Guest Post! Creative, Expressive Fun: Educational Activities Kids Can Enjoy Indoors

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Written By: Jenny Wise

Most parents have been through one of those days where the rain just never lets up and the kids, frustrated and trapped inside for hours, never give up causing trouble. At times like that, it’s difficult to tell who’s more anxious for a couple hours of sunshine and clear skies, the kids or Mom and Dad. It’s a person of true vision and foresight who keeps a few ideas in store for fun and educational indoor activities when they’re out of other options and the kids won’t stop fighting over the gaming controls.

At a time like that, it takes real creativity and inspiration to come up with a Plan B when Monopoly, Pictionary and Boggle just aren’t doing the job. There are always plenty of YouTube exercise videos or play-along music lessons, many of which are specifically designed for children. But sometimes, kids need to have their creative impulse tweaked a little with activities that draw on their ingenuity and inspire them to create something really unique.

Fun with math!

Yes, kids can have fun with math applications, so long as you make them relatable to everyday situations – HomeAdvisor’s lesson plans collection has lots of great examples. For just $4.99, download the app Time, Money & Fractions On-Track. This software program guides kids through fun, interactive audio/visual exercises that teach them things they’d normally roll their eyes at in school. Funny animal noises, lots of color and animation help keep them engaged. For exactly $1, have them give Math Evolve a try, another fun and educational interactive game. If you’re into activities that are free of charge, visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children websites for a wide selection of math games.

Vivid colors – make your own

Kids may love to color and draw, but the same old crayons and colored pens do tend to lose their luster after a while. Ask your children if they’d be interested in a little artwork if they got to make their own colors this time. That’s right, create their very own colors, as bright and vivid as they care to make them. It’s fun and doesn’t take long. With a few ordinary household items, including white vinegar, light corn syrup, cornstarch, baking soda, and gel food coloring, your kids can create the brightest water colors imaginable. With some paper and a few brushes, you’ve got the makings of a genuine home art studio. Not only can you make them as vivid as you like, it’s even cheaper than going out and buying art supplies or stocking up on crayons or pens that will get used once or twice before they’re forgotten. It’s a creative and educational rainy day activity that the kids may want to turn into an everyday happening.

Illuminated stories

This is another easy, fun and inexpensive way to get the kids’ creative juices going and get them to collaborate. All you need are a few empty glass jars (pickle, sauerkraut, beets or anything that comes in a wide glass container will work) and kids willing to write and illustrate a story on a white piece of paper. Insert a small candle into the jar and light it, then glue the paper on the side and watch the stories light up … literally.

Fun with marbles

Have you ever wondered why you’ve been hanging onto all those marbles your kids haven’t played with in years? Not only are they a hazard to household foot traffic, they’re a choking risk for the family pet. But don’t chuck them in the wastecan quite yet. Instead, grab the paint, a few pieces of white paper, and a baking sheet or paint-rolling pan. Lay paper in the pan, douse the marbles in different colors of paint, and turn them loose in the pan, moving it around so each marble leaves a nice long trail behind it. You’ll end up with a piece of avantgarde artwork that defies classification – maybe a cross between Warhol and Pollock – and is suitable for framing!

Time for science

If they need a break from all that artistic self-expression, why not dip into the world of science with the “Magic Milk” experiment, which produces globs of color? You’ll need food coloring, liquid dish soap, cotton swabs, whole milk and a couple of small bowls. Pour a little milk in a shallow dish, add a few drops of food coloring to the milk, apply a cotton swab to the mixture and listen to the oohs and aahs as the colors explode.

It’s amazing how much fun can be had with a couple clicks of the mouse or a few simple household items you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to. The best part about do-it-yourself indoor fun (other than keeping frustrated kids occupied) is that your children can exhibit their work proudly on the fridge or on their bedroom walls.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Read more about Jenny and visit her blog!

 

 

10 Activities to Do With The Kids In DC on Memorial Day Weekend!

Swing Into Summer

Memorial Day weekend doesn’t have to be spent on the road if you live in DC metro area. There are some fun activities going on in your own backyard. Have a staycation and spend more time with the kids and less time on the road. Here are 10 Ideas to have fun with the kids this holiday weekend.

  1. Jazz in the Garden at the National Art Gallery: Enjoy live music from 5-8:30 pm. Spread a blanket, get some yummy food from the cafe and hang out with the kiddos for FREE. This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer!
  2. PBS National Memorial Day Concert: This weekend is meant to honor our men and women who sacrifice their lives. This FREE concert on the west lawn at the US Capitol on Sunday, from 8-9:30 PM.
  3. Free Outdoor Movies: Check out the complete lineup for 2017 for DC/MD/VA and lay out under the stars.
  4. Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit:We’ve visited this exhibit several times and it’s magical! Visit Brookeside Gardens at 1500 Glenallen in Avenue in Wheaton MD from 10-4 pm. $8 ages 13+; $5 ages 3-12; Free ages 0-2.
  5. Hometown Holidays in Rockville: Enjoy this 3 Day FREE Festival with 7 stages, entertainers, kid’s rides, teen activities, VisArts Fine Arts, and a parade in Rockville Town Center.
  6. Strawberry Picking at Butlers Orchard:  My absolute favorite place to pick strawberries is open from 10-6 pm. Strawberries are $2.79 a pound. They are delicious!
  7. Viva Vienna Festival: FREE Festival with food, games, entertainment, amusement rides and vendors. Saturday-Sunday from 10am-10 pm and Sunday from 10 am-6pm.
  8. Delaplane Stawberry Festival: A fun 2 days of everything strawberries, games, music, and vendors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Advance tickets are $20 per car. This would be a great activity to split with friends.
  9. National Memorial Day Parade in DC: The annual parade starts at 2 pm. Get there early so you can get a good spot and visit the many free museums after that are open.
  10. Hangout at Georgetown Harbor: Get a tasty cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes, if you’re a cat lover visit Crumbs & Whiskers where you can grab a coffee and even adopt a kitten, or just walk along the harbor!

