Fun Activities for Kids

More time at home is an opportunity to get creative!

New activities posted weekly. 👍

Ice Cream Party
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Lego Challenge- generic.jpg

Homemade Ice Cream

Materials

  • 1 cup cream (half/half)

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup salt

  • 2 resealable bags (one larger than the other)

  • Ice

 

Steps

  1. Pour 1 cup cream into the smaller resealable bag.

  2. Add the sugar to the cream and seal the bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible when sealing the bag.

  3. In the larger bag, fill it half with ice then add the salt. 

  4. Place the smaller bag into the larger bag then fill the rest of the larger bag with ice. Seal the large bag.

  5. Shake for about 10-min.

  6. Remove the small bag from the larger bag and enjoy your ice cream!

 

Experiment

  • Try adding different flavors to the cream (i.e., vanilla, cocoa powder, jam, etc.)

  • What happens when you don’t add salt to the ice?

  • What happens if you shake for too long? Too little?

  • What happens if you use different creams?

DIY Playdough

Materials

  • 1 part body lotion (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 parts corn starch, more as needed (about 1 cup)

  • Food coloring (optional)

 

Steps

  1. Place corn starch in a large bowl (so it doesn't get everywhere) and then add body lotion.

  2. Add 2-3 drops of desired food coloring.

  3. Mix with hands, kind of like you are kneading bread.  It will be pretty sticky at first, but keep mixing it until a firm dough starts to form.  If this doesn't happen after about a minute, add in a little more corn starch.  You don't want it to be sticky when you are done.

  4. Store in a plastic bag and have fun!

© Katie

https://www.clarkscondensed.com/

 
 

Materials

  • Wooden skewers

  • 1 cup of water

  • 2-3 cups of sugar

  • A tall glass or jar

  • Flavouring (optional)

  • Food colouring (optional)

  • Pipe-cleaner/String (optional)

  • Clothespin (optional)

 

Steps

  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

  2. Pour about 1/4 cup of sugar into the water and stir until it dissolves.

  3. Keep adding sugar to the water and stirring until it all dissolves.  At one point the sugar will no longer dissolve - that is when the solution is done.

  4. Pour the solution into the glass/jar.

  5. Place the wooden skewer into the jar.

  6. Wait 3-7 days for the sugar to grow.

  7. Remove the skewer from the glass/jar and enjoy your handiwork!

Experiment

  • Try growing sugar on different objects - pipe-cleaners, string, etc.  See if you can make different shapes!

  • What happens if you don’t let the skewer touch the bottom of the glass/jar?

  • What happens if you roll some sugar on the skewer before adding it to the solution?

  • Try adding different colours and flavourings to see what happens.

Sugar Rocks

 

Borax Slime

Materials

  • 1/4 tsp borax powder

  • 1/2 cup clear or white washable PVA school glue

  • 1 cup of water divided into 1/2 cups

  • Food coloring, glitter, confetti (optional)

  • 2 bowls & 2 spoons

 

Steps

  1. In a bowl, mix the glue, 1/2 cup of water, and food colouring/glitter/confetti.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix the borax powder and remainder of the water.

  3. Pour the borax solution into the glue mixture.

  4. Now the messy part!  Using your hands, reach in and start stirring. 

    • Eventually, you will be able to remove the slime from the bowl.

  5. Have fun!

 

Experiment

  • Don’t add water to the glue.  As you mix it with the borax form it into a ball.  You will get a bouncy ball instead!

 

Baking Soda Volcano

Materials

  • 3 cups salt

  • 6 cups flour

  • 3 cups water

  • Bowl

  • Glass jar

  • Baking sheet/Baking dish

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Liquid detergent

  • Food colouring (optional)

  • Paint (optional)

 

Steps

  1. Mix the salt, flour and water in a big bowl to make a dough.

  2. Form the dough around the glass jar into a volcano shape.

  3. Preheat oven to 225 F.  Place the volcano onto a baking sheet.  Bake the volcano for 4-6h (helps it last longer).

  4. Paint the volcano once it has cooled.  Acrylic paint works best (optional).

  5. Once dry, place the volcano into the baking dish (helps contain the mess).

  6. Place 2 drops of liquid detergent with 2 tbsp of baking soda into the glass jar.  Add food colouring, if wanted.

  7. Pour in 1/2 cup of vinegar and watch the volcano explode!  Repeat Steps 6-7 for multiple explosions.

 

Balloon Hovercraft

Materials

  • Balloon

  • Bottle cap (preferably similar to this which allows it to open and close)  

    • Or, use a normal plastic bottle cap with a 0.5-cm hole punched in the middle

  • Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks

  • CD (if not available, you can use paper plate with a 1-cm hole cut in the middle)

  • Stickers (optional)

 

Steps

  1. Glue the bottle cap over the center hole of the CD (or a pre-made hole in the paper plate).

  2. Decorate the CD/Plate as you'd like!

  3. Close the bottle cap (if possible).

  4. Blow up a balloon and wrap it over the bottle cap.

  5. Put it on the table and open the bottle cap (if possible).

  6. Have fun with your hovercraft!

 

Fudge In a Bag

Materials

  • 100g cream cheese

  • 3 cups icing Sugar

  • ½ cup cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • Ziploc bag

 

Steps

  1. Place the cream cheese, icing sugar, cocoa powder, and butter into the Ziploc bag.

  2. Seal the Ziploc bag and mix the ingredients together with your hand until it is smooth in consistency.

  3. Enjoy!

Experiment

  • Swap out ingredients for different flavours.

