Creative Kids

Games and Activities to Keep Kids Creative

Welcome to Creative Kids

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Feb• 01•13
Are you tired of your kids spending all of their free time in front of the television?

Are you looking for something fun to do on a rainy day or snowy afternoon?

Look no further. Creative Kids has games, activities and crafts that are fun and easy. The step-by-step directions will show you how to make the craft or play the game.

Choose one of the categories from the menu and browse through the ideas listed.

Creative Kids Science Club

Cornstarch and Water experiment: Looks like sp...

Cornstarch and Water experiment: Looks like spaghetti! (Photo credit: GoodNCrazy)

Creative Kids is launching a Science Club for Kids. Members will receive a weekly email with detailed instructions on a fun science experiment for kids. We will also include articles to encourage kids to keep exploring the world of science. For kids who want to participate in their local science fair we will have a ‘how to’ book available to help them create a winning science fair project.

Coming soon for only $10 a month.

Kids are natural scientists and the Creative Kids Science Club is designed to help them expand their scientific explorations and learn more about the world around them.  All of the experiments can be performed using items commonly found around the home. Experiments are chosen for their WOW effect and are kid tested.

Studies have shown that kids have a natural scientific view of the world.  Kids believe in cause and effect.  Even very young kids think that complex actions can be explained. Help your kids keep their scientific outlook and provide them with regular opportunities to experiment with the Creative Kids Science Club.

Exposing children to science and scientific principles in grade school will help them learn how to think methodically, solve problems and do better in school.

Click here to get more information on the Creative Kids Science Club.

 

Kids' Inquiry Conference

Kids' Inquiry Conference (Photo credit: Christian Howd)

 

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Driveway Games

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 23•12
Sidewalk Chalk Flood 2009, another Rob Bliss U...

Image via Wikipedia

Kids can get really energetic in the spring and it is important to give them something to do to use up that energy. Unfortunately in many areas of the country the ground can be very wet and muddy. Having a game or two they can play on the driveway can help reduce the amount of mud that is tracked into the house. Here are two great ideas that are sure to be a hit.

Get Out of Jail

This is a game that combines tag and kick the can. It requires a can or any object that can be kicked, but won’t roll on its own.  First a large circle is drawn on the pavement. This is the jail. One person is ‘it’ and places a can in the center of this circle/jail. Then they count to 10. The other players must scatter around the driveway outside of the circle. The object of the game is for the person who is ‘it’ to tag all of the other players before one of them helps the can get out of jail. When they tag a person, that person must freeze in place until the all players are tagged or the can is kicked out of the circle. The player that kicks the can out of the circle gets to be ‘it’ next.

Kids can modify this game so that if a player is tagged they must then help the person who is ‘it’ to guard the can.

Knock It Down

This is a similar game but instead of having one player guarding all of the players have a bottle to guard. One person is ‘it’ and has a soft ball that can be easily kicked. Each of the other players has a plastic bottle that they place somewhere on the driveway. Then each player draws a circle around their bottle. They must always keep at least one foot inside this circle. The person who is ‘it’ stands at one end of the driveway and must kick the ball in such a way as to try to knock down one of the bottles. The defending player can kick the ball away in any direction. No hands are allowed so other players must be on guard as the ball could be kicked in their direction at any time. Again the defenders must keep at least one foot inside their circle at all times. Play continues until one of the bottles is knocked over. That person then becomes ‘it.’

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Nut Family

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 21•12
Pine cone with nuts

Image via Wikipedia

Spring is a great time to get outside and look around after a long winter inside. In early spring the leaves on trees haven’t come out yet and the ground is often littered with winter leftovers. Go on a scavenger hunt for pine cones, acorns, hazelnuts or any other ‘tree nut’ that is native to your area. These can be used to make this fun craft.

Items Needed
Pinecones/ walnuts or other natural nuts
Pipe cleaners
Yarn
Glue
Fabric Scraps
Google Eyes
Paint
Scissors

1. Try to find nuts of different sizes to make a nut family that resembles your own.  A large pine cone can be Dad, a medium pinecone is mom,  a walnut is sister and an acorn is the baby.

2. Choose the area of the nut that will be the face and glue on the eyes. Cut yarn to make hair. Cut scraps of cloth for clothing or hats. Glue each item onto the nut.

3. Cut pipe cleaners and add for arms. Glue in place or wrap around the nut and add a dab of glue to hold.

4. Add other details with paint as desired or paint the face and clothing on. Be creative and make a whole village of nut people. Set them aside to dry completely before displaying or using as a centerpiece.

It you are gathering nuts on a walk it may be a good idea to bring an extra bag along to put trash in. Helping to clean up around trails and yards is a great way to keep the environment healthy.

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Gardening with Kids

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 19•12
Garden/Allotment

Garden/Allotment (Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison))

Spring officially starts on March 21, though it may not look that way everywhere, and many gardeners have already started planting seeds and getting ready for the season. Gardening is a great activity to do with kid of all ages. Involve the kids in choosing the seeds, planning the layout, preparing the garden and planting the seeds. When they have participated in all of these steps they will enjoy the harvest even more.