Enjoy! Go out and make some memories!

10 Mostly Free & Fun Things To Do With The Kids In DC This Weekend!

10 Mostly Free Things To Do With The Kids in DC This Weekend!

Friday is here! If you’re in the DC metro area it’s a pretty soggy day, but that doesn’t mean you and the kids have to be stuck in the house all weekend. Check out some of these fun activities going on in the metro DC area some of which are free! Also, check out CertifiKID for some great discounts. I have faith the sun will peek out so I listed some outdoor activities as well as indoor fun!

  1. The Flower Mart at the National Cathedral– Friday 10-6 & Saturday 10-5. Check out the lovely flowers and for kids there is a carousel, puppet shows, games, rides, food and a used book tent. Admission is FREE, there are costs for some activities.
  2. Go to the Drive In! For 10 bucks a car you can watch Star Wars the Force Awakens at Union Market. Lot opens 6:00, Lot closes promptly at 7:50, Film begins 8:15 , Film ends at 10:30. Check the website at 1 pm for rain cancellation.
  3. Around the World Embassy Tour On Saturday from 10-4 pm, immerse the kids in culture with over 40 embassies! This FREE event showcases art, music, traditional dress, and lots of good food from around world! Admission is free, but bring ID some embassies might conduct security checks.
  4. Go Explore a Castle! Saturday from 11-2 The Heurich House Museum will is FREE! Wander through the castle and complete complete a photo scavenger hunt to win prizes.Register  here.
  5. African-American Children’s Book Fair– Saturday  10-4 pm at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. This is the perfect rainy day activity. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops, live performances, and art activities. It’s FREE, but register for the event here.
  6. $12 for KID Museum General Admission TWO-PACK Bethesda- This is a great deal for the little ones from CertifiKID
  7. $10 for Port Discovery Children’s Museum Admission – Baltimore  – This is another offer from CertifiKID
  8. Raptor Festival-If your kids are into birds, owls, hawks then go to the Meadowside Nature Center, Saturday from 12-4 pm for a fun and informative festival. It’s FREE!
  9. Literary Hill BookFest- FREE event Saturday 11-3 PM on Capitol Hill.
  10. Kid’s Theater Festival– This is cool! Watch plays performed and written by kids for FREE on Saturday, 11-2 PM at Glenallan Elementary School.

Don’t let the rain stop you! Go out and make some memories and have a great weekend!

5 Fun Ways to Count Your Blessings With Your Family! Download Your Free Resource!

Hey Moms! Looking for fun ways to foster an attitude of gratitude with your kids? Download my 5 Fun Ways to Count Your Blessings as a Family! Get the whole family to reflect on their blessings and express their gratitude this November!

Download (PDF, 2.15MB)

Looking for a Fun Bonding Experience? Visit Lake Needwood!

I always feel at home near the water or on the water. My preference is the ocean, but if one isn’t near, I’ll take a lake. Especially, if it is a gorgeous day and I’m with my favorite girl! If you’re looking for an inexpensive outdoor activity, and live in Maryland, visit Lake Needwood.

It’s a beautiful serene 75 acre lake where you can rent kayaks, row boats, canoes, pedal boats, or even take a tour on a Pontoon boat. We decided on the pedal boat. They provide everyone with a life jacket and at least 4 people can fit in the boat.  We paid $9.50 for a half an hour and was on the lake for about an hour and a half. We paid under $20 bucks which was a great price for all the fun we had!

The first time I went to Lake Needwood I was pregnant which was 10 years ago! Now, my girl is 10 and can help pedal the boat! What better way to celebrate a glorious Sunday then hop into a pedal boat on a lake? It was a ton of fun and I totally recommend going with your kids. It was a sweet bonding experience just being out on the glistening lake, talking, laughing and pedaling.

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For a complete list of prices and park hours, Visit: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/lake-needwood-boats/

15700 Needwood Lake Circle
Rockville, MD 20855

Would You Rather…. A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Kid Better

carri

 

My little one isn’t so little anymore! She is 10! I’ve had the pleasure of being in the company of this amazing, incredible and beautiful human being for a decade. Wow a decade flew by! It makes me really cognizant of how quickly she’s growing. Right now she still enjoys being around me and is somewhat of an open book so I’m taking advantage of it before those teen years roll around.

One fun way to get to know your kid is by playing the game, “Would You Rather?” I started playing this in the car on the way home from school. Basically, I ask her questions like, “Would you rather eat salmon or chicken?” or “ Would you rather visit California or NY?” or you can get silly and ask questions like,” Would you rather eat a worm or an ant?” It is just a fun way to keep the lines of communication open and find out some pretty interesting things about how their minds work. She also asks me questions as well and finds out stuff about her momma too!

VisArts at Rockville Worth the Visit!

Visit VisArts in Rockville, MD!

My daughter is very creative so I’m always on the lookout for a class or an activity that encourages and inspires her along with being fun! A couple of weekends ago, I found an African Mask making class on a Saturday morning for $20.00. I quickly registered her and I’m so glad I did! The class was at VisArts in Rockville, MD.  I was totally impressed with the various classes, teacher, and spirit of the center. It was a chilly day, but I found a french bakery and settled down with a cup of coffee and a delicious croissant and worked on my play.

If your child loves at like mine does and you live in the Maryland area this may be a great fit for them. They have regular classes and camps. I plan on enrolling Anya in either a class or camp in the summer and can’t wait to see what she creates! If you want to try your hand at something new there are classes for adults as well!

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