With winter coming at us a lot faster than we had anticipated, we have been indoors a lot more. If it isn’t raining or too windy we’ll go outside but with temperatures nearly freezing that never lasts very long. I never have a hard time finding things for the kids to do, however, it’s always the same things every day…every winter. Art projects are always fun and the kids love to use the paint. The mess isn’t to fun to clean up but it keeps them busy and their brains working. I have a “bucket of fun”…that I see needs to be replenished. And we have several board games…baking and coloring are always options also.
The problem is I’m getting bored with these thing so I know the kids are too. Winter hasn’t even officially started so I know within a month or so we’ll be bored out of our minds with arts and crafts and the games we have. With the amount of friends we have on here, I was hoping to get some great NEW ideas on what to do. Home-made games or fun kid friendly recipes. Please help me….so I don’t go out of my mind this winter!!
What did you do as a child or what do you do with your kids. I know there are projects out there that I don’t know about…so share them please!!!
How old are your children? I have one suggestion that I just thought of..but depending on the age of your children this might not be popular. I’ll tell you anyway…
It sounds like you might have lots of small, left-over crayons from all the art projects your kids do. I have a really neat recipe where you basically take the old crayons (that are too short/small to draw with) and melt into new crayons (in paper muffin cups).
I have friends that have made entire new sets of crayons as christmas gifts (so you combine all your left over blue crayons and make one blue crayons, combine all your leftover red crayons and make one red crayon, etc). Or you can just mix and match different colors and create really awesome multi-colored crayons.
So.. let me know if you are interested in the recipe and I’ll go digg it out of my stack of papers 🙂
What a great idea. I love this and I love the way they look when finished.
Lucy I just explained this to my son who is 9 and said ……COOL!!! So this is definitely something we are going to do. Probably today!! He already getting the crayons together!!
I have a 9 yr old boy myself but I also nanny for a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. Thanks Lucy!!!
Books that come in series. Leggos (see how big)
Here is a very cool website to do amazing science experiments with your kids!
“Be A ____ Day (or week)”
Be a Pirate Day: talk like a pirate, dress up, snacks and crafts revolve around pirates… fish sticks for lunch, for example, or oranges (to fight Scurvy!). Bandannas for the heads, and little stuffed parrots. A lot of “Arrrrr!” and “Matey!”
Be a Dinosaur Day: have kids pick their favorite dinosaur and they have to be that dinosaur for the day. Use craft projects to make small models or pictures of them. Have them eat, for that day, what the dinosaur of their choice ate: veggies for the herbivores, meat for the omnivores.
With a little imagination, and a little preparation, you could do all KINDS of things… you could even incorporate a few history lessons… choose an era to live in – medieval (knights and princesses!), a region (it’s cold outside? Pretend you’re in Hawaii, eat pineapples and play Jimmy Buffett – ok, maybe that’s more for the adults).
I’m not sure how old the little tykes are that you have either. My boys used to really like “hiding” games and memory stuff. We used to take things and hide them on each other and the other person would try to find them. Like a die, matchbox car, a book etc. Memory games we’d take a colored pencil out of the box and the other had to try and figure out which one was gone or put a bunch of items on a tray and take one item off it. I’m not sure why but they like playing those kinds of things.
We also played cards and built card houses and did a lot of coloring. My boys also played outside a LOT. I know kids don’t seem to play outdoors as much now but my two loved playing outside.
Another thing we used to do was make bird feeders. You take a pine cone, which finding those is already an adventure but you spread them with peanut butter and then roll in bird food. You hang them outside from a piece of yarn and then the kids have fun watching the birds eat what they’ve made.
A lot of this depends on how old the kids are.
Andrew is 3 almost…same bday as you! And Lilly is a lil over 1…that’s all I have now.
Bailey can be out side all day…the little ones though aren’t so into being freezing and being okay with it.
OOH!!! OOH!!! OOH!!!!
Ok, I totally stole this idea from my cousin, who used it with her 6th grade class. She ran it ALL YEAR LONG.
