Since Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, that usually means more time outdoors and lots of outdoor eating. If you’re going to a picnic this weekend, here are a few simple games, activities and food ideas to help win the day.
MAKE PATRIOTIC NECKLACES using red, white, andblue straws cut into one inch sections. String them onto a piece of yarn and everyone looks ready for a parade or backyard barbeque.
Try frozen STRAWBERRY POPS to cool off after a fun day in the sun. Wash and remove the stems from a quart of strawberries. Toss them in a blender and add a splash of orange or grape juice. Puree until smooth. Pour into small paper cups. Place a popsicle stick in each one and freeze until firm. Peel away the paper and they’re ready to eat.
At the next family reunion, have the kids dress up in red, white, andblue and have a backyard parade. You can decorate wagons and bikes, and play some peppy marching band music to add to the festivities. Adults can join in and everyone can “perform” by doing whatever they’re good at: acrobatics, card tricks, puppet show, singing, dancing, telling corny jokes. Getting everyone – young and old – involved adds to the fun.
With spring finally here, and Easter and Passover right around the corner, there are lots of ways to celebrate the season with crafts and egg decorating. Some of the easiest and festive kids crafts can be found on the RED TED ART sight. There are 40 Easter crafts using eggs, pompom balls, and readily available materials. http://www.redtedart.com
When I was a kid, we died eggs by dipping them into cups of colored water. You can still do that, but now there are many other ways to decorate eggs for the holiday. You can use non-toxic water color paints to create works of art. Try paint daubers to make dots, Crayola or other non-toxic markers to draw designs. The Red TED sight has many other ideas for egg decorating. If you wish to try the Polish art of PISANKY egg dying, you can order your own kit from:http://www.chinaberry.com
I decorated this egg at a workshop on how to do PISANKY.
Here’s a unique way to give out chocolate treats for the holiday: Create egg-shaped baskets out of balloons and dazzle family and friends with your talent. Check out the how-tos for MAGIC BALLOON TREATS at: http://www.thewhoot.com.au
Materials: trays, shaving foam, red and pink non-toxic acrylic paint, craft sticks, hearts cut from white copy paper.
1. Squirt shaving foam into a deep tray and drizzle red and pink paint over the top of it.
2.Take Popsicle sticks and gently swirl the mixture around until the paint leaves a trail behind it through the shaving foam.
3. Press large paper hearts down into the mixture leaving them to completely dry.
Benefits of Messy Play for your Child
Whether you love to get messy or not, there is no doubt that the benefits of letting your kids enjoy messy play at home, definitely outweigh the post-session clean up operation.
With careful planning and preparation, there is no reason to stress the mess of setting up a messy play activity for your child. Instead sit back and enjoy watching them learning as they play.
Exploring different materials and textures with their hands provides an excellent work out for their developing fine motor skills.
Allowing your child to take charge of how they use the activity is great for their confidence and self-esteem.
It can be used to stimulate all of their senses or just a few at a time.
Listening too and talking to your child about what they are doing, works not only on building their language skills, but it is also helping to expand their growing creativity and imagination. It may look like a pile of mush to you, but listen to how your child’s imagination can bring it to life.
Here is an easy no-bake dough you can use to make holiday ornaments, beads for jewelry or magnets. The fragrance is heavenly and lasts for years…even after being stored away with other Christmas ornaments. All you need is the following: 2 C. applesauce, 2 C ground cinnamon and 2 T white glue. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until you have a soft dough. Roll it out onto waxed paper until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut it into shapes using various cookie cutters. Use a straw or nail to poke a hole at the top if you are making ornaments. This will give you a hole for the string. Set the cut ornaments aside to dry. They will take 24-48 hours and should be turned over half way through to ensure both sides are completely dry.
After they dry, you can decorate them with glitter, sequins, etc. by brushing a layer of glue onto the front and sprinkling the decoration of choice.
CAUTION: Even though this dough smells heavenly and is made of food products, don’t eat it. It is strictly for craft use only.
Do you have a child who loves working with her hands? Does he enjoy taking things apart or building things from scratch? Or, do you want to teach your child the proper way to use tools while creating something hand-made and original? Try signing him or her up for one of the MONTHLY kids classes at your local Home Depot.
A recent class had children building a Military Appreciation Humvee. Other projects have included: fire trucks, birdhouses, picture frames, toolboxes, mail organizers, race cars and many more.
These classes are FREE and the store will provide all the materials needed to complete a project. Classes take place one Saturday each month and begin around 9AM, usually lasting a few hours. BUT…YOU must register in advance to make sure your child has a spot. Spaces can fill up quickly.
The Home Depot Kids Workshop is for children ages 5-12. An adult will need to stay with the child during the entirety of the Home Depot Kids Workshop.
Interested? Here’s information from the site on how to register:
Everywhere I look these days, people are talking about FIDGET SPINNERS. These gadgets were designed for use with children with autism as a way to help them with sensory issues. They come in all shapes, sizes and designs and some are even battery powered.
You can make some simple spinners with materials you probably already have at home. Here is a link from the Red Ted craft site that give you a step by step video.