* Jello in several flavors
* Paint brushes
Turn food into fun! Pour a variety of flavors of Jello into separate little cups. Add water to cups, but don’t dilute too much. Keep it a little thick.
Note: Jello does stain fingers, but is not harmful, so let them have fun… it will wash off!
Make a Job Jar
With your child write down various jobs that they can do with you around the house on the paper and cut into individual slips. Fold each slip in half and put into the jar. At the same time each day, visit the job jar to find a fun job that you can do together. Ideas for jobs are:
-Emptying the trash cans
-Putting toilet paper in the bathrooms
-Dusting off the TV screen
-Picking up toys from the floor
-Matching socks in the laundry
-Folding kitchen towels
-Wiping off the door knobs around the house
Depending on how old your child is, you can put a wide variety of jobs in the jar.
* Clear drying glue
* Glitter in various colors
Draw diamonds, circles and triangles on your paper and then fill in with clear drying glue. Sprinkle different colored glitter on each shape and allow to dry. Cut around the images if desired.
Jelly Bean Mosaic
* Small jellybeans
* Heavy cardstock or cardboard
Paint a thick layer of glue onto your cardboard or cardstock and then let your child glue the jellybeans onto the sheet in a random pattern. Alternately, draw a mosaic pattern onto the cardboard first before the glue with a dark marker and encourage the child to put the jellybeans on in colored patterns to make the mosaic.
* Sugar cubes
* Cardboard base
Start this project by doing a little research. The story of what an igloo is and how to make it is a good one! There are books available on how to build it as well as the story behind them.
Ice cream picture
Needed: Construction paper
Cut out colors of construction paper in the shape of a cone (long triangle), then take a different piece of construction paper and glue the cone to it. Then glue the cotton balls to the top of the cone for the ice cream. Allow to dry and decorate around the edges.
I’m on an Island
Needed: Various sized towels and washcloths or napkins
Place the towels and napkins on the floor around the room and have the child hop from island to island without falling into the ocean (your carpet!). Talk about how islands are formed, your visits to islands if you’ve had any, etc.
Needed: your imagination!
This is a fun during or after lunch game that you can play with your children to help their observation and color recognition skills. You choose an item in the room and say “I spy something green. (or whatever color your item is) Can you guess what it is?” The child then looks around the room and names off all the green items he sees until he picks the one you chose. Then it’s his turn to pick and say “I spy.” Great fun for the whole family too!
* White hankies (washed)
* Fabric paints
* Fabric pens
Lay the hankies flat on a cardboard to form your canvas, pin or clip them firmly. Use fabric paint to personalize your own hankie. Write your name, draw pictures, etc. It’s great to have your very own hankie when the sniffles come!
Alphabet Hopscotch – Indoor
10 pieces of Construction paper
Small bean bag
Write the letters A though J, one each on each piece of construction paper. Lay the pieces out in hopscotch fashion, 1 piece, then two pieces, then one piece, etc. so you have a 10 block hop scotch. Then have your child hopscotch through the alphabet while saying the letters as they hop. Then have them throw a bean bag onto one of the squares and SKIP that letter through their next hop round. You can make up any rules to play this game such as spelling easy words or rhyming.
Sidewalk or driveway
Small stones for tossing
Draw a pattern of boxes big enough for a child to hop from one to the next. Write numbers in each box. Have the children call out the numbers as they hop from square to square or have them throw the stone onto one square and pick it up as they hop over that number. You can have them hop onto only even numbers or odd numbers. As they grow older and learn addition facts they can hop onto the answer of a problem you call out.
Old clean white socks
Felt pieces or foam stickers
Decorate the socks with eyes, nose, mouth etc and slip in your hand for hours of puppet fun! If you push the end of the sock between your thumb and fingers you have an instant mouth!
One person is “it” and the other players pick an item in the room without telling “it”. “It” starts to move about the room and as he gets closer to the item the other players call “hot” and “hotter” and “really hot” as they get closer to the correct item. If “it” moves away from the item the other players call “cold” or “colder” the farther away they move. This is a fun game to play that can take all afternoon! Kids will love to pick the object and figure out where it is.
dad’s old shirts
old empty pill bottles
paper and pencil
Set up a hospital in your family room using boxes as the “beds” and stuffed animals and dolls as the “patients”. Your child can be the doctor by dressing up in one of Dad’s old shirts as his doctor’s scrubs and use various home items to help heal the patient. The doctor can go from bed to bed with his clipboard making notes on his patients.
You will need:
* Soda can plastic holders (6 pack)
* Pipe cleaners
A great recycling activity! Use the soda can plastic ring holders to make glasses, all you need to do is cut them apart! Simply add pipe cleaners to the ends of two sections for the ear pieces. Use your new glasses to find hidden treasures around the house!
* Empty food boxes or cans
* Boxes for props
* Play money
* Cash box or shoe box
* Old coupons
Have the children set up a grocery store in the living room or dining room. Use empty or full cans, boxes, etc of non-perishable items that you can spare for the game. They can set up a register with the cash box or shoe box to take money and use old grocery bags for packing up. Take turns being the grocer and the customer.
* Shoebox with lid
* Sharp knife (adults only)
* Empty Paper towel roll
* Rubber Bands
First you need to cut an oval into the lid of the shoebox (adults take care to use the sharp knife to cut!). Cut a hole in the end of the shoebox big enough for the paper towel roll to fit. Tape paper towel roll to the box so it stays secure. Now wrap the lid of the shoebox with several rubber bands and secure lid back onto the shoebox. Turn on the music and let your child accompany! Don’t forget to decorate the shoe box before assembling to make it extra special!
* White hankies (washed)
* Styrofoam balls
* Yarn or dental floss,
* Sharpie black marker
Sew dental floss or yarn through the top and knot to form a loop to hang. Tie styrofoam ball in to form head. Draw spooky face. These are great decorations to hang and very easy to make.
* Multicolored feathers purchased at craft store. (Feathers you find in the wild may contain fleas etc. Not a good, clean source.)
This is a craft that has no boundaries! Cut feathers into 1 inch pieces and have the children glue the feathers to a strong piece of poster board to make a collage. Use larger feathers to paint images with, since you are using a feather for the brush the images you get will be unique. Smaller feathers may be glued around the “feather” painting to form a “Feather Frame”.
You can also either purchase blank picture frames in craft store or use old frames you already have. Paint them with your favorite color and glue feathers all over it. Perfect frame for your favorite picture.
* Cookie sheet or tray (one per child)
* Flour or corn meal
Sprinkle a small amount of flour on each cookie sheet and let the kids draw pictures, write letters and numbers or secret messages to each other. Simple and fun! This is a great project for little ones since in the end all you need to do is clean up.
* Construction paper
* Stick or pencil
* Small magnet
Cut out fish shapes from the construction paper. Add eyes and fins using markers. Put a paperclip on the mouth end of each fish. Take a short stick and tie a string to the end. On the other end of the string, put a magnet. Now put all the fish into a bowl or box and let the kids go fishing! This is a fun game to make and even more fun to play.
Make a photo album and fill it with pictures of your child, your family and extended family as well. This is especially good if your child has relatives that live far away. Talk about who each person is and where they come from or where they live. You can expand on this idea by making a scrapbook and adding more decorations.