Studio 5 Contributor Kiersten Blanchard has found a few ideas to chase away the rain-cloud blues.
Using several (7 or 10) water bottles as the pins and a soft ball, kids can set up their own bowling alley. The more water in the bottle, the harder they will be to knock over. For a fun variation, put coins in each bottle. Once the bottle is knocked over, the child collects the coin to keep, or “spend” at a little homemade store with small toys and treats. Keep in mind, hard, flat surfaces work best for the bowling lane.
Discover the great indoors. Using some rope/twine tied between two pieces of furniture and a blanket thrown over the top, create a tent for your little campers. Supply the tent with picture books, stuffed animals, sleeping bags, and pillows. To go one step further, surround the “tent” with live or fake potted plants. Campers can create stars in a dark room by placing the open side of a paper cup with holes (made with a pushpin) over a flashlight and shining it at the wall. For a fun treat, gather your little campers to make Indoor S’mores.
6 c. miniature marshmallows, split (one 10 oz. bag)
1 ½ c. milk chocolate chips
5 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
8 c. honey graham cereal (I use one 13 oz. box of Golden Grahams)
Melt 5 c. marshmallows, chocolate chips, and butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; Stir in vanilla. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal; Stir until evenly coated and a little cooled. Stir in remaining marshmallows. Press mixture into a 9″x13″ pan. Cool until firm and cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
To encourage hours of make-believe play, pack an old suitcase or large plastic container with dress-ups and accessories. For items, scour your closet, dollar store, and local thrift store for any of the following:
• Hats (cowboy, sombrero, top, witch, bonnet, baseball cap, visor, princess hat, etc.)
• Fancy old dresses (short), shirts, vests
• Fancy gloves and bowties
• A cane
• A feather boa
• A cape (large piece of fabric with a clip will do)
• Shoes (cowboy boots, high heels, slippers)
• A bandana
• Costume jewelry
• Eyewear (goggles, glasses without lenses, sun glasses)
• A tiara
• Angel wings
• Tutu and other old dance clothes
• Old neckties
• Fins & snorkel
Cut primed canvas to 10 feet long by 45 inches wide. Place it primed-side down. For squares, center a 12-inch square card-stock template 12 inches from the bottom of the mat; trace with a pencil. Position the template 1 inch directly above the first square and trace again. Continue, drawing the board as show. Tape around the inside of traced squares with masking tape, aligning with marks. Then, outline the entire board with tape, 1 inch from the outside of the squares. Paint the lines created by the tape with acrylic paint. Paint numbers (free hand or using a stencil). Let dry; remove tap. To keep canvas from slipping on bare floors, lay carpet rubber below the canvas.