"It’s raining. There’s nothing to do. None of my friends are home. My favorite cartoon isn’t on for two hours!"
What to do with bored kids in crisis situations such as these?
How about a fun family project? Little ones can help gather materials, set up and work on the project, then enjoy the rewards.
Try these colorful, somewhat mess-contained activities today.
Baking soda and colored vinegar art – This project is super cheap, and I bet you already have everything you need in your kitchen cabinets. Mix up a few small bowls of white vinegar and food coloring. Cover the bottom of a glass dish (with high sides, to reduce mess) with baking soda. Using a medicine dropper, let kids get creative by sprinkling colored drops on the white “canvas.” After the kids are finished, don’t forget to take pictures of their masterpieces before tossing the baking soda.
Fairies in a jar – Mason jar, plus glitter, plus glow stick (minus the stick) equals magic. Who knew? Add ingredients, fasten lid, and shake. This project would be excellent for a summer evening or camping trip! Unfortunately, the “fairies” only last as long as the glow stick, but you can just add the contents of another glow stick to keep the magic going.
Make a real volcano! – This ain’t your sixth-grade science fair project from 1988! First, and most importantly, find a clear glass fireproof container, like a Pyrex measuring cup. Put a little wax in the bottom, then cover with sand, and fill the rest of the container with water. Heat the bottom of the container carefully, and watch as the wax begins to boil through the sand, like molten lava through the Earth’s crust. Eventually, the pressure builds up to a mini-volcanic explosion.
DIY GAK – Even if you’re not familiar with this gooey, sticky, smushy stuff, you can bet your kids probably are. You can make your own with four simple ingredients: Elmer’s glue, Borax, food coloring and water. Mix it up and it’s ready for play in just a few minutes. Store in a plastic bag or container for a few weeks.
Homemade gummy worms – Worms always taste better when little hands help make them! These simple gummy treats are made with Jello and plastic straws. Mix the Jello with 2/3 cup boiling water in a shallow baking dish. After the liquid cools, place the straws in the dish so they fill up with liquid Jello inside. Weigh down the straws so they stay full, then refrigerate until Jello is firm. Using a rolling pin, squeeze the “worms” out of the straws. Eat, repeat, enjoy!