On the first day of school, she wouldn’t let the kids into the classroom. The first thing she did was line them up in the hall, outside her room. Then she went down the line, and handed each kid a “passport” (a little booklet of folded paper that she made. On the cover, it said “Passport” and had a place for their name, town/state, and their school picture, which was added later.) Then she told them that they were entering the airport, and they filed into the room.
After adding their names and whatnot to the cover of the Passport, the plane “took off”! She made the noise of the plane flying, and played Captain for the next five minutes or so, until they “landed” in their first location: the place that was going to be incorporated in ALL of their lessons for the next few weeks. She “took” them to all different countries. (when she did lower grades, they went all over the U.S.)
While “in that state/country”, all the lessons revolved around that country: math, reading, science, history. How does this apply to you? Well….
first, do an art project where they make a passport. Either take their picture to glue on there, or have them draw a pic of themselves. Include a few pages in the passport, if you’re going to do multiple locations. Pretend you’re in an airplane and fly to your destination. YOU stamp it when you “land” in your first place. (draw a picture, get a little rubber stamp of something from that place… a moose for Alaska, a shamrock for Ireland, a triangle for Egypt, etc)
Then do stuff that they do in that place:
~ for cooking, make something that they eat in that place. (Mexico: tacos. Germany: bratwurst. Ireland: Soda bread. Etc.)
~ For art, draw what they see, listen to music from that place, make a group project of something traditional, like a pinata.
~ for playtime, learn the games that are traditional to that country
When you’re done with that place, board the plane, and fly somewhere else.
It will take a little research, but I’ll bet you will have a BLAST with it! And everyone will learn a little bit, too, which is always a cool thing. (and if you need help planning… drop me an e-mail. I’d love to help!!)
OOH!! OOH!! OOH!!!
you can do this with history, too! Travel back in time… go to the Dinosaur era! Go to the time when the Indians were here. Go back to the Colonial Era, or the 60’s (a bunch of little flower kids!).
Of course, you’ll have to tailor this to your age group, but I’ll bet you could do it.
And once you get the kids going, their imagination will spur you on.
Have the kids bring in t-shirts or pillow cases and buy some fabric paint. They will have a blast painting thier own stuff and then they can keep it!
That’s a great idea. A handprint shirt for Mother or Father’s day would be a good idea too for the parents.
These are all great ideas…I’m writing them all down!! Thanks I knew I’d get some great new ideas!!
I love Joy’s bird feeder idea. That would be a nice thing for them to bring home. I was just looking in Christopher’s room b/c Karen’s got them doing stuff all the time! A windsock would be fun and easy. Construction paper cut into a thicker long strip and glued together to make a circle then use tissue paper for the tales, attach a piece of yarn or sting at the top for the hanger. They also like to decorate boxes or pails with jewels or foam things, stuff like that. You could probably get them at the dollar store. If you do a pirate theme you could make treasure chests! That’d be fun! I also like the shirt idea and I bet you could find T-shirts at the dollar store and then it could be a total surprise for the parents.
In Target’s dollar section I got the kids a science experiment book and it’s full of easy to do things. The crayon thing sounds really neat and I’ll have to try that! We have so many crayones I don’t know what to do with them!
Another idea… I did this for Christmas last year – it made some pretty cool presents.
Marble magnets. The how-to is here: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/marblemagnets/
The little ones will need some help, but basically, it’s cut-glue kind of stuff.
you’ll need to do a little work. I made them with pictures of Josh with his grandparents. The best pictures are single-subject, and very close-up. So take a bunch of digital pics of your kids, close up on faces only… have them be silly! Make faces, be goofy.
Put the pics on your desktop publishing program (I used Publisher, but most will let you do this), and crop them to circles, and size them down to the size of your marbles. I used 3/4″.
Cutting the pictures out is easier if you have a punch, and they are available, I know… they’re just hard to find.
Make sure the magnets are the same size, that way everything is supported. Also, I found that some of the marble bottoms have creases and stuff in them… the silicone will smooth out all but the worst wrinkles.
They really do turn out as cute as the website says. Cuter when the subject is someone you love.