It's raining, it's pouring and the kids are saying it's boring. Does it sound familiar? Here are six practical and interesting ways to entertain the kids, have fun while sticking to a tight budget.
1. Homemade Silly Putty
1 tsp. Liquid Starch
2 tsp. White School Glue, a little over 2 tsp. is best
Add glue and starch to a small bowl and mix well with a fork. When it starts to clump, continue mixing with hands. Adjust texture as needed. If it's too sticky, add starch and if it's too stringy, add a little glue.
Store in zip lock baggie when not in use.
2. Baggie Ice Cream
Kids will love it and there are virtually no dishes to clean up. Just have one measuring spoon and one measuring cup and spoon for each child and/or parent for eating this easy, tasty treat. This is a great activity for a birthday party.
2 tablespoons sugar per bag
1 cup half and half per bag
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract per bag
1/2 cup salt per bag. Kosher salt works best but if all you have on hand is table salt, shaking time may increase.
1 pint-size zipper lock bag per person
1 gallon-size zipper lock bag per person
Ice cubes or chunks
Into each pint size bag add the sugar, vanilla and half and half. Zip it tight.
Fill each gallon bag approximately ½ to 2/3 full with ice. Sprinkle salt on top of ice. Place pint size bag with
half and half mixture inside the gallon bag and zip tight.
Shake for approximately 5-10 minutes for great tasting, natural soft serve ice cream.
Check the hardness of your ice cream after 5 minutes. When frozen enough for easy spooning, remove pint
size bag from gallon bag, quickly rinse salt mixture from the outside of the bag and enjoy immediately.
3. Closet Sock or Trinket Holder
This is a wonderful way to teach children to re-purpose, reuse and recycle. Soda bottles become great little storage containers for all sorts of odds and ends.
2 liter soda bottles – quantity varies
Ribbon or string
Emory board and scissors
Embellishments, ribbons, buttons, construction or craft paper, jewels or other sewing notions.
Clean and rinse two liter soda bottles, removing any labels.
Adults: Cut upper 1/3 to 2/3 of the top off and save for another project. Great for funnels for jar projects.
Adults: punch two small holes opposite each other ½” from the top for the ribbon handle.
Kids: decorate with found household notions and creative drawings, using white glue. A low temp glue gun can be used for older children.
Kids: String ribbon for handles when decorating is complete.
For sock holders punch two extra holes near the bottom directly below the two upper holes. Link the baskets
together with ribbon for a hanging sock chain.
4. Fluffy Hair Ties
Great for girls of all ages. Show school spirit or choose colors to match an outfit. These great hair ties are all the rage.
Beads – optional
Cut ribbon in 4-6″ lengths.
Fold the ribbon in half, slipping folded end through the hair elastic and then pull the cut ends of the ribbon
through the loop, making a cinch knot when pulled tight.
Repeat until desired amount of ribbon is attached.
Athletes can use foam athletic pre-wrap.
Old sheets and pillowcases are a great substitute if ribbon isn't available.
5. “Lava” Lamp
Homemade “lava” lamps are great fun. Kids will watch the water and oil mix and separate again for hours.
24oz soda bottle
10oz baby oil
Mix oil and 4 drops of food coloring in a bowl and pour into soda bottle.
Fill with water.
Add beads for interest.
Close tightly and let the kids shake away.
6. Homemade Soap
Decorative soaps are great for teacher and grandparent gifts.
3 cups Ivory soap flakes or 3 bars grated with a cheese grater equaling 3 cups
Liquid food coloring – 10-30 drops
1/3 cup Water
Mix water and food coloring.
Add colored water to the soap powder a little at a time until it feels like play dough. Add more water if
Using vegetable oil on hands to keep soap from sticking, press soap into greased candy molds.
Let dry overnight before wrapping for gift giving.