When kids are out of school and looking for things to do, the first instinct may be reaching for the remote control or video game controller any chance they get. Try putting some limits on electronics with these fun activities.

Use Your Imagination

  • Make paper airplanes out of colored paper.
  • Cut out paper dolls and accessories from newspapers.
  • Create doll houses and furniture out of felt pieces.
  • Build skyscrapers out of Legos or Tinker Toys.
  • Use large cardboard boxes to create kid-sized houses that the kids can decorate.

Spend Time with Family

  • Look through photo albums or school memorabilia.
  • Use your talents to create a family variety show.
  • Cook dinner together or bake cookies.
  • Sing karaoke or have a dance party.
  • Listen to a book on CD together every night.

Get Outside

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs or a friend.
  • Roller blade around cones in a parking lot on a sunny day.
  • Head to the park for a trip across the monkey bars.
  • Jump rope in the driveway.
  • Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.

Think Spring

  • Plant a garden.
  • Have an indoor picnic.
  • Use watercolors to paint a summer sky.
  • Make a kite out of sticks and a kitchen garbage bag (directions: instructables.com).
  • Buy a caterpillar to butterfly kit and watch it grow.

Make a Game of It

  • Pick card games like Uno, Hearts or Rummy.
  • Try a dice game like Tenzi or LCR.
  • Bring out the board games – classics like Sorry! or Monopoly.
  • Create a Battleship game out of two pizza boxes.
  • Tape a tic-tac-toe board on the floor and use colored bean bags for the X and O.

Expand Your Mind

  • Play Sudoku or complete a word search.
  • Browse the library for a good book.
  • Set up a home laboratory and create some science experiments.
  • Put together a model car.
  • Work a puzzle.

Get Crafty

  • Make homemade play dough from Kool-Aid*
  • Build structures with marshmallows and toothpicks.
  • Create pasta people with glue and a variety of pasta shapes.
  • Use duct tape and cardboard to make swords and shields.
  • Design Popsicle stick snowflakes, paint white and hang in the windows.

Do Something for Animals

  • Teach your dog a new trick.
  • String popcorn on a string or make homemade suet for the birds.
  • Collect towels and blankets for the animal shelter.
  • Create a maze for your hamster.
  • Make a no-sew pet bed for your cat.

Get Out and Go

  • Go bowling.
  • Play indoor laser tag.
  • Head to the  pool for a game of Marco Polo.
  • Get messy with a game of paintball.
  • Try rock climbing.

Play Roadtrip Games at Home

  • Name that Tune – Turn on the radio and see how quickly you can identify the songs.
  • I Spy – Describe something in the house so the other players can guess what it is.
  • Alphabet Game – Name animals, foods or athletes starting with the letter A, then B and so on.
  • Mad Libs – Fill in the blanks to a short story with nouns, verbs and adjectives.
  • Bingo – You will find free printable bingo sheets online.

– Pam Molnar

*Kool-Aid Play Dough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 envelope (0.13 oz. to 0.23 oz.) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any flavor
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil

Mix first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan until blended. Stir in water and oil.
Cook on medium heat five minutes or until mixture forms ball, stirring frequently.
Transfer to plate; cool slightly.
Source: kraftrecipes.com

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