Five Ways To Get Creative With Kids at Home
Let’s face it: we are all running low on ideas on what to do with our kids at home during this summer. And while you shouldn’t stress if they’re watching TV a little more than usual, it’s also a good idea to have structure and balance out the screen time with fun activities that keep your kids engaged and happy. Here are five of our favorite creative activities to fill your day.
1. Hearts on Windows
Have you heard of the Happy Heart Hunt? Inspired by a Facebook group created by teachers at Wisconsin’s Milton East Elementary School, families are putting heart displays in the windows for people to see. Gather colorful construction paper (or even scrap paper!) and cut them in heart shapes. They can be all the same size or a variety of sizes. Have your children decorate the paper with crayons, markers, or paint. If you want, you could write little messages on the hearts or add photos of family and friends you can’t see right now. Tape the hearts on the window, or string them together and hang from the ceiling. Who knows – you could brighten someone’s day when they see the array of hearts from your home!
2. Chalk the Sidewalk
Take the kids outside for fresh air and take along a box of colorful sidewalk chalk. We love this activity because it’s all up to your kids’ imagination AND you can bring joy to other folks who might walk by later when they see your family’s creations. Pass out the chalk and have your kids create intricate mosaic designs, a roadway or track for toy cars (or little feet!) and write inspirational messages (try “Smile,” “Stay Strong,” “Be Kind,” “Be the Light”) – the possibilities are endless.
3. Printables from Keiki Kaukau
Thank goodness for printables, right? The Internet has many free ones available right now but our personal favorites are from Keiki Kaukau, an online local store that sells Hawai‘i-inspired toys. We love the detail and artwork in the coloring pages like the Kau Kau artwork menu, which can be re-used later for more imaginative play. There’s even a Pre-K skills practice where your keiki can practice writing lines and numbers and hone their scissors skills.
4. Nature Names
The next time you head outside to your backyard, a hike or a park (remember to practice safe social distancing and wear a mask!), bring along a bag. Have your kid find things that they can use to create letters of their name, like sticks, rocks, leaves, grass, flowers, sand, dirt, etc. Head home and write your child’s name on a piece of cardstock. Using glue, stick-on pieces of nature onto each letter. Display the art in your kid’s room or turn it into a card to mail to family members.
5. Cardboard Play
For creative (and cheap) fun, don’t throw out your cardboard or empty toilet paper rolls! With just some imagination, they can transform into a spaceship, castle, laundry machine…or even an intricate doll’s kitchen made out of a shoebox! Take the lid off the box and use a cardboard cutter to cut “cabinet” and “shelves” pieces and glue them inside the box using a hot glue gun. Create smaller detailed pieces like a cutting board, dishes, a sink and plant décor, and color them with crayons or coloring pencils. Some pieces you can leave unglued if you desire, so kids can move them around in the box.
If you try these activities out with your family, let us know by sharing on your social media and hashtag #investinhome. We’d love to hear from you!