Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Fun Kids' Activities

We are trudging through this Florida heat with some more fun kids' activities.  You can see my first set of activities here.

One of the best things we made recently was Gak!

This has been super fun.  I'm not sure if I've ever played with Gak before.  It's beyond fun.  We took some household items, like a straw and a fork and had fun poking the Gak.  What's cool is it just molds back together.  Hosea likes to put it on the edge of the table and let it make a "waterfall" down to the chair.  He loves to make it the "monster" as it covers his Avengers and then his Avengers have to escape.  Oh the mind of a child.  We used this recipe by Lil' Luna.  We loved it so much, we decided to bring a Gak gift to one of Hosea's friends.  We also used Lil' Luna's idea and free printables to put together a gift for him.  His mom said he loved it too!  This is a big hit, really easy and a definite must if you've never made Gak before.

Then we made some Baked Cotton Balls.

I pinned this idea a while ago, then saw it somewhere else recently so decided to give it a whirl.  Basically, you take a cup of water, a cup of flour and mix it together.  Then we divided it into three bowls, added some food coloring, mixed it really well and then dipped cotton balls in the mixture and placed them on foil-lined baking tray (do this to avoid clean up).  Then we baked them for 45 minutes at 300 degrees.  What I learned during this is that my son doesn't care about the process.  He just wants the end result.  I try to include him on "making" what we're doing but he's just not interested.  Lesson learned to avoid frustration in the future.  :-)

Then we grabbed some goggles, his toy hammer and my meat pounder and went outside.  He really enjoyed "bashing" them and flattening them.  This was great to reiterate soft and hard textures.  I love this face in this picture.

Something else we do often are have Dance Parties.

Don't ask why he was holding his toy needle-nose pliers.  Who knows!  Dance parties are especially great if you have an active, rambunctious kid on your hands like I do!  When I can see that it's time to exert some energy and maybe it's too hot to go outside, we just crank up the music and dance our hearts away.  A lot of times I'm holding my 11 month old so she can participate as well but my son loves when I can dance crazy with him without Sarah.  It ends up being a contest on who can do the craziest move.  He usually wins.

And lastly, we used our imaginations while playing with some Story Jars.

This is a really great idea that I got from Play At Home Mom.  She's got tons of great ideas.  Another friend of mine held a playgroup and the kids each made one.  We weren't able to attend but I still wanted to try this.  My son loves for us to tell him stories and he loves to tell stories too.  I don't have a really great imagination so these are great for me.  Basically just take out all of the objects and start telling a story using up all of the objects.  The first time we tried it, Hosea was a bit iffy on it.  He didn't use all the objects and then wanted to quit.  He liked when I told him a story though (as usual).  I really think these are great and we're going to keep trying.

Here is what's in my two jars.  You can see that they are random items I grabbed from his room and from the craft closet.

Because I feel like I'm not imaginative, it's really important to me to foster that in my children.  One of my favorite things is to overhear my son talking to himself or to his toys while he's playing with them.  I love that he creates stories and scenarios in his mind.

I hope these ideas give you a starting off point to fostering creativity within your own kids.  I'd love to hear about some other ideas that your kids love!

Have a great week!

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Joanne said...

We still LOVE the GAK!! Thanks again - fabulous gift!!!

We are going to try those cotton balls! What fun! said...

GAk! So much fun and It brings back so many memories when my daughter was little...:-)

Nicole {WonkyWonderful} said...

My daughter loves gooey gross stuff - I need to make her some Gak! Visitting from Stuff I've Made linkup :)

Laurel Stephens said...

Gosh I wish I had access to your blog when my children were little! What great summer fun. I'm pinning your ideas for my someday grandchildren.

Kelley @ said...

Hi! Visiting from one artsy mama. What great ideas! Im going to try the gak and the cotton balls with my kiddos! Thanks for sharing!

If you get a chance I would love for you to share this at my Friday link party.. it just opened! :)

Heidi Fowler said...

These ideas look so fun! I would be happy to have you share these and any other ideas you would like to link up to "One Creative Weekend" at

Trish said...

So many fabulous ideas! Definitely need these this summer :) Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

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