Keeping Kids Busy Over the Long Weekend

By the end of a long weekend, you and your kids are ready for a change of pace. Keeping kids busy for an entire holiday weekend means trying out some projects that you might not normally do. Here are some things to try when you’re all bored with the usual coloring books and video games.

Go Geocaching

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt and a fun way to explore nature. To participate, use an app or a GPS system to locate a box called a cache at specified coordinates. Caches are often placed in parks and hiking trails, and they contain a logbook for visitors to sign. They also contain small toys or trinkets, sometimes based on a theme (like movies). If your kids want to take home a treasure from the cache, bring along a small item like a key chain or a yarn bracelet to leave in its place.

Make Lunchtime an Activity

For keeping kids busy when it’s time to eat, show your kids how to prepare lunch or a healthy snack in bento boxes (bento box is a lunch box with multiple compartments that can hold a variety of items). No problem if you don’t have bento boxes on hand — a kids’ dinner plate with dividers works just as well. Start with a ball of cooked rice, and use small pieces of chopped vegetables, fruits or sliced meat to decorate it with a smiley face. Make flowers together using slices of kiwi as the centers and orange slices as petals. Alternatively, cut sandwiches into animal shapes and add pieces of fruits and vegetables for the eyes, nose and ears. You can use a dab of peanut butter or cream cheese to hold your designs in place until mealtime.

Create Marbled Paper

To make marbled paper, let your kids spray shaving cream into an aluminum pan. Then, pour in a little food coloring or liquid paint (like water-based kids’ paint or acrylic paint) in four or five places in the pan. Your kids can use a plastic knife to swish around the food coloring or paint for a few seconds, then place a heavy piece of paper on top and press it down. After you remove the paper, blot it with a paper towel and let it dry. You can fold the finished product into greeting cards or cut it into strips to make bookmarks.

Play With Sidewalk Paint

An easy recipe for sidewalk paint is to combine water and cornstarch in equal proportions. Then, divide up the mixture into buckets or cups for the different colors. Finally, add a couple drops of food coloring to each bucket or cup, and stir each one until the color is dissolved. Your kids can use the paint to create pictures, to outline squares for four square or hopscotch or to draw a circle for playing marbles.

For more ideas, try some science projects. A few good ones are making a pinhole camera, making a periscope and using rubber bands to power a toy boat.

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