Shaving Cream – What Else Can You Do With It?

A few weeks ago I planned some fun activities to do with my grandchildren. I like to do things frugally when I can, so I purchased a can of shaving cream at the Dollar Store. Shaving cream is a great sensory product for children who don’t put things in their mouth.

Before I let the grandchildren play with the shaving cream, I got a dish pan(from the Dollar Store) and filled it  half way with water. I also had some towels available. I do this to make clean up easier. I did this activity outside but it could also be done in the house.

Shaving Cream Fun

Shaving Cream Fun

They had a small child size picnic table that we used. I squirted the shaving cream on the table and let them at it. After a little while, I asked my eight year old grandson if he wanted to play tic tac toe in the shaving cream. He thought it was a cool idea. I had him look for a couple of sticks to use as our writing instrument. We could have also used our finger.

Tic Tac Toe and Shaving Cream

Tic Tac Toe and Shaving Cream

For those children who may not want to touch the shaving cream or they still put things in their mouth, you can put some shaving cream in a ziplock bag and seal it. Let them play with it and squish it.

What does your child like to do with shaving cream?

“Creation Station”

Last month our church had a Kid’s Camp for three days, where I had a class for them called “Creation Station”. The children were able to come in during their free time and create whatever they wanted to. Sometimes there would be between 15 and 20 1st and 2nd graders. During that time I didn’t have any behavior problems.

What is the “Creation Station”? It was a room with a variety of materials(mostly recycled things) where they can create things. We provided tape, glue, scissors, markers, crayons,  and magnets. We didn’t provide any paint or glitter but the children didn’t seem to mind.

Prior to Kid’s Camp, for the past three months we had people save boxes, egg cartons, material, paper, paper towel tubes, foam pieces, and anything else we thought would be good for creating. We also had metal washers, coffee cans, toothpicks, straws, pipecleaners, cottonballs, and q-tips.

If the child wasn’t done with their project they could keep it in the room and work on it the next day. The children made robots, tanks, a solar system, lollipop garden, and a blanket for their stuffed animal to name just a few. I was quite impressed of things that the children created.

You too can have your own “Creation Station”. Start saving a variety of things and pick a couple of days when you want your child to create. Just provide the materials and let them go at it. For younger children they may need more help or some ideas of what to make.

What recycled things do you like to use?

Playdough – What Can You Do With it?

There’s so many great recipes that you can try of different kinds of playdough. There is cooked, gluten free, scented, textured, just to name a few. You can look on the internet to find the recipes.

When my grandchildren play with playdough they have the usual rollers, plastic pizza cutters, cookie cutters, or just their hands for rolling, making snakes, and flattening out. Some times I like to give them other things to use like saftey plugs with googly eyes on it, or little plastic bugs.

When I was over my daughter’s house last week, the older boys were playing with playdough. Besides the usual things that they were using, my daughter gave them some pieces from Mr. Potato Head. They definitely got creative and made some silly faces.

Just by giving them something different to use with the playdough to get their creative juices flowing, they stayed at it longer than usual.

What else does your child like to use when playing with playdough?

Bracelets/Necklaces – What to use?

In my book Summertime Sanity for You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I list several craft projects that you can do with your child. One of the things I like to do with children is for them to make bracelets or necklaces using different material.

There are a variety of ways to do this – pipe cleaners and pony beads, Cheerios or Fruit Loops and yarn(tape one end for ease in getting it through the hole and tie a knot at the other end using the Cheerios or Fruit Loops), cut up colorful drinking straws to make a necklace, slice up flower shape foam pool noodles(you can get these at the Dollar Store in the Spring and Summer), large beads, buttons, or empty thread spools.

Please remember that the small pieces are not recommended for children under 3. You have many choices of materials that can be used to make a bracelet or necklace, adapt it to the age/ability of your child.

What do you like to use to make a bracelet or necklace?

Paper Mosaics

In my book Summertime Sanity for You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I have a section on paper crafts.

One of the the activities is paper mosaics. The materials needed are cardboard, cardstock, or paper plate, construction paper(scrap pieces work great) or tissue paper, glue or glue sticks, and scissors.

Have your child tear or cut small pieces of construction paper or tissue paper. Have them glue the paper onto the cardboard, cardstock, or paper plate.

The children can make a design or do it randomly. This can also be done as a group project by doing something like a rainbow, and having each child put some red on, some blue on, and so on.

You can do this activity with just one color, if you want your child working on a particular color. Your child can also do their initial. On cardstock they or you(if they need some help) squeeze glue on in the shape of their initial and then cover with construction paper or tissue paper or both.

What kind of design does your child like to make?

Outside Play – Chalk and Mud

A few weeks ago my grandchildren had a chance to go to something called Adventure Playground. It was a free event held at an elementary school that had access to mud, water, painting, cardboard building, as well as other things that they could play with. The brochure said to wear clothes that you can get messy and that’s what they did. My granchildren had fun doing the different things. The boys especially liked playing and digging in the mud.

