Forget the PSP, the iPad, or even the boob tube. On the next rainy day, why don’t you let your kids amuse themselves with something more low-tech yet still very enjoyable?
Ready a stack of square-shaped paper in various colors, sizes, and types (art paper, construction paper, leftover gift-wrapping paper) and bond with your kids by creating paper animals (roosters, swans, frogs) and even everyday items (boxes, T-shirts, vases), after you do your research (check out en.origami-club.com) and perfect the projects first, of course.
Who knew you could make Yoda from Star Wars by folding paper? You didn’t? We’re sure your kids didn’t, too, which makes this activity even more amusing for them.
This needs a lot of creativity, preparation and “hiding” skills from you, but the kids’ cheers, smiles and fulfillment once they discover the treasure are always worth it.
All this game involves is a series of clues, each one describing the location of the next clue. Want to make things more challenging? Have the kids perform a little task before they can get the next clue. The most important element of this activity, of course, is the “treasure,” so make sure that the prize is worth all the clue-guessing and hunting.
Paper clip/magnetic fishing
This activity is best for those with bunk beds. Using a piece of yarn tied on a stick and with a paper clip reshaped into a hook at the end, a couple of kids on the bunk bed can use these “fishing rods” to catch “fish” (in the form of a mound of action toy figures, matchbox cars, dolls and other toys) scattered on the floor. Kid with more “fish” wins. You can also substitute the paper clip hook with a magnet to make things more challenging.
Personalized board games
If your kids are tired of Monopoly or Scrabble, it’s time to introduce them to a new board game, something they’d be more interested in, by asking them to create it themselves. All they need is a piece of ¼-size illustration board or even a regular but clean short folder, plus colorful pens. Just have them draw squares (or circles, or any shape, actually), come up with a main character and a goal for the board game (a giant mouse and the refrigerator, a vampire and a blood bank), and then make things more interesting, challenges, punishments and rewards (like Miss 1 Turn, Roll the Dice Again, Jump 5 Spaces, etc.) on certain squares.
Encourage them to be as creative and wild as they want to be when it comes to design, characters, and rewards and challenges. The more personalized it is, the better.
Forget the stove or the oven. There are lots of easy-to-follow recipes out there that little kids can try out, and they don’t need fancy appliances or equipment, or even lots of time. Make pastillas by mixing powdered milk and condensed milk, rolling them into balls, and then covering them in granulated sugar.
Create a ref cake by layering different ingredients (ladyfingers, cream and mangoes; graham crackers, cream and fruit cocktail; Oreo cookies, cream and marshmallows) and then letting them set in the fridge.
Want something salty? Make a Mexican salad by opening a bag of corn chips, adding corn kernels, and a dressing made of ketchup and mayonnaise. By Mark Sablan, Contributor