We only have two more weeks of great activities to share…we’re saving some of our best ideas for last! Take a look at what’s on tap for this week:
MONDAY: We’re going fishing today! Now, before you start complaining because you don’t live near a pond/river/lake/ocean, let me explain. We’re MAKING our “fish tank”! Each child is getting a water bottle (or any type of clear plastic bottle with a lid) and we’re filling it with water. We’ll add a few drops of blue food coloring to turn our “pond” a lovely shade of blue, then we’re adding a bit of glitter as well (to make the water “sparkle”). From here, the sky’s pretty much the limit! We can either decorate the outside of our “pond” with shapes cut from foam or construction paper (seaweed, fish, rocks), or we can add things to our “pond” to make it more realistic. Small pebbles work well, maybe a stray weed or stick from the yard, and throw in a gummy fish! My boys have tons of small plastic animals, so those will probably be our new pond residents by the end of the project. This is great for kids of any age! (Note: either tape or hot glue the lid shut when you are done to prevent food coloring leaks where you least want them.)
TUESDAY: We’re making it RAIN today! Now, if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that happens to get rain today, break out those umbrellas and get out in the rain and play! For us in Texas, chances are we are NOT getting rain, but we can make our own with the help of the sprinkler. Running barefoot and playing with umbrellas is always a lot of fun for kids, and the grass gets a good soak as well.
WEDNESDAY: Its BACKWARDS DAY today! Make sure you dress backwards, walk backwards, and if you can swing it, talk backwards! The kids will have fun with this, no matter what age, even if it is just laughing at you and your backwardsness. See how many things you can do backwards today. And, don’t forget to head to the library today (but PLEASE don’t drive backwards!).
THURSDAY: One issue I have that seems magnified in the summer is keeping my kids occupied while I’m preparing dinner (or lunch or breakfast…). So, my boys are making PLACEMATS today! I am giving them each a piece of manilla paper, but you could also use colored construction paper, posterboard, or even cardboard…whatever you have on hand. I am pulling out all my “crafty scraps”: fabric swatches, old sticker sheets, markers, glue, old buttons, yarn; I am basically emptying my craft drawer for them! Since I’m making a pasta dish tonight, they’ll get a bit of that and some dried beans to use as well if they choose. While I prepare dinner, they are going to make one-of-a-kind placemats for the family. We may only use them for one meal, but it will keep them busy while I’m in the kitchen without using the television as a babysitter (there’s only so much I can take of Nick Jr!). If you choose to use flat items, you can always “seal” the placemat with contact paper (applied to both sides) or take it to your local office supply store and have it laminated! If you’re in the mood for the “full effect” of homemade table accessories, take a paper towel roll (empty of course!) and cut it into small segments for your child or children to decorate. In a short time, you’ll have some unique napkin rings to compliment your placemats!
FRIDAY: One of my most favorite things to do when I was a little girl was to create what is now called “scratch art”. Older kids will be able to do this on their own; younger ones will need adult assistance but can still have loads of fun! Take a plain piece of paper (I actually use manilla or white construction paper cut in half or fourths) and cover it with heavy crayon. Press firmly and color the entire page using any color other than black. The more you vary the color, the better; just make sure you have full coverage. Once the page is full, cover the crayon with heavy BLACK crayon so none of the color can be seen. Using scissors or another edged object, scratch designs in the black crayon, letting the color underneath show through. My older son is actually quite good at this; he plans his artwork ahead of time, making sure to get the colors in the appropriate places for a tree, a car, a house or even a rainbow. Then, when he scratches his picture into the black, he (usually) has green leaves and (usually) a brown trunk!
That’s it for this week!