At Just Enough Wines we understand that this is a challenging time for many of you, and especially for parents with young ones at home. From adjusting to a new way of completing work to having a never-ending list of chores, it can get pretty hectic with everyone at home...all the time. At Just Enough, we want to help make your life simpler, period. We collaborated with a mommy food blogger, Lisa, a busy mother of a 2-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter to bring you seven cost efficient ideas to entertain your kids while at home. Lisa’s inspirations behind these activities are influenced by repurposing everyday items she already has at home in order to be both cost and time efficient.
“Activities don't have to be costly, it just takes a bit of creativity… and a little inspiration from Google” -Lisa Dang
Activity #1- Cake-Pop Decorating
A great, fun idea to kick off this list is to make some tasty cake pops!
- Bake 1 standard box of any flavor cake you’d like
- Crumble the cake and mix in spoonfuls of frosting at a time until the cake can hold it’s shape formed into a golf ball-sized ball (approximately ½ cup of frosting)
- Heat up 1 bag or 14oz of chocolate melts in a double boiler or microwave
- Once the chocolate is completely melted, take a stick and dip it in the chocolate. Then take the dipped end, and stick it ¾ of the way into the cake ball. Let that rest in the freezer for about 15 minutes.>
- Once the cake pop comes out of the freezer, dip the entire thing into the melted chocolate and add sprinkles while the chocolate is still runny
- Let it completely harden and enjoy
If you don’t want to make cake pops from scratch, you can also purchase a cake pop kit from your local shop or order an online kit here. “My daughter loves to help me in the kitchen and this activity is kid friendly because nothing dangerous is required to make these.” This activity is a fun one in the kitchen and the end result is delicious!
Activity #2- Painting Empty Lysol Wipe Containers
Playing with empty products is the best way to repurpose packaging and give it a new life. Another great thing about crafting with old, empty containers is that the kids can be as creative as they want! Wouldn’t you rather let them get their creative juices out on empty products rather than your prized belongings? Us too. Lisa’s craft idea is using an empty lysol wipe container and painting it to be used as extra storage. You can store markers, trash bags, makeup brushes, small toys etc. All you need is some child proof paint (aka washable paint), paint brushes, and some newspaper. Just lay down the newspaper on the table or floor and the kids will get right to painting. Cotton balls, glitter, and glue can all be used to give a special touch as well.
Activity #3- DIY Slime
This activity is cheap and so easy to make. The kids will love making and playing with slime for hours on end.
- Pour 1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue into a bowl.
- Add 2 drops of food coloring (optional).
- Mix in 1 ½ cup of shaving cream
- Mix well and then add ½ tablespoon of contact lens solution at a time until your desired consistency is reached (approximately 2-3 tbsp).
This activity is simple and doesn’t get too messy. Once they get a hold of this recipe, they won’t stop making more. Tip: After the kids are done with playing with the slime, you can use it to pick up dust in hard to reach places like window sills and little crevices of your car.
Activity #4- Throw a Concert
This activity will give your kids a good night’s sleep so you might want to test this one out. Use empty shoe boxes to drum on, a sealed up salt shaker, a pair of keys and anything else that will make some noise. Lisa had her kids make music by hitting some pots and pans with wooden spatulas while still playing music in the background. Get some music started by looking up karaoke songs on YouTube or write your own songs. Sing, dance, and jump around! Pair this activity with a wireless microphone This concert will get your little ones movin’ and groovin’ right to bed after. Once they’re in bed, you can sit back, relax, and treat yourself to a nice glass of your favorite wine.
Activity #5- Bird Watching
With all this extra time in the house, the empty toilet paper rolls are beginning to pile up. But don’t worry because now we have a solution. We’re using empty toilet paper rolls and going bird watching! Use the same paint from earlier and get your kids started on another painting activity. You can be creative by using extra decorations like glitter, cotton balls, wrapping paper, cellophane and even flowers. After the kids are done painting and decorating their binoculars, glue the two empty rolls together and poke one hole on the outer end of both rolls. Then insert a strand of either yarn, string, or ribbon into both holes. Knot the string a few times through the hole to make sure it’s sturdy. This will be used to hold the binoculars around their necks. The kids will not only have something to do, but allows the whole family a chance to get some fresh air and put their binoculars to the test! Go to your backyard or local park and watch some pretty birds. Tip: Use colored cellophane to change the “lens” colors of the binoculars.
Activity #6- Free Car Wash
This activity is really for you, the parents. Get your kids in their bathing suits, add some floaties if you would like, and have a car wash outside! You’ll need a bucket of water, soap, sponges, towels and a watering hose. Turn on your hose and get the little kids to cleaning! Bring water balloons and water guns for some extra fun.
Activity #7- Homemade Ice Cream
A delicious treat and a science lesson morphed into one. Does anyone else remember making ice cream in a bag in middle school?
- Combine 1 cup of half and half, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla extract in a small ziploc bag. Push out excess air and seal tightly. You can replace half and half with heavy whipping cream.
- In a gallon sized ziploc bag, combine 5 cups of ice, ½ cup of table salt.
- Place the smaller ziploc bag inside the bigger ziploc and shake vigorously with oven mitts until the ice cream has hardened (about 10 minutes). This is also an arm workout so you might want to take turns shaking the bag.
Add sprinkles, crushed up oreos, nuts or cookie dough to try some different flavors.
Advice for parents who are home with kids during COVID-19?
“Hang in there! I know these are really challenging times right now and it can be really hard finding a balance between being with your kids, working, taking care of the house, making dinner, and finding time for self care. But just a reminder to you, that this is all temporary and there will be no other time like this. Use this moment to spend as much time with your kids and family members as possible. You can create memories to cherish forever.”
Give Lisa some love on her