Monday, January 7, 2013

Keeping the Kids Busy

The house we're moving into has a fenced in back yard that's actually pretty large. It will still be too cold for a while though to go outside. I like finding different activities we can do inside; the kind you can do when it's too cold, or raining. It keeps the kids busy and allows me to do whatever it is I need to get done. With the new move it's gonna take a lot of work to get every thing in the shape I want it in, with the bedrooms mainly. We still haven't been able to get in touch with the landlord about the toilet in the first bathroom or the kitchen sink being stopped up. These are things I'm going to have to fix completely myself if I can't reach him. I won't sit and wait and we'll talk about paying me back or taking it off the rent afterwards. Anyway, these type of activities are going to come in handy BIG TIME while I'm trying to accomplish all this. They're also cheap- which you guys know I love.

Smashing Balls:

1 C. water
1 C. Flour
food coloring

mix together, the mixture should be kind of thick and add whatever colors you'd like. Cover the cotton balls and bake at 300 degrees for around 45 minutes. They may have some annoying flat edges, if you don't like these you can snip them off with some scissors. TIP: line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for an easy clean up. When they're done and kind of hard hand them over to the kiddos with a kid hammer or rubber mallet and let them go to town. They can also stomp them to bits. Some people say there's no real educational value here but I can find it. It's scientific, explaining how the chemical composition of the gooey mixture changes with heat and becomes hard. There's also the question of density which is why the cotton balls aren't always colored all the way through with this mixture where they would be with water and food coloring. There's also the subject of fine motor skills here, let them use tweezers to pull the cotton balls out of a bowl.These are ALSO great therapy for aggression issues. Seriously though, it's a game. It's just fun. Get over yourself. I used to throw rocks at the side of a barn. Mom didn't question the educational purpose behind that and I can assure you that I turned out just fine. Oh, and go follow the blog I linked in the title, she's awesome.

Masking Tape Race Track:

Basically for this activity you just need a floor and some masking tape. Which, if I'm not mistaken can be bought in lots of different colors. Painters tape is also a good option and, in all honesty, is pretty much the same thing. Here's the pin I saw this on originally:

I can't seem to figure out who to give credit to for this so if you know, please let me know. It's a wonderful idea, it really is, masking tape is cheap, it pulls up easily and can provide hours of fun, not to mention a different track each time. Upon googling this I found even more similar ideas (yet never the original) that really were awesome.

Here  (at Maddycakes Muse) is a picture I found that was about a race car/ race track themed birthday party. This is made out of black plastic table cloth and masking tape:
I have a friend who's son is race car crazy and she's gonna love this

Isn't that great? Go show her some love too, she did this party for a wonderful reason and there are several other ideas on that particular post. She seems to be a very good hearted person.

This (from Motherly Loving) is also a great idea, using the same concept and is also for a little boys birthday. Being from Corvette City, I loved the car in the driveway :)

Honestly, I went crazy with ideas with masking tape after seeing all this. Other things you could do would be hopscotch, tic tac toe and any game you could play using chalk on the sidewalk or driveway. It's really more versatile than I realized until today.

Discovery Bottles:

Discovery bottles are geared specifically toward learning. The way I look at it, the more you jump start your child's mind into thinking the more they learn, it's just like reading really. These really focus on sight, sound and smell. They make your child turn and twist or shake the bottle, making a different reaction each time and jump starting their little minds. Here's my favorite but this blogger has so many on her site, I believe I'll create every single one.

It's just some pipe cleaners in a glass jar with a magnet to make them move. It's simple but it takes me back to the little magnet shaving faces where you could add hair to the blank face on a board- does anyone else remember these? I loved them. Seriously though, click that link- go show her some love too, these are amazing. Magnets can be bought here, horseshoe 6.25/12 and will be useful for other projects as well.

Balloon Ping Pong:
Bouncing a small ball around the house can always turn into trouble. I don't know about your kids but mine would most certainly break something. So, the solution is, turning the ball into a balloon. It's hard to break much with a simple balloon. Tobers, Bubba and Livvy are all obsessed with balloons. They're a big deal at my house. They're also really cheap. If you're kids are as in love with them as mine are go check out Oriental Trading where you can get them (and so much more stuff) cheaply. The ones I linked to are 144 for 5$. Basically balloon ping pong is your basic ping pong game using popsicle sticks (500 large ones for 7.25 at OT) glued or stapled to paper plates as the paddles and the balloon as the ball. Lots of fun for the kiddos.

More Great Links:
SavingStar- 10 activities for kids I absolutely love this, and it's got 10 more links to 10 more places for great ideas, check out the ocean in a bottle. That makes me so happy and wouldn't that be a great idea to use keepsakes from a beach trip?
Oriental Trading they have just so much stuff for really cheap, go check it out. I can't say enough about this website. They have stuff for everything from decorations for any party to soap and candle making to paints, crayons, and markers to costumes to anything. It's really great. It's also a great place to get soap dye for those homemade bathtub crayons

1 comment:

  1. We keep our kids busy with audiobooks. They're far more engaging than dvds and tv, and it gets them interested in tv. There's lots of great sites where you can download original stuff, instead of the same old public domain stories like Red Riding Hood. This is a good one where you can download original stuff for free.