Cheap, Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved Activities

In March I found out I’d be working from home with all of the kids. As our time together continued its indefinite extension, especially with school being canceled, I tapped into every resource I could for activities to keep them busy while I worked. But, I also need things we could do together for fun!

I can’t take credit for these activities as I did not create them. But, by trying them, I learned a few things along the way!

Rainbow Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This was an easy and colorful cooking lesson for the kids!

Ingredients: Shredded cheese, Food Coloring, Bread, Butter

Supplies: Butter knife, bowls and a hot pan or griddle

Rainbow Grilled Cheese

This is simple enough. Separate the cheese into equal parts and into however many bowls you want to use for colors. Put the food coloring into the assigned bowl and stir it in. Each person received two pieces of bread, a knife, and soft butter.

I had the kids butter their bread and walked them through how to make the sandwich. Once one side of the buttered bread was down on the pan, the colored cheese was added and the other piece of bread was placed on top. With one flip of the spatula the sandwich continued to sizzle until it was time to get it on a plate so each child could cut theirs open and see the colorful and gooey results!

Rainbow Grilled cheese

Crepe Paper Hair Dye

This was a GAME CHANGER for us! The girls have asked for so long to have their hair dyed but I’ve preferred to use chalk colors and very temporary options until now. Not anymore! The dye lasts about a week or two at its strongest, though it’s still visible four weeks later even though the color has faded. That makes it one of our favorite activities!

Supplies: Crepe paper (colored streamers), bowls/container, boiling water, plastic gloves (if you don’t want your hands to be dyed as well), tarp, or old towels.

I boiled a pot of water and placed each roll of crepe paper in an empty plastic container. I poured the water into each container and let it rest for about five minutes. I squeezed the entire roll of crepe paper into the water to get out as much dye as I could.

Then I sectioned off my girls’ hair so each part could go into a different color. One at a time, they laid down and I put their hair into the desired colors where they sat for about five minutes. Once they were done, I squeezed out the excess liquid and took out the hair ties. We let their hair air-dry and the results were awesome!

Before:

Crepe Paper Hair Dye

After:

TIPS: Blonde or light hair will take more color on (i.e. an entire rainbow of colors!); darker or brown hair will take pink and purple better than the other colors. Also, washing the hair in cold water seemed to make it last longer.

Cardboard Finger Nail Painting

I had several meetings for work one day and the girls really wanted to play with my nail polish. I saw a tip online about using cardboard for them to “practice” and ran with it.

Cheap, Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved Activities

Supplies: Cardboard, marker, nail polish

Thanks to several recent Amazon deliveries, I had plenty of boxes to break down for the girls to use. I traced my hands and added fingernail sections on each finger for them to paint. I set out my nail polish and let them have at it!

Cheap, Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved Activities

Definitely two thumbs up, cheap and easy activity that we will be doing more than once!

Puffy Paint

The only thing I had to buy for this project was the shaving cream and luckily the store had it for less than $1.00 each. On a nice day, making and using puffy paint was perfect and created some fun art and memories with the kids!

Supplies: White glue, foaming shaving cream (not gel), food coloring, bowl/plastic containers, plastic or regular spoons, paper, paintbrushes

This was incredibly simple – I got out several plastic containers and let the kids shake and spray the shaving cream into each one, equally spread out. We went through one can and started another, doing five big containers. Then we squeezed glue into each one on top, counting about 15 seconds of squeezing for each container to keep it simple. We stirred that together until blended and then added the food coloring, one color for each container.

Cheap, Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved Activities

Once that was stirred and ready to go, we took the paper out to the patio table with our brushes and enjoyed the puffy paint experience! Eventually one kiddo started using it as finger paint and that was fun as well. I found it easy enough clean up; we definitely had to “glob” it on to keep it as puffy as possible and it took quite a while for it to dry. We hung up one piece and it looks awesome!

Cheap, Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved Activities

Check out our Pinterest boards for many more ideas out there for things to do! What are your favorite activities?


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Christa Peterson
Christa lives in Cedar Rapids but spent her formative years in Seattle, WA and Dubuque, IA. She is living out her dream of motherhood in a house full of amazing girls (ages 8, 7, 5 & 5) that she shares with her wonderful husband as well as several pets. The family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their fifth girl this April! Christa is also a proud working mom who juggles the family's needs while also maintaining a full-time career. Her favorite activities are cooking, writing, recreational sports, relaxing, and finding creative ways to build memories with her family.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Cute ideas! My daughter would love the hair dye! Does the color rub off or bleed on to furniture or clothing at all?

    • Hi!! We have not seen it bleed or rub off once it’s dry, no. The first hair wash has a little bit but after that it’s been contained to the hair. 🙂

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