The kids are out of school for the holidays. How do you keep them busy, without breaking the budget? Here are some ways to make the vacation special:
Ooblek is a cornstarch and water mixture. It is “non-newtonian,” meaning the stuff acts like a fluid when it is poured, but is acts like a solid when touched. Weird, huh? But kids love the stuff. It can be picked up, but then it oozes from their hands. It is easily washed off, a big plus for parents.
Why the strange name? It comes from a book by Dr. Suess called Bartholomew and the Oobleck. In the story, a green substance called Oobleck falls from the sky and causes a lot of trouble for the villagers in the kingdom.
The recipe is simple: 1 part cornstarch, 1 1/2 to 2 parts water, and optional food coloring (if you’d like to make green oobleck like in Dr. Suess’s story). Pour water into a large bowl and slowly add cornstarch, blending as you add. Add food coloring and mix.
That’s it! Try putting oobleck on a speaker for some added fun (cover the speaker with plastic first! Here’s a video that shows you what happens.
Slime has a few more ingredients than oobleck, but there is still a fun factor. Kids love to play with this ooey, gooey material. But here is a tutorial by Jelly Rainbow on how to make slime with just glue, water, and salt. I would advise against getting it on furniture or expensive clothing, as it might stain or take the finish off. Your slime and your risk.
With some adult supervision, the kids can make some awesomely delicious cookies with very few ingredients. Check out the three-ingredient cookies here on Cash Crone. Or try these recipes by Bigger Bolder Baking – these cookies look so good! Our family made easy Spritz cookies with the kids – the cookie gun was so much fun for them to use, and the cookies are adorable. Here is a relatively easy recipe for Spritz cookies.
With three ingredients, the kids can make fudge using the microwave. In a large microwavable bowl, pour in a package of chocolate chips and a 12 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Melt using the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 sends, until chips are melted and both ingredients are mixed well. Add nuts, raisins, or candies to the fudge, and stir. Pour mixture into a greased plastic or metal container. Freeze for several hours or until firm.
Look for snow goblins, or leaf goblins if there is no snow in your area. Take the kids for a hike through the snowy woods. Grab your camera and ask them to take pictures of their surroundings.
Read a Book
I don’t mean tell them to go read a book. Instead, have them pick a book for you to read aloud. Children love to hear someone read! Read great stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, or the Harry Potter series of books, and have discussions about the characters or the events in the book.
Have an Art Class
Go on a house scavenger hunt for things that can become other things. Gather art materials and cover the dining room table with a plastic sheet. Let them create! Messes don’t matter. The memories are much more important.
Feature photo by Robert Collins of Unsplash