jelly packets etc. look unopened. Clothes, shoes, and toys can all be used as "stock". Paper bags and real or play money add to the fun *Make sewing cards. Stick a picture on to a postcard or draw a simple duck, car or teddy shape on cardboard. With a hole punch, make holes around the outline of your design about one inch apart. Using a long bootlace, thread it in and out of the holes *Stilts. You need to do a little drilling for this one. Take two strong tins, coffee or clean paint tins are ideal, and drill a hole about one inch from the top on opposite sides of the tin. Insert a length of string and knot securely. Check that the handle is at a comfortable length for the child before knotting the other side. These are always very popular, but never leave young children alone with them especially near stairs or steps *Build an obstacle course. An obstacle course can turn a rainy day into an adventure. Use whatever you have available. A bench to walk the plank, cushion stepping stones across shark infested seas, through a cardboard box tunnel, up a chair mountain or through a duvet cave. The wilder your imagination the more your children will love it *Puppets tell a story. Use a hand puppet (or make one from an old sock)to tell a short story to your child. If possible, use a puppet that is part of the story. You can use a puppet to say rhymes, sing songs, and even give your child instructions *Make Rice Krispee snowmen. You will need 2 balls for each snowman. Use about 1 cup of the mixture for the body and 3/4 cup for the head balls. Set your larger ball on the wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place the small ball on top of the larger ball. If necessary, use a dab of frosting to help the 2 balls stick together. Now you are ready to decorate your snowman! Use frosting to help some items stick to the rice cereal balls better. Here are some suggestions for items to use to give your snowman facial features and more. For eyes, ears, nose, mouth or buttons you could use raisins, Red Hots, M and M's, chocolate chips or tiny jelly beans. You could use pretzel sticks for the arms and a large gum drop for a hat. Let the snowmen set for a few hours and enjoy! *Sing a silly song in "slow" speed then sing it in "high speed" *Make a chocolate "love mouse". To construct the mouse you will need a jar of maraschino cherries with the stem attached, a bag of Hershey Kisses and some slivered almonds. Dip the cherry in melted chocolate and set on wax paper. This will be the mouse body and tail. Quickly attach the Hershey Kiss, which is the head. Use the slivered almonds for the ears and frosting to add a face *Play the "Shell and Pea Game". You will need three opaque plastic cups and a small ball or other object that will slide easily. Let your child watch you put the ball under one of the three cups and rearrange all three of them. Let your child try to guess which cup has the ball under it *Squirt each other with squirt bottles *Go on a smelling hunt. Go on an exploration of your house together and find out how different things smell. Try lotion, cologne, deodorant, vinegar, flowers, fruit, onion, cloves, etc. Great resources include the bathroom and spice cabinet *Do the Hokey Pokey *Draw on a Mirror with Dry-Erase markers. Besides designs and scribbles, try drawing silly faces with strange hats, mustaches and beards, etc. Line your faces up with the ones you drew to see how silly you look *Put lipstick on you and your child and kiss a mirror *Put stickers on paper *Discuss the day's events at bedtime. "Remember when we went to the park?" *Mix instant chocolate pudding according to the directions and let your child paint on wax paper *Help your child crumble old bread for the birds to eat *Record your child's voice and play it back for them *Dance with a scarf *Pretend to be asleep, let your child wake you up and be "surprised". Snoring adds a lot more fun to this game:) *Make tie dye paper. Pour a half-cup of warm water into several plastic containers. Add five or more drops of food coloring. Fold tissue paper or paper towels and dip the corners into the dye. Unfold the paper and let it dry. Refold it another way and dip into another color, etc. *Play "Box car". Give a small child a large grocery box to push around the room. He/she may want to take his stuffed animal or toy for a ride in it. If the box isn't too high--you'll most likely find your child in there, too! *Jingle bells: Sew bells onto elastic that will fit comfortably around your child's ankles. Then watch and listen to the fun while he moves about or jumps up and down. *Go for walk with your child and pick up leaves, daisies , tiny flowers, etc. When you get home, arrange these treasures on contact paper. Then cover with second contact-paper and smooth out all the air bubbles. Trim contact paper