RESOURCES TO HELP FAMILIES THRIVE

 

SPRING ACTIVITIES

Ideas from  Kas Winters, "The Mother of Family Ideas"



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Play with the Wind

Go Fly a Kite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy a kite and assemble it, or make your own from scratch. Even a plastic grocery store bag with some string attached to the handles can become a kite if a child holds the string and runs. The fish kite in the picture at the bottom is made from two paper plates with a paper cup stapled between them to make a mouth and catch the wind. Strings are tied on either side of the mouth and joined in the middle to connect to a single string. Fins and tail are pieces of paper plates and crepe paper streamers are attached to the end of the tail. So, go fly a kite. Play with the wind.


Spring Clean Together

 

Traditionally, Spring Cleaning was a huge project where everything in the house was cleaned from stem to stern. In today's busy world, it's very challenging for working moms to accomplish such a daunting task.

   Pick out an area that is screaming for a clean-over and get the whole family to pitch in for some good clean fun and make a difference together.

  You might focus on just one room, one closet or even a single drawer.

   Kids can clean baseboards with a wet sponge. They can sort through their own toys and items. Try clothes on to see what doesn't fit anymore or put winter clothes away and put summer clothing close at hand. A child can take a vacuum hose attachment and get into edges and corners more easily than mom.

   Young children can take all of the items, especially plastic things, out of a kitchen cabinet and then an adult can clean and replace items.

   Windows can be washed, curtains and draperies can be dry-cleaned or washed, in one room at a time.

   Whatever you choose to do, talk or even sing (or whistle) while you work. Make it a pleasant time and build family relationships while you clean. When you're done, celebrate your accomplishments with an easy dinner of pizza or something else that doesn't require more work from mom or dad.


 

Lions & Lambs

It is said that March "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb". Read stories about lions and lambs. Include the fable about the lion who helped the mouse and was repaid when the mouse chewed through the ropes of a hunter's net after the lion got caught. Play with stuffed animals. Draw pictures of lions and lambs or sculpt some using salt dough or clay. For younger children read nursery rhymes like, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue.


 

Handkerchief Parachutes and More

Make a handkerchief parachute by tying a clothespin or small plastic toy figure to a handkerchief or square piece of cloth. Tie four strings to the clothespin and then tie each string to one corner of the handkerchief. Roll it up and toss it in the air and watch it float down.

   Tie balloons to strings and let them dance in the wind. Helium balloons are even more fun but tie them securely.

   Play with pinwheels in the wind.


Have a Rain Drop Race

Each person picks a raindrop as they hit the top of the window. Follow your raindrop until it gets to the bottom of the window and see whose raindrop wins the race. Then start at the top and do it again!



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 WOMEN'S DIRECTORY


First Day of Spring

March 20th

Have Fun with Flowers

If you have flowers growing in your yard, make a bouquet and bring it indoors for your family to enjoy, or take a bouquet to a friend or neighbor to brighten their day. Watch as spring flowers begin to poke out of the ground, grow and then blossom. Celebrate with excitement as you enjoy the progress.

   Make a daisy or clover chain by braiding the stems of flowers together.

Wear it in your hair for a little while.

   Take pictures of spring flowers.


Make crepe paper flowers

 

The daffodils in the picture begin with a short strip of yellow crepe paper about two inches high. Push one finger between two fingers along the to edge to "scrunch" the edge of the crepe paper and make it look like the center of the daffodil.

Cut a 2 inch strip of crepe paper and color it orange with markers. Then cut in into very thin strips about 1" down. Twist each strip to make the center of the flower.

Fold an 8" strip of yellow crepe paper accordion-style so that each sheet of the folded piece is about 1 inch wide. Cut a petal shape so that it remains attached at the bottom and makes 8 identical petals.

 

Wrap the orange piece around the end of a pipe cleaner to make the center of the flower. Then wrap the piece with the scrunched places around the orange part. Wrap the petals around the other two pieces to finish the flower. Twist floral tape around the twisted crepe paper at the bottom of the flower to hold it in place. Cut green leaves out of construction paper and place them near the bottom of the pipe cleaner. Wrap the entire pipe cleaner with floral tape and wrap it around the leaves to hold them in place. Make a bouquet. (If you don't have floral tape available, then strips of green crepe paper can also be used. Sometimes you might need a little tape to hold things securely.)

  


 

Make flowers from egg carton cups

Cut two cups from an egg carton for each flower. Cut petal shapes around the top part of the cup. Place the two cups together and use an ice pick to push a hole through the centers of the bottoms of the cups. Put a pipe cleaner through the hole and twist or fold it to keep it from pulling back through. Push the two cups together. Glue a pom pom for the center of the flower, make the pipe cleaner look like the center or glue some cut fringe pieces of tissue paper for the center. Cut leaves from construction paper and tape them to the pipe cleaner. Put a single flower in a vase or make a whole bouquet to celebrate spring.


