6 Creative and Fun Activities to Try With Your Kids
Spending time with your kids is so important, but it can be hard to keep them entertained. The best family time is often spent enjoying creative activities, and not only do they help stimulate your child’s imagination, they’re also fun for the family and don’t have to cost a lot. Here are six ideas for creative activities for kids of various ages.
- Balloon dart paintings
Be the most fun parent around by letting the kids create balloon dart paintings. As they’re messy to make, they’re ideal to do outdoors or somewhere like a garage where you don’t mind paint on the floor. Even with a tarp on the floor, there’s always a risk of stray splatter, so you might also want to dress the kids in old clothes and use washable paint.
To create a balloon dart painting you simply need balloons, a pump, colourful paints, thumb-tacks, and of course, darts. You’ll want a large canvas to really get the full effect, and once finished, it’s a great piece to hang in a kids bedroom.
- Squeeze a small amount of paint into a balloon, then use a pump to inflate it before tying the end – do this outside, in case the balloon pops!
- Hang the canvas from a pole or tree
- Attach the balloons to the canvas with thumb-tacks, using the twisted ends
- Let the kids throw darts to pop the balloons, creating fun splattered effects
- Let the painting dry, then remove the thumb-tacks before hanging
- Nebula jar
Kids who love star-gazing will love making a nebula jar, which looks like a little galaxy they can hold in their hands. Nebulas are made from ionised gases, and creating a nebula jar lets you give them a science lesson while they have fun. Layer up watered-down tempera paint in purple and blue tones with cotton and glitter, until the glass is full. You should be left with a jar that has a glittery, layered effect.
Entertaining younger kids too? They may not understand the science, but a nebula jar is still fun for them to make, and they’re calming for younger kids to watch. They’re a popular activity in child care centres in Perth and around the world, as they’re so simple to make and kids are always proud of their finished product.
- The leak-proof bag
This one needs minimal planning and materials. Fill a large zip-lock bag with water have a child hold it in one hand, with a sharpened pencil in the other. They can stab the bag all the way through, with the tip coming out the other end, an the bag will not leak.
Is it magic or a trick bag? No, but it is an excellent way to explain polymers to kids. As the pencil goes through, the molecules are flexible enough to create a seal around the edge of the pencil so water stays inside. Turn it into an experiment by seeing how many pencils can be pushed through, and then let the kids remove the pencils, making a watery mess to finish the activity on a fun note.
- DIY snow globes
Simple enough for the youngest kids, and fun for all ages, DIY snow globes are a great family activity and lots of fun in the run up to Christmas. Visit day care centres in Perth and lots of the kids will have made these simple yet pretty decorations, and there’s no limit to the design ideas.
All you need is a jar, plastic figurine or decorations, glitter, water and some glycerine if possible as it thickens the water to make more of a snowy effect.
- Take the lid of the jar and glue your figurine and other decorations to the inside. Leave the glue to set and any decorations to dry
- Fill the jar with water, a dash of the glycerine, and one or two spoonfuls of glitter
- Once the lid is dried, screw onto the jar and turn it upside down. Display with pride
- Magnetic sensory bottles
Fun for young kids, and a learning opportunity for the older ones, magnetic sensory bottles are fun for all ages. Just be careful when using small magnets around kids, as they can be dangerous when swallowed.
For this activity you fill a bottle with water and two or three squeezes of magnetic ink. Ideally, use a bottle with a childproof cap, or glue it on. Kids can then make their own magnet wand by placing a magnet at the end of a straw and taping it into place. When the magnet is held close to the bottle, you can see its magnetic field, so this is a great time to teach kids how magnets work. Or it can just be a fun, soothing toy to play with. It depends what mood your child is in.
- Rainbow soap
Want to encourage good hand washing, or to create fun gifts to give to teachers? Making soap is surprisingly easy and kids love this colourful project. If you’re looking for child care in Perth, it’s a good activity to suggest to people looking after multiple children, as they can all pitch in and make these cute soaps.
You’ll need to stock up on clear soap bases, soap dyes, essential oil of your preferred scent, wax paper, plus separate bowls for each coloured layer. Using very dull knives, kids can chop up the soap base and you can melt it in a pan before portioning into bowls. Kids can then add a few drops of dye to each bowl, plus a little essential oil for scent. Line a loaf tin with wax paper, add the bottom colour and leave to set, then as the layer set add the next colour, until you have your stripey block of soap, which can be cut to the desired size.
Kids can sometimes be difficult to entertain, which is why it’s always worth having a few activities on hand to keep them quiet. They often enjoy DIY or crafting activities, or anything a little bit messy, so having some basic items around the house such as paint and glue can easily translate into a fun afternoon for the whole family.