If a week is a long time in politics, six weeks is an eternity for children, and keeping them occupied for all that time a task for parents. Kids are easily tempted by expensive days out and we as parents often give in to them, just to keep the status quo, but it is perfectly possible to not only fill their days, but also feed their imagination for a lot less that you may think. All it takes is a little imagination, and a few props.
Take, for instance, DIY funny faces, in which you construct an array of different faces on three sections of a flip book – Eyes, noses, and mouths – and mix and match them to make the funniest faces. Getting three or four children to draw different parts will results in a hysterical mix of features, which can then be flipped around to get the best, and funniest combinations. An alternative to this is to produce a full body version too, with heads, bodies and arms, and legs drawn by different children for great effect. let their imagination flow.
Plenty of outdoor fun can be had with art and one of the best of the ‘random’ art features is known exploding art, and isn’t as dangerous as it sounds but is bags of fun. All you need for this is some poster paints of various colours, some small containers with tight-fitting lids, Alka-Seltzer or other effervescing product, and a really big piece of paper. The idea is to make the paint explode out of the pot under the action of the effervescing material, so you put the Alka-Seltzer in the pot, pour a little paint on top, close the lid and let pressure take its course. Hours of fun, but messy.
Still on the arty side of life, you can get them involved with marble designs using nail polish to create some really excellent pieces of work that you wouldn’t mind hanging on your walls. Using immiscible liquids – those that won’t mix – as its basis, all you need is a few bottles of nail polish, a shallow pan of room temperature water, some watercolour paper to put your designs on and a lolly Stick to stir. This involves pouring a little nail varnish on top of the water, swirling it a bit with the stick, and then laying your paper on top to adsorb the varnish. Let it dry and there you have it. You can try all manner of colour variations, and even try marbling onto cups and vases too. Once dry, the varnish is hard and you can clear lacquer over the top to preserve it.
There are a huge amount of cheap and easy activities that you can do with your kids, like baking, or even play dead horse (more fun than it sounds), or picture puzzles; it just takes a little imagination and a couple of willing kids and you’ll find that you may have a few budding artists on your hands.
Taken from the September 2017 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!