The coldest weekend of the year (thus far) looms and with it, the daunting prospect of spending a few days inside with your little ones. Here are a few ideas and snippets of text taken from around the net to help you keep the kids entertained indoors and your own sanity intact.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cooking oil
Mix 1 cup flour and cream of tartar together in a large saucepan. Add water and oil and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to stiffen. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Knead an additional 1 or 2 cups of flour into the mixture. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.
No Cook Playdough
2 cups boiling water
3 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp. cooking oil
3 tsp. alum
Preparation: In a large bowl, mix ingredients listed above. After mixing, knead well. Add food coloring as desired. Store in an airtight container or heavy plastic bag for up to six months.
"Children also may enjoy bowling indoors too. A long hallway is perfect for a game of bowling. Empty water bottles as pins and a small indoor ball are great for creating an at home bowling set. Many stores also sell indoor bowling sets in the toy department. Bowling isn’t exactly the most physical sport so children can be encouraged to race down to the pins to set them back up for the next player."
* Cardboard box
* Newspaper or tissue paper for decorating
* Tennis balls or a rolled-up pair of socks
1. Draw a happy face on the side of a closed cardboard box. Make sure to draw a big, smiling, open mouth.
2. Cut out the mouth. Add hair to the top of the box by gluing strips of newspaper or tissue paper so they hang down the sides.
3. Stand back a suitable distance and see how many balls can be thrown into the mouth.
"Have old catalogs lying around? With child-safe scissors, let your youngsters cut out the people figures, glue to cardstock and create their own modern day paper dolls! For an extra touch, round up a discarded cardboard box and home accents catalog and create some cozy digs for their new paper dolls!"
Print Your Own Coloring Books
Free, downloadable coloring pages are an inexpensive way to give your children something to do indoors, or on the go. They travel easier than a coloring book, and pictures for almost every occasion can be found.
Some great websites to get photos from are:
Coloring Book Pages
Free Coloring Pages
Coloring Book Fun
Google Image Search
Free Kids Coloring Pages"
2 cups white flour
2 cups cold water
Put water into a large bowl. Slowly add the flour, while the children are stirring. Once it’s all mixed together, divide into smaller bowls and add food coloring.
"Art viewing does not only have to occur in a museum or formal art gallery. This budget friendly activity is a great alternative for families looking to save on entertainment expenses. It is also an option for families that do not live near a museum or feel unable to attend museum/gallery events due to a child’s age or behavior. Additionally, a home art gallery activity is ideal for a very cold snow filled day." More here.
Preschoolers can help parents prepare soup and experience sharing while they cooperate to complete a task. You’ll be surprised at how much learning takes place!
You will need:
A large pot with a cover, vegetable brush, vegetable peeler (optional), knives, cutting board, measuring cup, a ladle/big spoon, soup bowls and a stovetop.
Ingredients can include:
4 cups water, 4 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes, and a variety of vegetables; carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, onions, zucchini etc.
Preparation: Wash and scrub the vegetables (peeling is optional). Cut into 1" pieces. Pour water into the pot, and add the bouillon and vegetable pieces. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
Preschoolers help by:
· Choosing their favorite vegetables to put into the soup (making decisions)
· Scrubbing vegetables (muscle coordination)
· Measuring water and pouring into the pot (pre-math skills)
· Placing vegetables into the water
· Listening for the timer (anticipating an event & listening skills)
· Setting the table (counting)
When youngsters set the table they learn to:
· Count objects correctly
· Follow simple directions
· accept responsibility
· Match one-to-one when counting
* Paper clips
* Thin wire or string
* Drinking straws
1. Hang the wire or string across the room.
2. Make a rocket that will propel itself along the wire.
3. Use the balloon to provide the rocket’s power and the straw, paper clips and tape to guide it along the wire.
4. Use your imagination and your knowledge of air power to make the balloon travel across the room. Remember, the air that is forced out of the balloon pushes the balloon along in the opposite direction.
Can you make a rocket system that will get across the room and then come back again?! Draw a diagram of your design.
Note: This science activity is based on Newton’s Third Law of Motion—every action has an equal and opposite reaction.