zaIt’s Saturday and you’ve got big plans for the day, you are taking your rambunctious, restless, energetic kids to the park. As you start getting their shoes on to head out the door; you hear the first few drops of rain falling from the sky and landing on your front stoop. You glance out the window in terror as you curse the skies, because you immediately realize this means one thing, and one thing only….
You are trapped.
Trapped in your home with wild little creatures who are hopped up on Capri Suns and gummy bears – and there is nowhere to escape to.
FEAR NOT my friends! I have a solution. I have a “magic closet” loaded up with tons of supplies that I picked up from the Dollar Tree, and I pull them out when the kids need something to keep them occupied, and I need a mini break.
I have made a list of some of the cool stuff we have done, that is super easy and incredibly cheap. Check it out below!
This one is pretty cool because you can use stuff that you have lying around your house. The idea is, you put different items inside the bottle, and the child gets an opportunity to see how those items interact with different ingredients. I have also used these as “calming bottles” -when a child has lots of tense energy built up, you put some calming music on and add sparkles and color. Here’s what you need to make these….You can get all of the ingredients at the Dollar Tree – minus the bottle.
Clear plastic bottle-( I like the Voss bottles)
Anything else you want! Example: Beads, sparkles, pipe cleaners, straws, tinsel, craft puffs, water beads, etc.
To Make Sensory Bottle:
Peel the label off of bottle so it’s completely transparent.Now you have a couple options…
A) Fill half of bottle with water (Add a couple drops of food coloring if you’re feeling crazy, and fill remainder with vegetable oil (Add some food coloring to oil before putting in bottle) and BAM. Lava lamp.
B) Fill bottle almost all the way to the top with water ,add food coloring and tilt back and forth until it blends. Then you can add sparkles, water beads, etc and then close the lid. You can seal it shut with glue if you need.
C) Combine the 2 ideas….or do your own thang, you really can’t mess it up.
Pipe Cleaner Flower Garden
So check it out, this lil project only cost me a total of $3, (we already had pipe cleaners and tissue paper). I stayed and made sure she got the hang of it – then I dipped out and watched Dr. Phil. It took her about 45 minutes to finish and she had a blast!
Dry floral foam rings (Dollar Tree – $1)
Pipe Cleaners -(You can get 45 for $1! Whaaaaaaat?)
Pony Beads- Like This. ($1)
Straws (Cut at different lengths).
Planters- Like This
To Make Pipe Cleaner Flower Garden:
Take the round Styrofoam and set it flat on table.
Poke a hole (with a pen, skewer, etc) then place pipe cleaner into the hole. (I found it difficult to make the holes with the pipe cleaners alone so I had to MacGyver it with something sharp.)
Show your kiddo how to put different patterns of beads and straws onto the pipe cleaner to make the stem, be sure to leave a little room at the top of the pipe cleaner because you will need that space.
Grab some tissue paper and cut 3 small circles, then push the pipe cleaner through the center of all 3 circles and secure with another pony bead. Also you could basically crumble the tissue paper up and wrap the damn pipe cleaner around it somehow so it resembles a flower – again, they are kids and will think it’s cool either way.
Continue doing this all the way around the Styrofoam circle until your kid is tired of doing it, or satisfied with their work – then pop that bad boy in the planter and you’re done. Boom.
Homemade Disney “Frozen” Silly Putty
Ya’ll this was my favorite project that we’ve done – mainly because I totally felt like “Bill Nye The Science Guy” when I was showing the girls how to do this.
1 bottle of clear school glue (147 ml)
The same amount of water (147 ml)
1/2 Teaspoon of Borax. (Wtf is Borax? Here ya go)
1/2 Cup HOT water
A few sprinkles of silver and blue glitter ( or a s**t ton of glitter – its up to you)
A few drops of blue food coloring
To Make Disney’s “Frozen” Silly Putty”:
Step 1 – Pour bottle of glue into bowl.
Step 2 – Fill the empty glue bottle up with water and add to bowl.
Step 3 – Stir it until it’s combined.
Step 4 – Add a few drops of blue food coloring and stir again.
Step 5 – Add sprinkles and keep on ah stirrin’.
Step 6 – Get a separate cup, and put 1/2 cup of hot water into the cup.
Step 7 – Add 1/2 teaspoon of Borax to the hot water, and stir until it is dissolved.
Step 8 –(So many damn steps) Pour this solution into the bowl and stir – this is when the cool stuff starts happening! The kids will watch in amazement as it turns into silly putty right before their little eyeballs.
We took it a step further and grabbed some kitchen utensils and started putting jewels into it (See picture) We brought it out to the sun and it looked awesome. It’s a lot of work, but your kids will think you are a magician….Totally worth it.
Build a Fort – Because Forts Are Awesome
I mean, this is pretty self explanatory, right guys? Kids love forts, I literally have no idea why, but they do. Throw some blankets and sheets over chairs, if you wanna get wild – tack them to the wall with thumbtacks, throw in some pillows and books and Booyah! You just bought yourself at least 20 minutes of alone time.
Popcorn and a Movie FTW
Movie, popcorn, children.
This is my go-to rainy day activity when I’m feeling lazy, but its something about a freshly popped bowl of popcorn that makes watching a movie 10x more exciting for them. When they start getting restless I bust out my secret stash of Twizzlers and that buys me a few extra minutes.
Let’s just keep it simple here and buy premade cookie dough, kay? Because ain’t nobody got time to be measuring sugar and flower. (Also, I would have to Google how to make cookies from scratch because I have no clue.)
To make cookies:
Open package, pull apart pre – made, pre-sliced cookie dough.
Have your child space them out on pan.
Decorate with fun sprinkles.
Put them in the oven for however long the package tells you to.
High five them and pretend you are excited that they are baking, when really you are just excited that you get to eat cookies.
This was so much fun, and it helped Aubrey practice math! I don’t want to brag buttttt….I was pretty proud of myself for thinking this up.
10 Water bottles
To Make This:
Fill bottles with water, then drop different color food coloring into bottles. Each color had a point value – Green – 1 pt Red=2pts
Have the kiddos take turns rollin the ball across the living room and have them total up the points of each roll, based on the colors they knock down.
Glow Sticks (Dollar Tree)
How To Have Neon Bath Party:
Put Bubbles in it
Put children in it
Turn lights off
Toss in glowsticks -Party Time!
(Techno/Rave music optional)