Choosing the Seeds
There are many different places to get seeds for gardens, whether vegetable or flower. Local nurseries and garden stores are a fun option. Another great option is Seed Savers. This is an organization that specializes in heirloom seeds for a wide variety of vegetables and flowers. They have an online catalogue as well as one they will send you in the mail. It can be a lot of fun to try something new and this organization has excellent quality in their product. Consider trying purple carrots or yellow tomatoes this year as a new adventure.

Planning the Layout
Planting a garden involves more than just digging in the dirt. It is important to plan where to place vegetables as some plants will do better when placed near each other. One common example is to plant carrots and tomatoes close together as they help each other produce more. Plant height and color can also be a factor. When planting a wildflower garden you don’t want to put the 6 foot sunflowers in front of the three foot daisies. Kids can enjoy drawing out their plan and coloring it in so they know where everything will go.

Preparing the Garden
This step can be a lot of work, but it can also be fun. Removing last years’ debris and working some compost into the soil will require raking, digging and getting hands very dirty. Some kids will want to help with this step, while others may not.

Planting the Seeds
For many kids this is the best part of gardening, next to eating the harvest of course. It is important to ensure the seeds are planted at the proper depth and distance. Young kids can drop in the seeds and cover them with dirt or help water the ground as seeds are planted. Once everything is in the ground be sure to take a picture with the proud gardener so they can remember how hard they worked.

Gardening is a great way to get outside and spend some time with kids of any age.

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Sidewalk Chalk Games

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 17•12

Spring is a wet season in many places and the kids may not be able to play in the grass or park. This is the perfect

Common colors used in sidewalk chalk.

Image via Wikipedia

opportunity to use their imagination with sidewalk chalk. Chalk can be used to draw a number of different games as well as make masterpieces of art. Here are three game ideas for the next warm day.

Four Square
This simple game requires only a grid of 4 squares and a ball. Number each of the squares 1 through 4. The object of the game is to get into square #1 and stay there as long as possible. The person in square #1 bounces the ball into another square and that person must hit the ball into another square. Play continues until someone misses the ball. That person moves into square #4 and everyone else moves up.

Number Jump
This game requires a little bit of strategy and the ability to count. The kids must draw a grid of squares, usually a grid of 5 by 5 or 4 by 4 is a good way to start. Number the squares but not sequentially. This means the number 1 box should not be near the number 2 box and so forth.

Once the squares have been numbered the first play starts at box number 1. They must toss a penny, rock or other small object onto square #2. If they get it into the appropriate square they can advance to that square. If not they must go back to #1. Play continues with each participant taking turns until someone makes it all the way to the end.

X-Cross
This game also requires a grid to be drawn with sidewalk chalk. This time it is a good idea to make the grid at least 5 by 5 or larger. Once the grid is drawn each player chooses a square to stand on and carries a piece of chalk with them. Taking turns they move to a new square. When they move they must put a large X in the square they just moved out of. Play continues and when a player can’t move they are out of the game.  The game ends when only one person is left.

These are just three ideas for games with sidewalk chalk. Kids are full of ideas and once they have played a few games they will be able to create their own game.

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Egg Science

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 15•12

Easter is on April 8 this year and that makes this the perfect time to do some ‘egg’citing science experiments.

Boiled eggs

Image via Wikipedia

Magic Egg
This experiment will pull the egg magically into the bottle.

Items needed
Hard boiled egg
Paper
Matches
Glass jar with a neck that is smaller than the egg

1. Remove the shell from the hard-boiled egg.
2. Place a piece of paper into the bottom of the jar. Drop a lighted match into the jar to light the paper on fire.
3. Quickly place the egg over the top of the jar.
4. Wait and watch

The egg will be pulled into the bottle when the air contracts due to the burning of the paper.

Raw Eggs vs. Cooked Eggs

This is a simple process to determine if an egg has been cooked or not.

Items needed
Raw eggs
Hard-boiled Eggs
Marker
Flat surface

1. Give each child two eggs, one raw and one hard boiled. Have them guess which is which and carefully mark the egg they think is raw with an X
2. Place each egg on a flat surface on their side.
3. Spin the first egg like a top and then stop it gently by placing a finger on the top of the egg. Take your finger off and observe.
4. Spin the second egg in the same way and observe.

Which egg kept spinning even after being touched? This is the raw egg.
These are just two experiments that can be done with eggs.

These are just two fun science experiments with eggs.

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Easy Bug Craft

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 13•12

Kids are often fascinated by bugs. Now that the weather is getting warmer more of these small creatures will be appearing. One favorite of many children is the ladybug. Let the kids use rocks and paint to make their own ladybugs.

English: Stamp from Tux Paint.

