It’s been just about four months since the kids have been home from school and if you have kids of your own, it’s safe to say, you likely miss sending them off for the day and the sense of normalcy that school brings. Since they’ve been home for a while now, you’ve possibly run out of fun ideas and activities to do with your kids at home.
Thankfully things seem to slowly be opening up at this time but if you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of venturing out or want something to do on a rainy day at home, we’ve put together some fun crafty activities you can do with your little one (or your older one might be able to do on their own with some supervision).
All you need are some basic ingredients that you’ll likely have around the house, and if not you can easily grab in-store or add them to your next curbside order!
Our first activity is making a delicious smelling sugar scrub for the body and because it smells so good, your kids will definitely enjoy scrubbing themselves down during bathtime (maybe if you’re lucky they’ll even gift it to you). Conventional brands of cosmetic and personal products often contain harsh chemicals that can cause some major issues inside the body due to carcinogenic properties and endocrine disruptors found in them (keep in mind, we absorb a minimum of 60% of what you put on it!) and often leave the skin feeling dry. This scrub contains coconut and jojoba oil which are super moisturizing and not to mention antimicrobial. The sugar acts as an exfoliant helping to sluff off dead skin cells and the essential oil or extracts help to make this smell wonderful so that kids are more than happy to use it!
Lemon Sugar Scrub
- 3 tbsp Nature’s Emporium Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp jojoba oil
- 1 cup Nature's Emporium Cane Sugar
- 10 drops natural food coluoring Colour Garden Yellow Plant Based Food Colour Preparations)
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Melt coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Pour sugar into the oil and mix. If it is too oily, add a small amount of sugar and mix.
- Add food colouring. Choose your favourite colours!
- Add the essential oils to achieve the scent you desire. See notes for suggestions.
- Store in an air-tight container.
- This recipe makes 2-3 small cups of scrub. To make multiple gifts or batches, double the recipe.
The next activity is one the whole family can enjoy – homemade bird feeders! My family has always enjoyed watching the different species of birds fly around our cottage roads. It can also be a fun and educational pastime to learn about the different species and try to identify them as they roam around your property. This bird feeder will help bring them to you so you don’t have to leave the house to go looking for them. We encourage you to make your own bird feed by using some ingredients typically found in your cupboard and if not, you can easily add these to your next curbside order. Besides the feed, you’ll also need an additional few items to help shape and make them but most can be found at a nearby dollar store. We hope you share some photos of the birds you catch on camera as they come feed on the tasty treats you make them!
DIY Bird Feeders
- Large cookie cutters (or silicone moulds)
- Straws cut into 2-inch pieces
- Large bowl
- Large spoon
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- ½ cup hulled millet
- ½ cup peanuts crushed
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup rasins chopped
- ¼ tsp oat flower prevents raisings fron sticking together
- ¼ cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin powder
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons (or 2 individual packets) of gelatin in 2/3 cup of boiling water (adult help may be needed for this step). When gelatin is completely dissolved, add 2 cups of bird seed.
- Mix for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the seeds to soak up the gelatine mixture. Depending on how absorbent your seeds are, you may have some excess gelatine mixture. If there is any excess, do not worry about it.
- Place your cookie cutters onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and carefully fill them with the bird seed mixture. Be sure to overfill them just a bit, because you'll want the seeds to be nice and tight inside the cookie cutters.
- Cover the filled cookie cutters with another sheet of parchment or wax paper and press the seeds down firmly. Gently insert a straw segment into each shape in order to create a hole for the loop of string you'll be adding later.
- Allow the bird seed cookies to dry for 3-4 hours (flipping them halfway through) before gently pushing them out of the cookie cutters and letting them finish drying overnight. In the morning, gently pluck out the straw segments.
- Add a loop of string, hang them outside, and be on the lookout for the hungry little birds who will soon be devouring their seedy cookies.
While yes you can purchase playdough at any big box store, half of the fun comes from making your own (what kid doesn’t love to get a little messy and also kills some time actually putting it together – talk about a win-win situation!) Using some basic kitchen ingredients like flour, salt, grapeseed oil and lemon juice (thankfully this recipe doesn’t call for cream of tartar that people often don’t have on hand), you can make your own safe and non-toxic playdough! This is especially a good activity to do with your younger ones because playdough can help improve fine motor skills by having to manipulate and make things using it, as well as it helps get their creative juices flowing by letting their imagination run wild! If they’re involved in the process of making it, they also get a little math lesson by having to learn and understand measurements!
DIY Play Dough
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sea salt
- ½ tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 20-30 drops natural food colouring Colour Garden Plant Based Food Colour Preparations)
- Combine the dry ingredients into a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
- Mix the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine.
- Once fully combined transfer to a flat surface to knead.
- If it's too sticky add a little more flour. Do this slowly, as a little goes a long way.
- Add food colouring.
With summer on it’s way and the warmer weather and sunny days here, it’s super important to keep those lips moisturized! As previously mentioned, conventional brands tend to have a lot of chemicals in them, so we have put together a more natural alternative for you to make at home with your kiddies! The recipe includes beeswax which is a great barrier to help protect the lips and also has anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve red lips burnt by the sun! Additionally it contains coconut oil and shea butter that are super moisturizing and anti-inflammatory. We’ve flavoured it with orange essential oil and vanilla extract to make it taste like a summer time favourite, orange creamsicle! Don’t forget to take one for yourself since this recipe makes enough to fill a couple lip balm containers!
Orange Shea Butter Lip Balm
- Eight (8) round lipbalm containers.
- 1 ½ tbsp peeswax pellets
- 2 tbsp Nature’s Emporium Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp shea butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 25-30 drops Now Orange Essential Oil
- Heat the beeswax in a double boiler. Alternatively, use a heavy duty glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. When wax is mostly melted add the shea butter and coconut oil. Continue to heat slowly until liquid.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and stir well. The extract does may not want to mix very well.
- Stir in the essential oil.
- Fill lip balm containers and let them cool.
And that’s it for this summertime kids activity blog! We’d love for you to share your creations with us, so be sure to tag us @naturescanada when you post your photos on social media! We can’t wait to see all the fun you’ve created using some basic ingredients found in your kitchen and bathroom! Who says, kids crafts have to be expensive or challenging to make?
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