Friday, August 26, 2011

Rainy day activities

I feel like I've had a creative block the past week or two. No matter how busy we are during the day or how much I have planned, there are always those few hours of down time during the day when Joe is napping (which, don't get me wrong, I love) when we have to find something to do. And I love coming up with new activities, but nothing has been coming to me lately. So finally we broke the monotony by going to the library and getting a book that would spark some new ideas. The library is a gold mine for ideas! They've got a book for everything: crafts to do, recipes to try, science projects, paper airplanes, art projects, you name it. The book we picked up was More Mudpies to Magnets: Science for Young Children. And it did not let us down. As soon as Joe was down for his nap, Dan and John and I got to work. Here are a few of the projects we tried...

The automatic balloon blower upper
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Use a funnel to put a tablespoon of baking soda in a balloon. Fill an empty bottle with about an inch of vinegar. Then attach the balloon to the top of the bottle and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar. Then watch as your balloon inflates by itself! Dan's face says it all :)

Homemade kazoos
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Use a paper punch to make a hole in a toilet paper tube. Cover one end with a piece of wax paper and secure with an elastic. Then put your mouth on the open end and hum away!

Pulley system
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Use a couple hangers, two spools and a long piece of string to create a pulley system. Attach a basket or bucket to the string and use it to transport small objects. The kids liked passing small toys and little treats back and forth to each other.

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A close-up of one end of the pulley.

Pendulum bowl
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Tie a heavy square or round object onto the end of a string. Then attach to a tree or ceiling so that the object just barely clears the ground. We built a tower out of blocks to knock over with the pendulum.

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Then pull it back and let it rip! This activity has been a great morning distraction for the kids as well. We set it up right by the dining room, so the last couple mornings the kids have finished their breakfasts and gotten right to work building a new tower to knock over. Gotta love it when 5 minutes of work on my end turns into a couple of hours of entertainment for the kids!

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