into a shape like circle, star or square and hang in a window so sun can shine thru it *Inflate a small-medium balloon and rub balloon on child's hair for about 10-15 seconds. Lift the balloon up slowly so that your child�s hair will stand on end *Say silly rhymes, such as, "Mary had a little frog." Make up nonsense words like, "It's time to skidaddle to bed." Add a new verse to a song: "...and on his farm he had a pickle..." *Ask your toddler silly questions to which the answer is "No"--one of every toddler's favorite words. "Do puppies wear pajamas?" "Is the sky green?" *Make a simple puzzle for your toddler by gluing a picture to cardboard and cutting it into five or six pieces *Celebrate windy days! Your child will love blowing bubbles and watching the wind carry them away. Fly paper airplanes, run with a streamer or tie a balloon loosely around your child�s wrist to see what the wind does to it *Lie your child on a big piece of paper and let them hear the crunching noises as they move around *Poke holes in the bottoms of plastic margarine tubs. Have the children fill them with water and watch it dribble out *Repeat a simple nursery rhyme daily with your child until she can say it *Ask for your child's opinion sometimes *Make a Color Viewer. Cut an opening in a sturdy paper plate and tape colored cellophane over the opening. Let the children look through the opening in their plate. What does the room look like? What do you look like? Use different colors of cellophane to view the world through different colors *Let your child pick a favorite picture from a group of pictures and tell you a story about it *Play a copy cat game. Copy every utterance your child makes and encourage him/her to copy you. Have your child copy the things you do, tiptoe, walk backwards, jump, and hop *Write out a list of about five items such as grass, rock, leaf, flower, pinecone and take the list with you on a walk. Let your child carry a small paper bag or baggie and see if you can find all the items on the list. Encourage your child to find each item by asking, "Can you find a rock?" Look for one thing at a time. When all the items are found, sit down together and talk about the items. Smell, touch, and look at them. Talk about color, shape, texture, and weight *Go on a shape hunt in your house. Look for circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles *Make up guessing games. "I live on a farm. I'm little and black, I like milk and say meow, meow. What am I?" *Children love to put puzzles of themselves together. Have a photo of your child's face enlarged to eight-by-ten inches. Mount the photo on heavy cardboard with rubber cement. Cut it into three or four pieces. Store it in a box *Let the child choose which vegetables, fruit, or dessert the family will have for supper. Let him select the pan to cook it in *Take a rain walk. Don't worry about getting wet. Just get raincoats, umbrellas, boots or tennis shoes and go. Jump in puddles. Follow the rushing water in the gutters *Invite a friend or family member over for lunch or tea. Dress up in party clothes and set the table in a festive manner, serving the milk or juice in wine glasses and dining by candlelight *Create a pet rock by painting a face on any small, smooth pebble. Furnish a shoebox with paper and cardboard beds, chairs, etc., as a house for the rock *Buy some party hats, blowers, a decorated cake and throw a party for no reason at all *Discover geography. What are the physical characteristics of your hometown? Take children for a walk around your neighborhood and look at what makes it unique. Point out how it is similar to other places you have been and how it is different. If you live near a park, a lake, a river, a stream or a creek, take your children there and spend time talking about its uses *Sprinkle flour on a table and let the kids draw and write with their fingers *Rice mosaics: Put some raw rice into five paper cups. Get out the water colors and liberally paint the rice with a paintbrush. When the rice dries, use it to make mosaics using a thin layer of glue on cardboard or thick paper *Make a family idea jar. Decorate a jar (or container) and have each person in your family pick several fun ideas they would like to do. Write the ideas on pieces of paper and put them in the jar. Whenever you have a free day, pick one idea from the jar *Plan a "no TV" day. Play cards, charades, read, take a walk, etc. *Plan a swim day. Organize family and friends to enjoy a day at a local pool *Play backyard miniature golf. Use boards, bricks, plastic pipe, empty cans, or buckets to set up a course. Make flags from paper and wooden dowels rods. If you don�t have clubs or a golf ball, you can use plastic baseball bats and balls or hockey sticks and a small ball *Discuss and perform a good deed for someone in need ... go through your clothing and donate items that you or your child no longer wear, pull weeds for a church or senior�s center or provide meals to the homebound *Make a homemade kite. Tie together the handles of a plastic shopping bag with the end of a ball of string. Staple a few 2-foot lengths of ribbon to the bottom of the bag for kite tails. Now find a windy spot outdoors and start running. As the bag fills with air, slowly let out the string and the kite should begin to soar and dive *On a rainy day put a few lines or circles of different colors of paint onto a big poster board. Set it outside and have the kids watch what the rain does to the paint. After a few minutes (depending how hard it is raining out) bring the poster board back inside and ask your children to tell you what pictures they can find in the painting *Count the number of steps it takes to walk to the corner with your child *Have your child look for bugs. How many different kinds of bugs can he/ she find? Size? Color? *On a hot summer day, have your child put an ice cube outside. How long until it melts? Until it evaporates? *Look up events on the day your child was born *Make finger puppets. Cut the ends off the fingers of old gloves. Draw faces on the fingers with felt tip markers, and glue on yarn for hair *Talk to your child about fire safety. Discuss a fire escape route and have a mock fire drill *Learn a tongue twister *Hide a "treasure" and draw a simple map for your child to find it *Make a wish list of places you would like to visit with your child. Look them up on a map *Make a personalized bookmark with your child *Play "pet detective". Choose and animal and observe it. Where does the animal live? What are the animals habits? What food does the animal eat? Etc. *Make a time capsule and save it for a year or two *Go for a walk and collect flowers. Ask your child to think of words, other than "flowers" that start with the letter "F" *Cut out a food pyramid from the side of a cereal box or other food. Talk about the different food groups. Ask your child to name a favorite food and what food group it belongs to* Print the letters in your child's name. Ask him or her to name three words that begin with each letter of the name *Take a "counting" walk. Pick something to count (cars, signs, flowers, birds, bikes) and as you walk, keep track of how many you see *Play "Hide and Seek" with your child. Hide a book and give your child three easy-to-follow clues to find it. Congratulate your child for listening and following directions when he or she finds the book and end the game by reading it *Help your child make a book for someone special, drawing pictures showing what your child likes about this person. Write down what the pictures are about. Share it with the special person *Make up a song or rhyme using your child's name. Let your child add motions to the song as you sing it *Visit a bakery. Read the signs in the store. Share the smells and tastes of a special treat *Make up your own silly, funny, or scary story. Ask your child to tell how his or her story can end happily-ever-after *Put on a family play. Dress up in costumes and act out a simple story. Pop popcorn for a snack afterwards *Use an egg carton to teach your child how to sort. Give your child a variety of buttons, candy, or coins and let him or her sort them by color, size or item *Trace your child's hand on a piece of paper. Ask your child to think of different ways people can be kind to others. Write his or her ideas on each finger of the hand drawing *Teach your child the "Golden Rule" (treat others as you would like to be treated). Talk about what it means and how it can be followed *Help your child think of an imaginary land. Make up a story of silly characters who live in this imaginary place *Let your child help set the table. Count out the number of forks, spoons, napkins, cups, and plates needed for dinner and let your child set the table *Plan a "green" dinner. Let your child think of green foods to serve (e.g., celery with cream cheese, green beans, lettuce, green apples, or cabbage) or add a drop of green food coloring to scrambled eggs *Play "Word Rhyme" with your child. Take turns thinking of silly words and saying as many words that rhyme as you can (e.g., fly, by, my, pie, why, sky, shy) *Talk about a favorite family tradition with your child. What month is it celebrated in? Have your child name the months of the year with you *Have a dance contest. Move the furniture aside, turn up the music and dance 'til you drop. Give awards, dress up and make a stage if you are feeling creative *Plan a movie day with your child. She can invite a few friends over to watch a movie and pretend going to the theater *Spoon small puddles of paint onto a piece of paper. Use a straw to blow on the paint to create unusual works of