Bubbles, play dough and chalk are mainstays of a child’s imagination diet, and a great recipe for outdoor fun. They are also easy to make at home, and kids can help with the recipes.
Bubbles, mostly sold in retail-land in plastic containers, are completely simple to make at home.
Using generous drops of dish soap, water and a reusable container you can stir up a batch of your own. Check out the National Wildlife Federation for a list of fun bubble recipes.
Save wands from other bubble container inserts or make it a game and have kids hunt for things around the house that will make interesting bubble blowers. Try using bendable materials like coat hangers, pipe cleaners or straws and rubber bands.
Don’t forget giant wands for huge bubbles.
Play dough is a favorite of many children and its pliable, inviting texture makes it perfect for playtime.
Call it nostalgia but I usually prefer the store bought version of this. There is something about the weird smell and its perfect consistency that is hard to achieve in homemade versions.
However, for something that usually just gets mixed in a ball, colors all intermingled, and eventually dries out and gets thrown away, making your own can be a cost effective alternative. Here’s a recipe for homemade play dough that’s actually good.
For extra fun add in some glitter, just be sure to wash hands after playing so specks don’t end up everywhere.
Sidewalk chalk can also be mixed up at home and put in containers, egg cartons or homemade molds of any shape to dry. This tutorial reportedly produces chalk that doesn’t leave behind that annoying chalk dust residue long after playtime is over.
Turn ordinary chalk into instant finger paint just by adding a little water, letting the chalk absorb the liquid and mixing it up.
Give the bubble solution, play dough and chalk a boost by adding naturally derived colorants to the formulas. Use juice from bright produce like beets and carrots, or more subtly hued fruits and vegetables for a pastel look. Depending on the intensity of the dye, it may also dye clothing and fabrics, so create with caution. Also, have bubble blowers wear play clothes and play outdoors as colored bubbles can stain too.
Reuse non-breakable containers to hold the creations. They can also be decorated and labeled for parties, holidays and gifts for friends.
These homemade projects will provide hours of artistic outdoor activity, and adults may even want to blow a bubble or 2.
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