Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rainy Day? Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Fun and cheap kids activities

  •   Send secret messages to one another

That tiny little piece of white paper may look like it doesn't hold any secrets, but your little one knows it says, “Find me hiding in back of the playroom couch at 2:00 p.m. ”  Show your child how to write, send, and decode messages just like a real secret agent.  You can do it using inexpensive household items you most likely have right now.
Invisible Ink Recipe:


Baking soda
tap water
mixing bowl
Qtips/cotton swabs or a small paintbrush
white paper
grape juice concentrate

Mix ¼ cup of baking soda & ¼ cup of tap water in a bowl, stirring until the baking soda dissolves completely. Dip a cotton swab or small paintbrush in the “ink,” then use it to write a secret message on a sheet of white paper. Once the ink has dried completely (you can use a hair dryer to speed it up with your supervision), your child can brush the paper with grape juice concentrate to make the invisible message reappear. (The message is revealed through a chemical reaction that happens when the grape juice interacts with the baking soda.)
For even more fun, you can set up a message-writing station and a decoding station, with one or more child at each. Very little kids can act as couriers to carry the secret messages between the stations, and older kids can make messages even harder to crack by disguising the words with a code (like A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on).

  • Make a Star Map:

What you’ll need: Tape or glue, black construction paper, cardboard, pencil, glow-in-the-dark paint or ink

Spark a lifelong fascination with the night sky by introducing your child to bright, easy-to-recognize constellations like Orion the hunter or Perseus (or, if you’re up early, the Big Dipper, which can be seen in the morning).
Get started: Glue or tape a sheet of black construction paper to a piece of thick cardboard to make it more durable. Use a pencil to trace a constellation (print out traceable templates at kiwimagonline.com/starmaps), then draw a circle where each star is located, making the brightest stars the biggest (about the size of a penny), and dimmer stars the smallest (about the size of a pea). Use glow-in-the-dark paint or pens to trace the outline of the constellation and to fill in each star circle. Once the paint is dry and it’s dark outside, use the glow-in-the-dark star map to find your constellation in the night sky.
Double-check your child’s work—and identify other constellations nearby—with a stargazing app like The Night Sky ($.99, apple.com/itunes). Hold your phone or tablet up to the sky, and the names of the constellations in your field of view will appear on the screen.

What you’ll need: Tape or glue, black construction paper, cardboard, pencil, glow-in-the-dark paint or ink
Time commitment: 30 minutes

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