Monday, January 12, 2009

Holidays are ending fast! That means we need to make the most of this time. Children soon become bored! So switch off the t.v and have a go at these fun activities that encourage good old fashioned family time.

  • Make playdough from ingredients in your cupboard. Playdough can provide hours of fun and encourages role play. Empty out those kitchen tools that you never use and give them to the kids to use with their play dough.
    Very easy but must be made by an adult .

  • Ingredients: 2 cups of flour
    4 tblsp cream of tartar
    2 tablespoons of cooking oil
    1 cup of salt
    food colouring (can buy a small box with 4 different colours)
    2 cups of water
    Method: Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan or electric frypan on med heat. Stir ingredients until the mixture turns into a dough like form. Turn the heat off and let the dough cool down. Once cool, roll the mixture into a ball. Keep in a plastic container or ziplock bag to keep it from drying out.

  • Go to the local library, there are so many great children's books and you can borrow the latest magazines and novels while you are there.

  • Make cards using scrap paper, glue , pencils and little additions from around the home eg. feathers, sequins and add them to the cards. Think about birthdays coming up and you will be organised for the whole year plus it adds a personal touch!

  • Make a scavenger hunt around the backyard. Write little notes or draw pictures providing a clue to the next clue. The hunt may end up with a small prize. This is so much fun and keeps them entertained for a while depending on the how many clues you have.
    Put out an obstacle course in the backyard. This could start for example : with tightrope walking on a skipping rope, leading to thowing a ball into a hoop, hopping 5 steps to running around a tree, throw a small bean bag into a bucket, hang 3 items of clothing onto the clothes line (or a low skipping rope), then bat a ball into another bucket and end with getting the mail out of the mail box. There are so many combinations and you can try new ones each week. Not only fun, but it keeps them active.
    This is not an activity for children under 3.

  • Eye Spy Put 10 small inexpensive items into a ziplock bag and record these items onto a small sheet of card/paper you can laminate these to reuse. For example plastic animals, peg, balloon, feather, marble, small coloured pencil, toy car, magnetic letter/number, block, plastic spoon etc.
    Add rice to the bag so the items become difficult to see, attach the list of items to the bag with string. Give the bags to the children and they then have to find those items on their list, in their bag, they can tick the items off when they have found them.
    Make different bags up, so there will be no arguements. Or keep these bags for when you have appointments, or long car trips. This will keep them entertained for ages. You can use bigger bags with more items to find for bigger car trips!!!

  • Potato shapes Cut out shapes with potatoes, dip them into paint and stamp this onto newspaper, plain or coloured paper. Hang to dry and you have wrapping paper for any occasion.

  • Cubbies , pull out the linen, drape it over chairs and create an inside cubby house. Add pillows and some cuddly toys and you will be surprised with their imagination. It may take up the whole lounge room but you can't get in the way of creativity and imagination.

  • Go on a nature walk. Take a small bucket with you and a camera and collect things such as leaves, pine cones, small stones etc. When you come home you could write about the experience, write what they found, develop photos (if you took some), glue in those items that can be glued such as leaves, grass, twigs and this can be framed.
    Or you can draw a map of the places you found and what was special about each place. Use this map for next time, maybe turn it into a treasure hunt.

  • Baking small muffins (banana ones are great) , ice and decorate them. Put them into ziplock freezer bags and put them into the freezer (leave a few out to eat of course!). When the children go back to school you will already have an afternoon treat for them when they come home or school. They will be surprised to find the muffins they helped make in their lunchbox.

Hope these ideas have been helpful and will get you through the next few weeks.

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