This week is officially Spring Break for us. If you are social distancing like we are you are probably looking for easy activities you can do at home with your kids. Here are three fun activities you can try today!
Activity 1: Collections and Study Drawings
Do your kids love collecting things? Mine sure do. Last week I gave each of my kids an egg carton and we headed out around the block. I told them to fill up their egg cartons with whatever they would like. If you haven't been saving egg cartons start saving them now, there are lots of fun activities you can do with egg cartons.
When we got home I gave them paper and colored pencils and told them to draw their objects. My daughter (5 years old) lined up all of her objects and started drawing them one at a time. My son (almost 4) laid each object on his paper and traced them. If your kids are too young to draw, tracing is a great alternative that will improve their drawing and writing abilities.
The best part about this project is how excited your kids will be to go on a walk because they get to collect things. When you get home they will be so proud of their collections!
Activity 2: Colored Water Play
This is always a huge hit at my house, and the best part is it's so easy to set up. First collect lots of clear glass or plastic containers. If you have a clear plastic bin to hold them all in it helps. Lay a few mixing tools next to it. Funnels and turkey basters are also fun. It's best to do this outside if you can.
You can fill the containers up yourself with a garden hose, or let your kids help you. They are going to want to help. If we do anything during this quarantine, let's vow to slow down and let our kids help more!
Next put a few drops of food coloring in most of the containers. Leave a few containers with just plain water so that they can pour other colors into it and mix. I recommend only giving them the primary colors to start out with. Red, yellow and blue. They will learn that mixing these colors makes all the other colors in the rainbow!
Stand back and let them do whatever they want with it. They will mix and pour and discover how to make the secondary colors orange, green, and purple.
Eventually it will all start to turn black, or brown. That's okay! When you mix all the primary colors together, that's what happens. I happened to have some big plastic bugs nearby, so the kids grabbed them and decided to wash them.
If you have cars, dinosaurs or bugs you could put them out at this point to extend the activity. If you don't already have a set of bugs I highly recommend you order some on Amazon, these bugs have created hours of entertainment for my kids. My son turned it in to bug soup!
Activity 3: Bake/Make Something Edible
I probably don't need to tell you this, because it seems like everyone is baking something these days. It is a great time for baking. I dusted off an old Joy of Cooking book the other day. I found that it has lots of great recipes and when I find one that looks good, but is too complicated, I can usually find a simpler version of it online. I'm all about finding the simplest version of cooking things. We've made bread, cinnamon rolls, and croissants. It doesn't always turn out how it's supposed to, but my kids absolutely love helping measure, mix, pour and bake!
One of my favorite things we did a few months back was making butter. The best part is you only need one ingredient. All you need is heavy whipping cream, a jar to shake it up in and a strainer.
I remember making this when I was in elementary school by passing around a baggie and shaking it. Everyone took turns shaking it. You can use a jar or a ziplock baggie. Shake it until it forms a soft lump. It will take about 15-20 minutes of shaking. You could turn on some music and make this part a butter shaking dance party!
Once you have a soft clump of butter in the jar, pour the liquid buttermilk out through a mesh strainer. If you don't have a mesh strainer I bet you could use a colander or something else that you already have.
Wrap up the butter in some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for later. We used our chunks of butter for weeks. This really does make actual butter!
I hope these ideas help you get through the long days. This isn't the Spring Break that we planned for, but my kids are bonding and playing more than ever and it's kind of nice!