Oh, the dreaded three words. Seriously, what parent hasn’t heard this common complaint? We’ve scoured the web for fun, (and cheap) ways to entertain your little ones!
1. Rock Stars -Start by collecting rocks of various sizes and shapes (this can be an activity all on its own!). Grab some acrylic paint and have the kids paint faces on half the rocks and bodies on the rest. After the rocks dry, let the kids mix and match the heads and bodies. The combinations are end- less! Believe it or not this has actually kept kids entertained for hours.
2. Marbled bookmarkers -Encourage your children to read more by having them design their own bookmarks. This is a super easy project. Grab a cutting board from your kitchen and spread shaving cream on it. Then use a squeegee to smooth it out. Next, dot the cream with two or three colors of paint. Drag a stick through it to squiggle the colors together. Cut some plain white cardboard to the size of a bookmark lay the cardboard on top of the shaving cream and press gently. Lift it and let it dry completely. Finally, punch a hole at the top and tie on a tassel or ribbon!
3. Giant Bubbles -Kids absolutely love this! First mix up your bubble solution. Grab a small, cheap wading pool. Pour in 6 gallons of water, 3 bottles of Dawn original dish soap (24 ounces each), and 2 bottles of plain glycerin (6 ounces each). Mix it gently. Cover the pool and let sit overnight. Use a hula hoop as a “wand.” Dip the “wand” into the pool and lift it up gently. This may take two people. The bubbles will be huge—even much bigger than a child!
4. Easy volcanoes -Here’s a great science experiment! Make a dough by combining 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 T. cooking oil, food color- ing of your choice, and 2 cups water. Mix until smooth and firm. Place an empty soda bottle on a cookie sheet and mold the “volcano” around it. Leave the mouth of the bottle uncovered. Allow to dry overnight. Then, using a funnel, pour warm water into the bottle un- til nearly full. Next add 6 drop of dish detergent and 2 T. of baking soda. Finally, slowly pour in some vinegar and watch it erupt!
5. Makeshift basketball! -You don’t even need a full sized court or even a hoop! Just use some trash cans or recycling bins, placing one at each end of the driveway.
6. Ring toss -Feeling nostalgic? This old fashioned game can provide hours of fun. Make your own ring-toss by spray painting glass bot- tles in bright fun colors (optional). Then use multi colored diving rings (also called dive rings) to try to “lasso” the bottles. Place the bottles at various distances for variety.