Image via Wikipedia

Items Needed
Smooth rocks
Paint brushes
Acrylic paint
Black marker
Glue
Google eyes
Scissors
Construction paper
1. Go on a search for smooth rocks at a local playground, stream or field. The color doesn’t matter, but the shape will be the shape of the ‘bug.’ Smooth rocks are easier to paint.
2. Choose the colors to paint the rock. Make sure the work surface is covered and everyone is wearing a paint shirt to protect clothing.
3. Set aside each rock as it is painted so that it will dry.
4. If the child wants wings for their bug these can be cut from the construction paper.
5. Once the painted rock is dry details can be added with the black marker. This could be spots for a ladybug or wings as desired.
6. Glue on the eyes and wings.  Allow the glue to dry completely.

Kids can make ladybugs, dragonflies, fireflies and even butterflies using the same basic rock body and adding different shaped wings.  Let the kids use their imagination and make their own bug inventions.

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Volunteering as a Family

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 11•12
Make A Child Smile

Image via Wikipedia

Families are often busy and it can be difficult to find volunteer opportunities that welcome children. Luckily there are things that families can do at home. Many kids love to make crafts and this love can be used to make items for a wide variety of charitable organizations.

Kids who love to draw can make pictures that are donated to organizations such as Meals on Wheels or nursing homes. Color a Smile gathers these crayon drawings and distributes them to organizations across the country.

Kids who like to make cards can make greeting cards for children or adults. Make A Child Smile distributes cards to sick children in hospitals. Meals on Wheels love to distribute greeting cards to their clients as well. Local nursing homes also appreciate handmade cards to distribute to their residents.

Kids who are interested in volunteering and giving back to the community may want to consider a volunteer event for their next birthday. Guests can work to make blankets, assemble birthday bags, make cat toys, decorate lunch bags or assemble creativity kits. These and other ideas are listed on the website http://www.doinggoodtogether.org  with many other suggestions for activities that can be done at home.

Volunteering and giving back to the community is an important lesson for all children to learn. Encouraging children to do what they can to help others, the environment and their family will lead to a lifetime of giving and caring.

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Outdoor Games for Kids

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 09•12
English: Hop Scotch This Hop Scotch grid has b...

Image via Wikipedia

In many parts of the country spring has sprung, or will very soon, and kids are anxious to be outside. April Fool’s Day will be in a couple of weeks so here are some silly variations on favorite outdoor games.

Hop Scotch
This can be a popular game but to make it a bit more silly have the kids draw a new pattern for the game. Instead of having the 10 boxes drawn in the traditional shape spread them out so they don’t touch or make them really big or really small. Have one child draw 10 boxes randomly on the driveway and another player marks them 1 through 10. Then the players must hop in numerical order. This can be a fun way to change this game any time it gets a little boring.

Hide and Seek
There are many variations to this favorite game but this one is perhaps the silliest. One person is ‘it’ and hides from all of the others. All of the others look for this person and when they find that player they must join them in their hiding spot. This continues until everyone has ‘found’ the hiding spot. Of course the first person to find them gets to be ‘it’ for the next round. To make this game easier when playing in a very large area the person who is hiding can periodically make a loud animal noise such as an oink, moo or bark.

Sharks and Minnows
This is a popular game with soccer coaches as it helps the kids practice dribbling the ball while having fun. However it can be played without the ball. In honor of April Fools Day have one child be the Fool. All of the other players line up next to each other at the starting line. They will run across a field or yard to the other side at the same time. The Fool tries to tag as many as possible as they cross. If they are tagged they become a Fool. The players continue to run back and forth across the field avoiding getting tagged until everyone is a Fool. The last person to get tagged is the Fool for the next round.

These are three fun games that will help kids run off their extra energy. Encourage them to make their own changes to the rules to make the games even more silly and unusual.

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Seed Science

Written By: Dawn Marcotte - Mar• 07•12
Common Madia, Madia elegans. This was deep in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Spring is on the way and lots of people are looking forward to gardening. Watching plants grow can be a fun experiment. Build a terrarium with clear plastic water bottles or glass jars to see how a seed opens and grows.

Items Needed
Clear plastic bottle or glass jar
Utility knife
Dirt
Seeds – bean, pea or any other garden seed works
Water

1. Rinse out the bottle or jar to ensure it is clean. Large mouth jars work best.
2. If the bottle or jar has a small mouth you will need to cut off a section of the bottle so that dirt and seeds can be easily added. Choose a spot about 3 inches up from the bottom of the bottle and cut around the bottle. This will make a small pot to put the dirt in. Skip this step if the bottle has a wide mouth.
3. Put several inches of dirt into the bottle or jar.
4. Place one or two seeds on opposite sides of the jar so that they can be easily seen through the glass or plastic.
5. Lightly water the dirt, don’t soak it.
6. If you had to cut the bottle place the top portion over the bottom portion.  It can be helpful to make a small vertical slit in the plastic of the top portion so it bends and slides more easily over the bottom portion.
7. Put the lid on the jar or cap on the bottle.
8. Set the terrarium in a window that receives some sun every day.

The seeds will grow over time and kids can watch them as they grow and change. The seedling can be planted outside once it has grown and the weather has warmed enough to avoid a frost. The same process can be used any time of year to grow plants inside the house.

 

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