    • If adding caramel, take out some cream cheese.

    • If adding peanut butter, take out some butter.

  • Add extra goodies to the mixture (i.e. sprinkles, M&Ms, etc).

 

Rock Painting

Materials

  • Rocks:  Walk around the neighbourhood and look for smooth rocks. 

  • Paint:  The best paint to use on rocks is acrylic paint.

  • Brushes:  The key to painting details on your rocks is small brush sizes.

  • Markers & Pens:  A great option for decorating rocks are paint pens and markers.

    • Markers—If you want to doodle using regular markers, you will first need to paint a while acrylic base on your rocks.

    • Pens for outlining—For creating black outlines around finished designs, consider using micron pens.  Just make sure your paint is completely dry beforehand.

    • Liquid Chalk Markers—Depending on the brand, you may need to paint a white acrylic base on your rock first.

    • Chalk Crayons—You can use these to draw directly onto your rocks.

  • Sealant:  To protect your designs, you will need to use a sealant, either a matte or glossy variety.  Spray sealants are recommended as paintable sealants can smear your artwork.

  • To learn more about potential rock-painting materials, click here.

 

Steps

  1. Prep your rocks by washing them outside with a hose, then let them dry.

  2. Get creative with your designs, then let the paint or ink dry.

  3. Apply a sealant once your paint or ink is completely dry.

  4. Consider writing encouraging messages on your rocks and leaving them where someone will find them—they can brighten someone’s day!

 

Chromatography Butterflies

Materials

  • Non-permanent markers (water soluble works the best)

    • If you don't have markers, non-alcohol based pens work as well

  • White coffee filters

  • Cup

  • Water

  • Pipe cleaners

  • String & scissors (optional)

 

Steps

  1. Using the markers, draw designs near the center of the filter.  Thick lines work the best.  Make sure to leave about 2cm around the center blank.

  2. Fill the cup about ¼ to ½ with water.  Place the blank center of the coffee filter into the water, just deep enough so that part of the center is submerged without touching the first line of markers.

  3. Wait for the coffee filter to absorb the water.  You can watch it as it separates the ink.

  4. Once the water has reached the edge of the filter, carefully remove the filter from the cup and place it aside to dry.

  5. Once the filter has dried, wrap a pipe cleaner in the center of the filter.  Curl the tips to make antennas.

  6. Cut a piece of string and attach it to the pipe cleaner.  Hang it up in the window and let it flutter in the wind (optional).

 

Bug Hunt Game

Materials

  • A magnifying glass

  • A hunting ground - backyard, garden, or local park

  • A notebook and pens for keeping track of what you find and where

  • A field guide to bugs and/or a smartphone (optional but recommended)

 

How to Play

  1. Start by finding a place to look for bugs.  Backyard gardens or nearby green spaces are obvious places to start.

    • The goal is to find and observe as many bugs as possible.  The kid who finds the most wins!

    • Don't touch the bugs you find!  This will help avoid any potential bites/stings.

  2. When you’re bug hunting, search as a team and in the same place.  Ask your accompanying adult to flip over logs, stones, and objects to ensure everybody is safe.

  3. Start with flowering plants ⏤ they’re essentially insect hotels when in bloom ⏤ before moving to areas of exposed soil, moist dirt, or plant beds covered with wood chips or straw.  Don’t forget the grass too!

    • Butterflies, bees, wasps and the like are among the most common finds, but when you look closer, you’re likely to see an incredible variety of other insects that thrive by blending in ⏤ leafhoppers, aphids & walking sticks for example​.

    • A magnifying glass can be especially useful here, as some insects are just flat-out tiny!

  4. For each bug that you find, scribble down some details about it, including: what it looked like, how many legs/wings it had, where you found it, what it was doing, and what you think it eats.  Sketch out a quick picture too.

  5. If you’re having trouble identifying a bug, don’t worry — just snap a photo with a smartphone (or do a quick search), narrow the bug down to a more general group (beetles, ants, bees, etc.), and move on. 

    • Remember: the object is to find many bugs.  Don’t get bogged down trying to identify each one on the spot — you can do that later around the computer.

https://www.fatherly.com/play/bug-hunt-kids-game/

Homemade Gummy Bears

Materials

  • 1 package of JELLO (85g/3 oz size)

  • 1 tablespoon of gelatin​​​

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • Gummy bear molds with dropper

 

Steps

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan set on low heat.