 

Plant Vegetable Seeds

If you have a garden area, let the kids plant some vegetable seeds there. If not, start some seeds in pots. Put some small pebbled in the bottom of a pot for drainage, then a little sand and then fill the pot with good soil. Let the kids put the seeds in the ground and make labels so they know what was planted in each area of the garden or in each pot.

   Tomato and pepper plants can be started indoors in pots. If you are going to transplant seeds outdoors, start them in soil that has be placed in fiberboard egg carton cups. Plant one seed per cup. The roots will grow right through the container bottom once the plant is in the ground.

   Radishes are usually the first plants to come up out of the ground, so we usually plant some of those because they are exciting. Sometimes, even kids who hate radishes will eat a couple, just because they grew them.


Collect Bugs and Other

Critters

Nature comes alive in many ways in the spring, and there are usually bugs-a-plenty. Monitor bug collecting to make sure that a child doesn't get something that will sting, bite or is poisonous. Put them in a "bug house". You can purchase them or make one from an empty clear plastic jar. Replace the lid with a piece of nylon net rubber-banded over the top to let air in and keep bugs contained for observation. Put a small cap full of water in your bug house and some leaves and twigs. Let children watch them, look at them with a magnifying glass and then release them back to their outdoor home.

 

With other "critters" like frogs and lizards, use the same catch, observe and release process and make sure that the animals are not harmed (or harmful). We always do a "photo-shoot" and get a picture to remember the small animals we find and enjoy.

MotherLodeCover.JPG (116195 bytes)

Mother Lode

The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy

by Kas Winters

Over 5,000 ideas for tots through teens

$30.00 PLUS SHIPPING

and worth its weight in GOLD!


Kids' Craft of the

 Month


Spring Fun!

 

Make a daisy chain of flowers.


Braid the stems together and wear it in your hair.


Float paper boats on rainy day puddles


Look for four leaf clovers


Play with the wind. Go fly a kite, blow bubbles, fly a seed pod helicopter or watch a pinwheel whirl around.


Listen to the sounds of nature. Listen to Birds. Try to identify the sounds you hear.


Take a stone-kicking walk. See if you can kick the same stone from the start of your walk until your return home.


Plant Something


 

 


 

Look for signs of spring.

Enjoy flowers. Watch as plants begin to poke out of the ground, grow and blossom. Enjoy the blossoms and new leaves on the trees. Look for birds' nests or birds building nests. Sometimes they will be low enough that a child can be hoisted to see the eggs and then the baby birds. (We have hummingbirds that nest in our pine tree and always enjoy watching them from a distance. Look for new life everywhere.


Activities for Lent

 

Make a Prayer Chain

Make a prayer chain with construction paper links. Use pink, lavender and purple pieces of paper. Prayers can be of praise, thanksgiving, contrition (being sorry), and petition (asking for things). Write a prayer on each strip of paper before stapling, pasting or taping it into a link on your chain. Hang the chain up where you can see it and remember to keep prayer in your day, especially during Lent.

 

Make Pretzels

The early Christians made pretzels during Lent because the shape looked like arms folded in prayer. This recipe makes delicious pretzels but they don't taste like the "store-bought" variety. Start a new tradition and make your own pretzels or just buy some from the store and share them as a family snack in the evening. Discuss the symbolism of the shape of the pretzel.

 

Ingredients:

4 cups flour

1 Tbls. butter

1 pkg. dry yeast.

1 1/3 cups water

     (approximate)

lye (1 level tbls. per half gallon of water)

egg yolk - well beaten

coarse salt

 

Mix flour and butter together. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add yeast and remaining water gradually until mixture is a dough than can be rolled into long string. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Cover it with a clean tea towel to keep it warm or place it in a cold over with a pan of water that is still hot from boiling.)

 

Take the dough and roll it into strips. Let them dry for a couple of minutes and then shape them to look like pretzels. Put a dab of water where the ends join the pretzels and pinch them to hold them together. Let them rest, just until they begin to rise.

 

In a stainless steel pot (not aluminum), bring 1/2 gallon of water to a hard boil and add 1 level teaspoon of lye. (This is an adult job because lye is caustic and dangerous to children.)

 

Drop the pretzels into the boiling water and take them out as they float to the top. Drain the water. Brush the top of each pretzel with beaten egg yolk. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 500 for 10 minutes. Remove them from the over and change the temperature to 400 and give the oven a little time to cool to the re-set temperature. Put the pretzels back into the oven until they are completely dry. (Thicker pretzels will take longer than thin ones.) Store in a tightly sealed container.


The Legend of Dynamite George

The Mining Pack Rat

by Carroll Bennett

USD $19.95

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CHILD SAFETY IS IMPORTANT TO US

A responsible adult should supervise any child or children taking part in any of the activities listed on this website in order to avoid potential dangers or injuries. Their are no activities for children that are completely safe. Children are experts at finding ways to get hurt that never occur to adults. All activities should be supervised. The author/publisher of this site does not assume any liability for damage caused by injury sustained by conducting any of the projects on this site. The adults who are working/playing with children are the only ones who are able to discern whether a specific situation is safe or appropriate for a specific child or children.


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03/20/16

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