Summer is coming and we can expect that at least a couple of kids will moan, "There's nothing to do!"
Mifflin Juniata Arts Council has some suggestions to alleviate summer boredom for kids from 5 to 95 years old. Remember to cover tables (and floors) with newpapers or dropcloths if you are doing these activities indoors.
JV Family photos by JULIANNE CAHILL
Parents may help children cut stamps out of potatoes. The stamps can be used with paint or ink.
JV Family photos by JULIANNE CAHILL
Carve letters into potatoes to practice the alphabet or spelling.
Materials: Bottled bubble soap, food coloring, disposable paper bowls, paper
This outdoor activity is fun and guaranteed to turn your kids (and you) into an abstract artist! Simply pour the bubble soap into bowls, add food coloring and blow bubbles with the wands that come with the bubbles. Here's where the creative part comes in: Blow bubbles onto sheets of paper to create colorful designs! Let your creations dry and hang on the fridge ... or frame and hang in the living room.
Materials: Paint, paper, markers, colored pencils or crayons, inkpads (whatever you have available) and, of course, thumbs
This project is perfect for a sunny day outside or a rainy day inside. Simply take your kids' thumbprints with an inkpad, paint or a water-soluble marker, and have them make thumbprints on a piece of paper. Use paints, markers, colored pencils or crayons to create a picture around the thumbprints. The prints can be transformed into insects, leaves, birds, monsters or simply smaller parts of a bigger picture.
Materials: Potatoes, paint or ink, paper and an X-ACTO knife or razor blade
This indoor-outdoor activity requires parental help or supervision.
Cut a potato in half. Use an X-ACTO knife or razor blade to cut a design, shape or picture into the raw potato. Lightly apply paint or ink to the design and press onto the paper. The stamped designs can then be embellished with paint, markers, colored pencils or crayons.
A variation on this activity is to use a sponge instead of a potato. A dry sponge may be cut, as per the directions for the potato stamps, or it may simply be cut with scissors into 1 inch-by-1 inch squares. Each square will create its own design because of the random nature of sponges. To keep fingers out of the ink or paint, clip clothespins onto the sponges.
Materials: Coffee filters, markers, paper, clothespins, pipecleaners or bread ties.
This is another activity that may be done indoors or outdoors. Wet coffee filters and squeeze to remove excess water. Lay the filters out on paper. Use markers to draw on the wet filters. The colors from the markers will run together to make colorful designs. Allow the filters to dry, then crimp them in the middle with a clothespin, a pipecleaner or a bread tie to create a colorful butterfly.
Materials: Plaster of Paris, water, powdered tempera paint, paper bowls or plastic butter tubs, old wooden spoon or paint stirrer and molds (use toilet paper rolls, old ice cube trays, old cupcake tins, etc.)
In a paper bowl or plastic butter tub, mix 3/4 cup water to one cup of plaster of Paris. Add as much paint as you want. The more paint you add, the more vibrant the colors will be. Stir, stir and then stir more. Pour into the molds, and wait until it cures. Remove from molds and create art on your sidewalk.
Do not touch the chalk while it is curing. A thermal reaction happens during curing that will cause chemical burns.
Do not use a sink for cleanup. Use a hose to rinse hands, bowls, etc., over a trash can lined with a bag. Let the material settle to the bottom, then pour off excess water. Wait for the mixure to cure, then tie the bag closed and discard.