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Games and Activities

There are many reputable websites which list a variety of activities for children at various stages of development.  The following links are a sampling:

Links
bullet Between the Lions
bullet Kids Fitness and Nutrition
bullet Sesame Street - Healthy Habits for Life
bullet Non-Competitive Active Games for Preschoolers
bullet Games and Activities for Toddlers
bullet Activities for Babies
bullet Activities Center

Homemade Supplies
Homemade supplies are easy to make and are made from common ingredients you are likely to have on hand. They will save you money and trips to the store. Let your child help with mixing the ingredients, but use caution and good sense with recipes that need to be cooked or heated. Creating these supplies is fun. Half the fun is in the making (the rest of the fun is in the messing), so let your kids participate whenever possible.

Recipes

Flour Paste

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 2/3 cup water

Directions:
  • Mix the flour and water together until paste has a creamy consistency.  Add water by the drop or flour by the teaspoon, if necessary, to improve consistency.
  • Important: This recipe must be kept in the refrigerator so label the container clearly.  You may add a few drops of Oil of Peppermint to act as a preservative.

Paste

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups white flour
  • Oil of Peppermint

Directions:
  • Stir flour into water in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens into a creamy paste. Allow to cool. Add a few drops of Oil of Peppermint. This is necessary to prevent the growth of mold on the finished product.
  • Dip strips of newspaper in this paste and use to cover a mold. You can purchase molds or use something as simple as an inflated balloon. Allow each layer to dry before adding the next.

Play Dough

This clay will stay moist when left in the open air although, like commercial brands, eventually it will dry out and need to be replaced.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon food coloring

Directions:
  • Stir all ingredients together in a saucepan. Mix over a medium heat until clay pulls away from the side of the pot. Remove pot and allow to cool. When cool to the touch, knead the clay for a few minutes. Store in a gallon-size, zip-top, storage bag.

Finger Paint

There are many recipes for homemade finger paint, but the simplest consists of vanilla pudding tinted with a few drops of food coloring. Spoon a dab onto a sheet of finger paint paper or newsprint and let your child experience the fun of painting with his fingers and hands. If your angel eats any, you won't have to worry; however, it is a good practice to discourage your child from tasting any art materials.

Uncooked Paint

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup liquid starch
  • ½ cup soap powder
  • scant ¾ cup water
  • liquid food color

Directions:
  • Stir together all ingredients until a thick pudding-like consistency is achieved.

Cooked Paint

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups water
  • liquid food color

Directions:
  • Stir together flour and water in a medium saucepan over low heat until thickened.  Allow to cool. Mix in drops of food color until desired shade is achieved. Store covered in the refrigerator. (Recipe may be doubled or tripled so you will have enough paint to make several colors.)

Bubbles

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup liquid dish detergent (premium brands work best)
  • 1 cup glycerin (sold in most drugstores, it is expensive)
  • ¼ cup white (clear) corn syrup

Directions:
  • Pour all ingredients into a two-cup (or larger) container. Swish gently or stir with a spoon. This concoction makes terrific bubbles. Instead of using bubble wands, try the following items to make some interesting bubbles:
  • Bare, wet hands. Cup your hands gently and wet the backs by dipping them into the bubble solution. Slowly pull apart your hands where the pinkies touch and you will create a bubble juice curtain. Blow gently and a bubble will form.
  • Bend a wire coat hanger into any interesting shape and you will be able to use it to make bubbles. Wrap the handle with duct tape to avoid any accidents.
  • A loop of string will create bubbles, as will an aluminum can that has had both top and bottom removed. Try the plastic collar that holds a six-pack of soda together.  Whiz it through the air to make bunches of bubbles all at once.

Silly Putty

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white glue
  • liquid starch

Directions:
  • Add the starch to the glue while stirring. Keep adding starch until a pliable ball forms. Store covered in the fridge.

Silly Putty #2

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup teaspoon borax
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup (give or take) white glue (Elmer's)
  • liquid food color

Directions:
  • Mix the borax into the water. Stir in the glue until a ball forms. Add a little food color for distinction.
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