Kids’ Projects at Christmastime

“Children laughing” is a classic sound during the holidays, but once those
kids have been out of school for a few days, it can be hard to keep them
entertained and happy. A few fun projects should do the trick.
Risa Baker, who blogs at Restless Risa, has found some ideas that will keep
the children laughing.


Lava lamps are so fun, and mesmerizing! They are easy to make at home with
a few ingredients you probably already have on hand.

You will need:

· Clear plastic bottle. A glass would work as well.

· Vegetable oil

· Water

· Food coloring

· Pie pan

· Effervescent antacid tablets such as Alka-Seltzer


1. Fill the bottle just over halfway with the oil, and then add water to an
inch from the top. Add 10 drops of food coloring.

2. Place the bottle on the pie pan to catch potential spills. Cut or break an
antacid tablet in quarters and drop one quarter into the bottle. When the
bubbling slows, add another quarter-tablet to get it started again. (Adding
too many tablets at once will cloud the oil with bubbles.)

3. To store the lamp, let the bottle sit until all the bubbles have completely
dispersed. This prevents the buildup of gas in the bottle. Cap it and put it in
a safe place to prevent spills.


You kids will be entertained for hours finding new uses for magnetic putty. It
is super easy to make, and stores indefinitely.

You will need:

· Putty – I prefer the kind you buy from the dollar store. It seems to have a
little more moisture.

· Finely ground metal. I got mine at Utah Idaho supply for $1.75. The finer
the better. They had a jar of shavings there as well, and the shavings were
too thick, and fell out of the putty.

· Paper Plate

· Magnets


1. Heat up the putty with your hands, so it is pliable.

2. Flatten and stretch the putty out, then lay it on the paper plate.

3. Dump metal onto putty.

4. Knead the metal into the putty, until it is well mixed.

5. Have fun seeing what the magnets will do!


Your kids will love the fact that they get to be a part of the whole process of
creating a bouncy ball. They will love getting their hands dirty too!

You will need:

· borax (found in the laundry section of the store)

· cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store)

· white glue (e.g., Elmer’s glue – makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear
school glue (makes a translucent ball)

· warm water

· food coloring (optional)

· measuring spoons

· spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture

· 2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing

· marking pen

· zip-lock plastic baggie


1. Label one cup ‘Borax Solution’ and the other cup ‘Ball Mixture’.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into
the cup labeled ‘Borax Solution’. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add
food coloring, if desired.

3. Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled ‘Ball Mixture’. Add 1/2
teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of
cornstarch. Do not stir. Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-
15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture
becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball
with your hands.

4. The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.

5. Once the ball is less sticky, go ahead and bounce it!

6. You can store your plastic ball in a sealed Ziploc bag when you are
finished playing with it.

7. Don’t eat the materials used to make the ball or the ball itself. Wash
your work area, utensils, and hands when you have completed this activity.


Your kids will be amazed as these snowflakes crystallize over night!

You will need:

· Pint sized glass bottle

· Pipe cleaner

· Borax

· Yarn or string

· Water


1. Boil your water

2. Shape your pipe cleaners into whatever shape you want.

3. Tie a string to your pipe cleaner, and loop around your pencil

4. Dump 1/3 cup borax into your bottle

5. Pour boiling water in, and fill to within one inch of the top.

6. Put your snowflake in hanging from the pencil

7. Wait about 4 hours or overnight and you will have beautiful sparkly
snow flakes!

You can find more ideas at

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