I am a married Mom of 3: Boy (4 yo), Boy (2 yo) and Girl (11 mo old). I founded MomsOutLoud.com in 2008, which is now DFWMama.com. (Basically, I decided I liked Rachael and her team so well I wanted to join it!) Now I'm here, writing about what I know and love - raising kids in North Texas.

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Kids at Home? Fun Crafts, Games, and Other Ideas to Keep ‘Em Busy!

If you’re like me, you have one or more kids at home this week due to school closures as a result of the Swine Flu.  As you will see in our article about the virus, it is recommended that we all avoid crowded places with a number of people present.  There goes our back-up plan of hitting some of our local activity centers, theaters, bounce venues, and other fun places.

NOW WHAT?!?!  No worries, Moms…we’ve got some ideas for you to keep the little ones busy and for you to keep all of your hair.

Arts and crafts will keep their hands and their minds occupied.  I keep Disney Family Entertainment bookmarked on my computer.  It’s a great site with lots of ideas for projects, theme Flowerpot pencilsdays/evenings, and fun activities.  Here are a few:

  • The end of the school year is approaching, so why not use this time to make some nice gifts for your kids’ teachers?  One I really like is the Flowerpot Pencils.  Supplies needed are several pencils, different colored hair scrunchies, a clay pot, black beans, green craft foam, scissors, and a hole punch.  Check out the website for step-by-step instructions.  This is a quick and easy projecWhale Water Scoopt that can be completed in less than an hour.
  • I have found that some of the things my son enjoys most are those things in which he was a part of the process and was involved.  The Whale Water Scoop is a really easy craft that the kids can participate in and then enjoy the finished product.  This one requires only a clean plastic gallon milk jug, scissors, and a permanent marker.  Directions for making your whale friend can be found at the link above.

If you don’t mind a possibly messy kitchen, cooking and baking projects can be a lot of fun for kids, especially whOctodogen the finished product is something for kids.  Another favorite website is Favorite Brand Name Recipes, where you can search for recipes specifically with children in mind, made with brand name ingredients.  A couple of my favorites are:

  • Octodogs & Shells – This is a simple concoction made from weiners, pasta (their directions call for shells), veggies, sauce, and mustard (for drawing on the face).  My family does a slight variation on the recipe that is linked and we use plain ole Kraft Mac N Cheese mixed with canned peas.  Take a look at the link for specific instructions on making the Octodogs.

And, there are also simple things that don’t require a website or recipe…

  • Make up a batch of Jello or pudding, put it into small bowls or cups and top with Cool Whip or whipped cream – another variation of this is to layer the items into a nice parfait glass
  • Bake up a batch of homemade (or not, if you’re like me!) cookies and let the kids decorate them with icing, or make cookie sandwiches with Cool Whip or icing – YUMMY!

I hope these fun ideas help you (and me) get through the days until the kids go back to school and their normal activities because the weather sure isn’t cooperating with us this week.  Have fun!!

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