  2. Add 1 package of Jello (85 size/3 oz size).

  3. Add 1 tablespoon of gelatin.

  4. Mix until all dissolved and then remove from heat.

  5. Using the dropper, add mixture into your mold​s.

    • TIP: Try to avoid getting bubbles in your dropper when placing in the mold.  If you end up with bubbles on the top, that’s OK, but the bubbles will solidify that way.  Bubbly ones will still taste good!​

  6. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until solidified.

  7. Enjoy!

 
 

DIY Spa Day

Oatmeal Face Mask

Materials

  • ½ cup oatmeal, uncooked

  • 1/4 to ½ cup water

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon pure honey

 

Steps

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook oatmeal, water, milk and honey for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently with a spatula or spoon.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  2. Massage a thick layer of plain honey all over your clean face and neck before applying mask.

  3. Apply mask to your face with upward strokes.  Lie down and relax for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove and rinse by using a soft facial washcloth and warm water.

  4. And that’s it- fresh, clean and moisturized skin.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

https://www.somewhatsimple.com/oatmeal-and-honey-facial-mask/

~

Olive Oil Lip Scrub

Materials

  • 1 tsp of brown sugar

  • 1 tsp of white sugar

  • 1 tsp of honey

  • 1/2 tsp of olive oil

 

Steps

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.  You can add more or less of some ingredients to get the consistency how you like.  Store in a small container.

  2. Apply the scrub to your lips and massage it around for about 20 seconds or so.  Wipe off for instantly smoother lips!

https://www.thewonderforest.com/2014/03/diy-homemade-natural-lip-scrub.html

~

 

Brown Sugar Foot Scrub

Materials

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

 

Steps

  1. Mix all three ingredients in a small bowl until combined.  

  2. Apply the scrub to your feet (and other dry places, like your elbows), work it gently onto your skin, and then rinse well.

  3. To fill a half-pint mason jar, combine 10 tablespoons of each ingredient.

https://oldsaltfarm.com/diy-brown-sugar-foot-scrub-recipe/

 

Milk Experiment

Materials

  • A shallow dish: 

    • A clear dish works best as you can see what's happening beneath the surface

    • However, any other dish or dinner plate works just as fine

  • Food coloring in four different colors

  • Milk with a high fat content (half-and-half or whole milk work best)

  • Liquid dish-washing soap

  • A clean cotton swab

Steps

  1. Pour enough milk into the dish to just cover the bottom.  The layer of milk should have a height of about ¼ “. 

    • Allow the milk to settle.

  2. Add one drop of each of the food colors to the milk.  The drops should be close together near the center of the dish.

  3. Touch the colored milk at the center of the dish with the tip of the cotton swab.  Do not stir the mixture!  

    • Note your observation.

  4. Put a drop of the dish soap at the other end of the cotton swab.

  5. Place the soapy tip of the swab back at the center of the milk and hold it there for 10-15 seconds. 

    • Note your observation.

    • The color should churn out from the bottom of the plate to the surface.

  6. Add another drop of soap to the cotton swab and test the phenomenon again. 

    • Place the cotton swab in different parts of the milk and continue your observations. 

    • On touching the liquid at the edge of the plate, the color should mix and move around making cool patterns. 

https://www.scienceprojectideas.org/milk-and-food-coloring.htm

DIY Lava Lamp

Materials

  • Flask or bottle

  • Vegetable oil

  • Water

  • Food coloring (whatever colors you like)

  • Alka-seltzer

 

Steps

  1. Fill the flask most of the way with vegetable oil.

  2. Fill the rest of the flask with water.  The water will sink to the bottom under the oil.

  3. Add a few drops of food coloring.  The food coloring is water-based, so it will also sink and color the water that is now at the bottom of the flask.

  4. Break an alka-seltzer tablet into a few small pieces and drop them in the flask one at a time.

  5. Watch your lava lamp erupt into activity!  As the reaction slows down, simply add more alka-seltzer.

https://www.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-make-a-homemade-

lava-lamp-science-project/

Get-Creative Challenges

Aluminum Boat

Materials

  • Coins

  • Aluminum foil

  • Large bowl

  • Water

 

Challenge

  • Make an aluminum boat that will hold the most coins without sinking!

~

Straw Tower

Materials

  • Plastic Straw

  • Scissors

 

Challenge

  • Using nothing but straws, build the tallest tower!

    • Option:  Trying using only paper.

    • Option:  Add a 1-metre limit of tape (to make the challenge easier).

~

 

Rube Goldberg Machine

Materials

  • Anything in the house

 

Challenge

  • Build a Rube Goldberg Machine to raise a flag at the very end.

  • Bonus points if it spans the whole house!

  • If you need inspiration, click here.

~

 

Egg Drop

Materials

  • Anything in the house

 

Challenge

  • Build a contraption to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped.

    • Option:  Limit the amount or type of materials available.

    • For example, use only items gathered from outside.

 
 
 

Manitoulin Central Family Health Team

2120B HWY 551 Box 150

Mindemoya, ON P0P 1S0

Phone:  705-377-5371

Fax:  1-855-908-2517

For Life-Threatening Emergencies Call 911
For Non-Life-Threatening medical advice, call Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000