Saturday, March 15, 2008

10 Spring Break-ish Things To Do With the Kids

1. Plant something. Kids love to dig in the dirt, why not start a window sill herb garden? If you're like us and live where the garden centers are already breaking out the primroses and tulips, it's a great time to weed out that flower bed and add a little color! Even some terra cotta pots and let the kids paint them before you plant.

Don't want to plant? How about making a t-shirt?

2. Home made Playdough: This recipe, with the addition of Kool-Aid powder, is wonderfully scented! We especially love grape and orange flavors-and it's not one that leaves horrible salt residue on your hands.

3. Make some cherry blossom pictures. Materials: Construction paper (light blue looks nice), some thin brown paint, a straw, 1/2 inch squares of white or pink tissue, a pencil, and glue.

Put a small glob of paint on the construction paper and blow the paint (using the straw) to get it to run in lines, resembling a branch. Let dry.

Take a square of tissue, and put the eraser end of the pencil in the middle. Fold/scrunch the ends of the square so that the eraser end is now encased in the tissue. Dip the flat bottom in glue, and then stick to the "branch" on the paper. Hold for a minute, and then remove the pencil.

4. Coffee filter butterflies: #2 Cone white Cone Coffee filters work well for these. For younger children, have them make designs on the filters using washable felt pens. Spray with a water bottle and watch the colors run. Allow to dry. For older children, you can let them dip the filters into food coloring and watch the filters soak up the colors, as they run together. Let dry.

The "body" of the butter fly can either be two pipecleaners twisted together (leave the ends free for antennae), or you use a clothespin. Glue the coffee filter wings onto the body.

5. Bake cupcakes! These butterfly ones look delicious. You could also make Easter Egg surprise cupcakes by filling the paper cup 1/3 of the way with cupcake batter, then place an unwrapped chocolate easter egg in the middle, before pouring more batter on top. Bake as usual.

6. How bout a caterpillar to go with those butterflies?

7. Make chocolate fondue-Melt 8 squares (8 oz) of semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler, and then add 1/3 cup whipping cream. Stir until thickened and smooth. Serve with sliced strawberries, pineapple, apples, bananas, mini marshmallows, and pieces of pound cake. The kids can use bamboo skewers to dip and nibble.

8. Turn those boring white shoelaces into psychedelic wonders by tie dying them.

9. Clean out your shelves and have a Book Swap with your friends. We could all use some new reading material!

10. Too much work? Rent some DVD's pop a little popcorn, and call it a day. Maybe even set up a fort with some sheets, pillows, and a few stuffies. Because really, kids are pretty easy to please.

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