School has been remote for about a week now, and by this time you’ve probably run out of activities to keep your kids active and busy. With so much free time and likely more on the way, it is important to keep your kids both physically and mentally active so that they stay healthy and engaged. Here are five unique ideas that will keep them busy for hours!
1) Make Invisible Ink to Write Secret Messages
This easy experiment is a fun way for kids to write secret messages to friends and family. The best part is that all the ingredients are common household objects that you are likely to have in your house! All you need is a piece of paper, cotton swab, a heat source like a lamp or hair dryer, and either a lemon or some milk. First, squeeze some lemon juice (or add some milk) into a glass and mix it with water. Dip the cotton swab into the mix and write your message on a piece of paper; allow it to dry completely. Once dry, have an adult hold the paper up to the heat source; the message should start to appear.
2) Cereal Bird Feeders
Looking for something to do involving nature? One simple activity to do is create a DIY bird feeder using cereal and pipe cleaners. It’s a little-known fact that birds love cereal. To make this feeder, take a pipe cleaner (or a plastic straw) and thread cheerios (or another circular cereal) through it. Make sure to leave enough space at the end to tie it around a small tree branch. Put it in a place easy for kids to see, such as on a tree visible from the living room. Look for the different types of birds that enjoy the snack, and when all the cereal is gone, simply put more on!
3) DIY “Drive-In” Movie Theater
This activity combines arts and crafts with movies to keep the kids entertained for a long time. To create a DIY movie theater, the first thing you need to do is make a car! All you need for this is some paint, a cardboard box large enough for your kids to sit in, and some paper plates. Have the kids paint the outside of their box to look like a car. Adding stripes to the sides helps! When it dries, add two paper plates to each side of the box for wheels. When everything is finished drying, set out some snacks and put on a movie for the kids to watch from the comfort of their new car.
4) Create a Photo Album
It’s always fun to create photo albums or scrapbooks to look back on in the future. All you need for this is some thick paper (such as cardboard or cardstock), a printer for your photos, markers, stickers, and anything else you might want to have them decorate with. Let your child pick out which photos they want to use to help them be more involved in the project. Usually a scrapbook with around five pages, two pictures on each is a good amount for this activity. Have them decorate each page with the markers and stickers and help them add captions to each photo! When each page is finished, let it dry. After you’re done, you can make a book out of the pages by using a hole-punch and tying the pages together with string, creasing the side of each page and gluing them together (make sure to leave enough room on the edges), or even just staple the pages together. Voila, and your scrapbook is done!
5) Make Scented Playdough
The last activity is another fun, hands-on project. All you need to create homemade play-dough is 1 cup flour, ¼ cup salt, ¾ cup water, 3 tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs vegetable oil, food coloring, and a splash of extract to create a scent. Add the water, oil, and lemon juice to a medium size non-stick pan, and heat over medium heat. Add any food coloring and scents to this mixture. Next, in a mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Once the water is hot but not boiling, add the dry ingredients and mix it to fully combine. Stir until they form a ball. Place on wax paper to cool down, then knead the dough for a few minutes to bring it all together. Finally, store your play dough in a tight container so that it stays soft and doesn’t harden. A fun idea is to change up the mixture based on the season. For example, in the spring you could make it light yellow and add a lemon scent, or make it pink and add a cherry scent using cherry extract.
Hopefully these provided you with some unique, entertaining ideas to help keep your kids busy during the day and unleash their creative side. They’re perfect activities not only for them to stay busy, but also to help you and your family bond and make memories together. Enjoy!