How to Keep the Children Busy

Put down the remote control, and get busy – now there’s TV-free activity for every day of the year with Crafty Kidz.

1. Indoor Activities

Save everyday household junk. This often makes the best play toys for young children. By recycling you are teaching them the importance of saving the environment. Collect cylindrical tubs and loo rolls for an easy to make desk tidy.

2.Arts and craft

It doesn’t cost much to buy paint and paper. Keep some in hand for wet days – or take art into the garden when it’s sunny.

3.Food Fun

Get kids involved in cooking. Prepare mashed potatoes and a range of veggies, let them use their imaginations and create fabulous faces on their plates. Cakes are simple to bake with very little practice. Let your kids add and experiment with different ingredients of their choice, and get carried away with funky decorations. Anything that gets their hands messy is usually a sign of success. Bread can be fun too – add ingredients like dried fruit, honey etc…

4. Bird Seed Cakes

Cooking for feathered friends: You need: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats and chopped nuts, dried bread, lard, small empty margarine or yoghurt containers, strong twigs and string. Melt the lard in a saucepan over the heat. When completely melted, mix well with the dry seed mix. Spoon the mixture into container. Push a twig into the middle of container and leave until completely set. Take the cake out of container and roll in some more bird seed. Hang in tree with string and place near branches where birds can perch safely.

5.Number Games

Collect old birthday and Christmas cards, and help your kids count too. You could cut and paste six snowmen, or find seven Santa’s to make a picture. Print off a few pages of large numbers on the pc too – you can use them to label your pictures.

NUMBER HUNT. Call out a number and then ask the children to find objects that represent that number from around the house. For example, a chair has four legs, a rolling pin has two handles… you will be amazed at how inventive they become. This activity is something they can do with you, while you are trying to do something else like cooking dinner!

6.Games to Play

Sometimes the old ones are the best ones. Bring out snakes and ladders and snap if you just don’t know what to do. Even today’s technology loving kids can have fun with family games. Have fun creating your own games too. Divide up a large sheet of paper into squares and get them to invent and draw their own game.

7. Outdoor activities

Paint with water. This is a no-mess, no clear up idea for a sunny day. Just get out some old painting brushes or rollers and water, and let the kids draw and decorate with water on the patio or a flat wall. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could add food colouring or a little WASHABLE poster paint….but you’ll need to get the kids to hose their designs away then!

8.Footprint casts

If you can track down some animal footprints in the garden, why not make casts of them? You’ll need a small spade, a cardboard box, and plaster of paris or casting plaster. Check in the garden for interesting footprints. Dig up the prints with a small spade, taking enough dirt to stop it falling apart (works best when the ground is nice and moist). Carefully place the footprint into a box. Mix up plaster, following the instructions carefully. Pour the liquid plaster carefully into the footprint and smooth off the top with an old knife. Leave it until dry and hard. Brush off dirt and you should have an exact replica of the footprint. They can now be painted.

9.Exploring the environment

Have a treasure hunt outside. Make a list of items to collect – you could look for a rainbow of colours, different shapes or sizes, or simply list things like a feather, a stone, a flower etc. You can use the collection for creating a collage too. Collect rocks from the garden and bring them in to paint and decorate.

10.Sports skills

Create your own assault course. Crawl under a blanket, through a hoop or box – just scale your ideas up or down depending on the space available inside or out.

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