Though we haven’t yet experienced the colder weather of the fall here in Colorado, it’s only a matter of time. Because of the coronavirus, several indoor play areas and museums have been closed all summer, resulting in an increase of outdoor activities. It’s no problem when it’s sunny and warm outside, but as it starts to get colder and places remain closed, it’s going to take some creativity to keep our rambunctious kiddos busy. Here are six activities to do with your nanny kids that will hold their attention and never get old.
We discovered this amazing sensory activity at the library. Kids love it! They can use any little toys they want to play in the sand. It does get messy, so make sure to play on top of a splat mat, plastic tablecloth, or large trash bag.
- Baby Oil
- Large shallow bin or cookie sheet with edges
- Small toys
- Mix an 8:1 ratio of flour and baby oil in a bin or cookie sheet. The consistency should be like that of damp sand.
Let’s be honest, kids love themselves. Any opportunity to be traced and to draw on their face, hair, and clothes is a winning experience for them. It’s also very entertaining as the adult…
- A couple pieces of chart paper taped or glued together, or butcher paper the length of the child
- Drawing supplies of your choosing (crayons, colored pencils, markers, pastels…)
- Have the child lay flat on their backs on top of the paper. Trace their body using any drawing utensil of your choice, the darker and thicker the better.
- Allow child to draw in their features
- If you’re feeling extra creative, add googly eyes, cloth, and string to add 3D features
When I was homeschooling, we decorated cookies using the colors of the Colorado flag while learning about the state where we live. Of course the girls loved the decorating, but eating the cookies was the real winner.
- Pre-made sugar cookie dough
- Sprinkles, optional
- Cookie sheet
- Bake cookies according to package directions
- Once cookies have cooled, decorate with icing and top with sprinkles
- Eat and enjoy!
It’s simple, but kids love the freedom to create, and it requires minimal prep.
- Paintbrushes, optional
- Disposable plate
- Pour paint onto disposable plate
- Use paintbrush to paint on paper, or finger-paint
It’s fascinating to see and feel what happens when you combine water and cornstarch. Is it a solid or a liquid? This can be a messy experiment, so it may be helpful to lay down a floor or table covering.
- food dye, optional
- Add half a cup of cornstarch to bowl and mix with water, about a fourth a cup, until all of the cornstarch powder is wet
- Add food dye if desired
- Get messy!
Hunting for Treasure
This activity definitely requires some prep work on the adult’s part, but the box can be used over and over. Hunting for treasure never fails to entertain, especially when there is something waiting for the kids at the end.
- Black paint
- Gold paint or Sharpie marker
- “Treasure” — here I used chocolate gold coins
- Clues written on paper, optional
To create the treasure chest…
- Paint shoebox black
- Paint or draw on two gold straps, one one either side, around the top and front of the box. Then paint or draw on the keyhole.
- Fill with treasure
To create the treasure hunt…
- Decide where to hide the treasure chest, then write clues on pieces of paper that will draw the kids closer to the treasure. Some idea can include, IF YOU WANT TO FIND THE NEXT CLUE, LOOK IN THE PLACE WHERE YOU PUT YOUR SHOES, or HUNGRY FOR ANOTHE CLUE, WHERE WOULD YOU FIND SOME FOOD?
Alternatively, you can purchase a treasure hunt game with pre-made clue cards, like this one by GoTrovo.
I hope your weather stays tolerable for several more months, but in case it doesn’t, set up one of these activities and watch your nanny kids play, explore and create!