art *Make a paper chain to help the children count the number of days until a special holiday or event arrives. Cut 1 x 8 inch strips out of construction paper, 1 strip for each day before the holiday or event. Overlap the ends of each strip of paper to make a circle. Use glue or paste to fasten. Loop the second strip through the first and continue for as many days before your holiday. Each day a different child can take off one link of the chain *For special holiday dinners, help your child create and make placemats *Have a puppet show *Play "Freeze". Turn on some music and have your child dance to it. Tell your child that when you stop the music suddenly, she should stop and "freeze" *Play "I Spy". Have your child guess what you are looking at by giving the hint, "I spy with my little eye something that is red." ( or blue, green, something round, square, etc.) *Use string or rope to make a pretend creek, then, practice jumping across it without getting wet! *Make a Shaker Bottle. Save a two-liter pop bottle, remove the label and clean thoroughly. Fill the bottle 1/2 to 3/4 full with water. Add a few drops of food coloring, some glitter and beads, marbles or jingle bells and hot glue gun or superglue the lid on. (use pliers to tighten the lid as much as possible). Your child will love shaking and rolling it! *Make snow people, snow structures, and snow angels *Send a care package to missionaries *Serve a goofy meal *Invite some neighborhood kids over and have relay races. Egg toss, 3-legged race, ball (or egg) on a spoon, etc. *Pick flowers and deliver them to a neighbor. Make their day! *Ride the bus. If riding the bus is not something that they regularly do, the kids will probably get a thrill out of doing it. *Make your child "Smiley Face" pancakes. Using a spoon, drop dots of batter in a hot skillet forming eyes and a strip of batter for a smile. Give them just a few seconds to brown a little then pour on batter for pancake. When removed from skillet pancake will have a smiley face on it *Make a simple bird feeder out of an empty egg carton, some string, and some bird seed. Begin by cutting the top off an egg carton. Use a pencil to poke holes in each of the four corners. Attach a piece of string to each hole and tie a knot at the top. Fill each of the sections with seeds and hang outside *Go exploring in the bush *Plant a tree with your child. Children, who themselves are small, one day to be tall, are fascinated with saplings. Over time your child can watch the tree as it grows and the whole family will come to treasure "Laura's Tree" *Make muffins! Buy a muffin mix so your child can easily combine ingredients. When muffins are done, toss a blanket on the floor and have a "muffin picnic". Older children can "experiment" with the mixes. How does it taste when you add some chopped nuts, raisins or mashed banana? *Go exploring with a magnifying glass *Visit a farm. A lot of things happen on farms in the spring. Discuss baby animals, look at and discuss the farm equipment, etc. *Visit a pet store. *Blow cotton balls, pinwheels, ping pong balls or small pieces of paper with a straw. *Get together with a small group of children and play games like duck, duck goose, red light, green light, simon says, or the hokey pokey. *Roll yourselves up in blankets and roll down a hill *Play tug of war with fruit rollups or licorice strings. *Play "Change Machine". Drape a sheet over a table. Every time the child goes through the "change machine," he becomes something new - puppy, kitty, firefighter, dancer, etc. *Take your child(ren) on a "mystery ride". Don't tell them where you are going or when the mystery ride will occur. Go to the beach for a picnic. Visit a children's museum. Go to the mall or a toy store and give each child $5 to spend any way they choose. Visit a grandparent or cousin. Bring them to a movie they've been wanting to see. Head to a lake or park. Just make when and where a big surprise! *Make colored sugar. Give your child a clear plastic container, like a peanut butter jar, and put a cup of sugar in it. Add a few drops of blue food coloring and let her shake and shake to turn the sugar blue. Later, make something like sugar cookies and let your child sprinkle the tops with the special "magic" sugar. *Rag time. Use an old shirt or bed sheet for this one. Help your child rip it into strips (start the rips with a pair of scissors). Let your child grab one end and you grab the other, then both pull! When you have a lot of strips, tie them on your child so they stream down and have your child run or twirl to see what they do. You can do many other things with the rags such as have your child use the strips to "bandage" your leg, show your child how to braid, play blind-man's bluff....use your imagination!

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