Stay busy and have some fun by Celia Klassen Time for Tea

This week I’ve tried to include some inside and some outside crafts since we’ve been having so many storms.
First up is an indoor activity, grab yourself a sponge, one from the dollar store, or even your stinky old one you’re about to throw out. Put it on a plate and have the children get it wet. We don’t want water spreading all over the plate, but the sponge needs to be all wet. Sprinkle on some seeds, not every seed will work but I have personally tried the following: wheat, barley, watercress and lentils. Green lentils are especially cheap (and a great way to bulk out a spaghetti type meal!) and work really well. Every day have your child add a little bit of water over the seeds until the sponge is all wet again and watch the magic happen.
This one is an indoor and outdoor activity. Grab a box, whether it’s the one your amazon order just came in or a cereal box doesn’t matter. Have older kids draw a shape like a bear or dinosaur, draw one for younger kids, or simply use a square! Cut holes in the middle of the cardboard. Now this part is a little more tricky because the best thing to use is lighting filters, but I promised these articles would use easy-to-find materials. Then I realized the plastic bag inside the cereal box, or any other clear packaging would do. Use colored markers (sharpies work great!) to color different sections and then stick them behind the holes in your shape. Once the thunderstorm passes, take your animal outside and look at the colorful windows and shadows it makes on the ground.
This one is absolutely free. One of my favorite activities as a child was making fairy houses. Go out in your back yard, or even to the park and collect stones and sticks, clumps of mud, grass, weeds – whatever inspires you! And build a little area to shelter those fairies. Don’t expect the fairies to come while you’re there, they’re very shy, they come out when everyone has gone ;).
This one is for the community. Grab yourself a pair of disposable gloves and a large trash bag and go for a walk from your home. Have a competition between siblings or friends and see who can get their bag the fullest. Kids find this surprisingly fun – and you’ve helped clean up the community.
This one is going to be a hit with the parents, and not so much the kids. Teach your child an age-appropriate life skill this summer. Whether it’s as simple as making toast or following a recipe. The internet is full of simple recipes for kids to follow. If you don’t want to eat something your kids had their hands in, salt dough or homemade playdough are great options.
Other life skills might include teaching them to fold their wash, or empty the dishwasher or do the dishes. Older children might be able to do the wash for you. Trust me, they might grumble now, but they’ll thank you in college.
If your kids have little plastic animals and a hard surface to play like pavement or concrete, line the animals up around the edge of a piece of paper on a sunny day. Use a pencil to draw around the shadows!
For really little ones I recommend a helium balloon tied loosely around their foot. Every time they wiggle, the balloon moves – it’ll give you at least enough peace to unload your groceries. Another idea is bubbles, blow them yourself if you’re outside enjoying the sun or invest in a cheap bubble blowing machine.
Next week I’ll be a tour guide with places to go less than two hours from Aberdeen and American Falls.

Thanks for reading!

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