5 minute sparklers
In the summer lots of kids are less than eager to do anything they feel is like school work, so sit down crafts are not always the best choice. Or if you are like me and juggling an infant and an older child these quick summer activities are fast to set up, and easy to navigate with one in your arms and one busy exploring. You are probably familiar with all of these ideas but I know I get in a rut and the most obvious ideas are sometimes forgotten.
I am sure most of you have sidewalk chalk. This is not at all an original idea but what we did with the chalk was fun and I want to share it. We drew a train and then grabbed an atlas and chose all different places to go to. Each place we picked up a new person that my son drew into the train. A fun outdoor geography lesson!
I have been grabbing the play dough a lot in the past 2 weeks. My son loves to pretend to be a baker and make cakes while I check my email, or tend to his sister. The other day we decided to grab some scrap paper and add it to the cakes as decorations. Not exactly earth shattering but a really easy twist and it kept him entertained for ages! Also using scissors to cut the paper ( or playdough) is extra fine motor skills practice.
$1 spray bottle from the dollar store, 2 pieces of paper, some water, washable paint and he was in heaven! Mix the paint in with the water, and let them loose.
I did a similar activity with my son when he was under 2 so I was shocked that now pushing 4 he would still be into it. Wow is he ever. He loves getting water, paint brushes and “washing windows” he also does the siding and porch for free! Simple , cheap and it promotes imaginative play. Not bad for a quick summer activity!
And if all that fails… Bubbles!
We Dig Halloween!
I bought these black beans and orange lentils for another Halloween craft but when we made it the real hit was scooping and pouring… and spilling! So we ran out to the dollar store got some fun plastic creatures to add to it to complete this easy DIY sensory tub that is small enough for even the tiniest apartment.
- Gather your materials. You will need a plastic container, some dried black beans, some dried orange lentils, we added macaroni for bones, a spoon/scoop, some plastic spiders, snakes and other spooky creatures!
- Have your child help pour the beans and lentils into the tub.
- Grab the creatures and hide them under the beans.
- Christmas Play Dough. All you need is some food coloring, sparkles and a few holiday shaped cookie cutters and you are good to go.
- Button Counting. My son loved how the buttons sounded in my ramekins, we sorted them and then counted them.
- “Snow” Bubbles. Playing in the sink is a favorite in our house . I used an upside down bowl and a 2nd on top to make a good and big target for my son to scoop into , it helps keep too much water off him and the floor. It looks oddly high in this picture, it’s actually lower in the sink.
- Holiday Shape Drawings. This is so easy! Grab a few pieces of plain white paper, cut them in the shape of a Christmas tree, candy cane, ornament… anything! I pre cut 8 pages so I have some ready when I need them. When you need your little one to be busy for a few minutes grab the paper and markers and you are set!
you the time for big elaborate crafts but you can fit these quick fixes into even the busiest schedule, even if it’s just allowing your child to “help” you get some things done.
- Kitchen Caper! My son loves “helping” me cook. He has never been a big eater but if he helps make the food he always eats it. Here he is helping me make cookies, don’t worry the mixer is unplugged , we count , scoop, measure and pour while making treats! Oh and be the official butter taste tester!
- Water Scooping. I propped up a plastic mixing bowl on top of another filled it with water and let him splash and scoop.
- Patio drawing ! Out door chalk is awesome, it comes clean with water, and comes in bright fun colors.
- At Home Museum! We grabbed some Art books and looked for cats, boats and apples in the paintings, it lasted almost 40 minutes and made no mess! Here we are enjoying gothic architecture!
- Gather your materials. You will need some Styrofoam, golf tees, a play hammer and your child. Seriously how simple is that?
- Put the golf tees in the Styrofoam – don’t push them all the way in though.
- Add your little one and let them pound it in.
- You will not want to leave them unattended, in case a tee breaks, or small bits of the Styrofoam breaks off. So watch carefully as they have a blast hammering! Oh and don’t tell them they are building fine motor skills too!
This is the way we pound our nails,
pound our nails, pound our nails,
This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning.
This is the way we turn the screw,
Turn the screw, turn the screw
This is the way we turn the screw, so early in the morning.
This is the way we saw the wood
saw the wood, saw the wood,
This is the way we saw the wood, so early in the morning!
This is the way we build a house,
build a house, build a house.
This is the way we build a house so early in the morning!