K digging in the mud.

K digging in the mud.

My daughter lets the children play in the mud at home, but not that often because there is a lot of clean up especially in the cooler months where it would be harder to hose them off. She let them play in the mud to their hearts content because when they were done she could hose them off leaving the water and mud at the playground instead of her backyard.

C making plans of what he is going to do next with the mud.

C making plans of what he is going to do next with the mud.

Children should have the opportunity to play in the mud during their childhood. If you are not one for messes, try to find events that have that available or set something up on a smaller scale. Fill a dishpan with some mud and let them go at it. Have an old tablecloth or tarp underneath and do it outside. Hose your child and tarp off when done.

The girls enjoyed coloring with chalk. They like to get messy like their brothers but chose not to dig in the mud. The youngest one N who is 22 months old thought it was fun to color her foot with chalk. What’s nice about that you just hose them off before you leave.

H & N coloring with chalk.

H & N coloring with chalk.

More Crepe Paper Fun

Back in July, 2014, I wrote a post on crepe paper fun. I want to share some more ideas of what your child can do with it. Besides using it in the house, why don’t you let them take it outside for some fun. A couple of weeks ago I had some of my grandchildren over. It was a nice day and I wanted them playing outside most of the time. I set three rolls of crepe paper on the living room floor in case they wanted to play with it.

Crepe Paper

Crepe Paper

C found the crepe paper and asked if he could play with it outside. His brother and sister wanted one also. I said they could play with it outside but when they were done they had to throw it all away. We didn’t want to leave any around in case it rained.

C and K found different things to do with it. They wrapped it around trees, tied it to their waist and let it hang down like a tail, tied it around their wrist and ran with the wind blowing it. K tied his to two trees and would run through it like a finish line. N who is only 22 months old just kind of threw it and didn’t do much with it. I did tie some crepe paper to the stroller so when I pushed her around the crepe paper would blow.

You can also tie crepe paper to the back of bikes, or on riding toys, hang from a low tree branch and let them run through it. What does your child like to do?

If you don’t want to throw the crepe paper away just yet – your child can make a collage with it.

Paper – What Kind to Have Available?

In my book Summertime Sanity for You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I have a section on paper which lists some recommended paper to purchase as well as craft activities to make using paper.

Try and have a variety of paper on hand. Some of the types of paper I like to have available are butcher paper, card stock, construction paper, copier paper, and tissue paper. You don’t need to get this all at once but it is nice to build up your stock.

One thing I like to have is a roll of butcher paper. You can purchase it at Sam’s Club for about $20.00. It can go a long way and you can do a variety of things with it.

You can do body tracing(outline your child’s body) then they color and decorate it; you can hang it on a fence and your child can spray paint it(using plastic spray bottles – make your own), or your child can decorate it for a tablecloth. Check out my book for additional ideas.

What do you like to do with butcher paper?

Triple Fluffer Roo – What’s That?

A few weeks ago I was watching some of my grandchildren. I planned to let them paint, so I set up the table with an old tablecloth, put some paint on small paper plates, and gave them paint brushes, and some q-tips to paint with. They have done this before so I let them go at it. I had paper nearby if they wanted to make more.

C & K painting with brushes and q-tips.

C & K painting with brushes and q-tips.

I let them paint whatever they wanted to. After a while, my oldest grandson K, decided to do something else with the q-tips. He took several of them and put a rubber band around them and used it to paint. He called it the triple fluffer roo. He had fun painting in a different way.

K with his triple fluffer roo painting tool.

K with his triple fluffer roo painting tool.

What creative things does your child like to do when they paint?

Painting With Children – How Do I Do It At Home?

Would you like to give your child the opportunity to paint at home but not sure about the mess or what things your child will need?

In my book Summertime Sanity For You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I have a section on painting and the various things you can use to paint. The book also has some homemade paint recipes.

Before painting, you need to have some basic supplies – store bought or homemade washable paint(start with red, yellow, and blue); painting utensil(paint brush, pine needle brush, q-tips)(Summertime Sanity For You & the Kids has additional ideas of things that you can use to paint with); something to paint on – paper, boxes, old file folder; something to protect the painting area – plastic table cloth/tarp, newspapers; old towels/paper towels for clean-up;wipes, and a sink nearby or a dishpan filled with soapy water(Do not leave water where a toddler could accidently fall into it). Have your child wear a paint smock or an old adult size t-shirt.

When setting up your paint area, make sure it’s a place that can easily be cleaned up. Choose an area that doesn’t have carpet.

You will also need paint cups, foam trays, paper plates, paper or plastic cups, or small containers to put the paint in. Have your child involved in cleanup afterwards. Save your unused paint. Take a look at a post I did in July 2015. It is on leftover paint.

In my book Summertime Sanity For You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) there is a DIY project for a tabletop easel using a cardboard box.

What does your child like to use for painting?