Healthy Kid Activities

Fun Activities to do With Your Kids to Stimulate Connection and Creativity!
(from Makani)

INDEX of fun kid activities
Messy and Fun
·        Oobleck- for busy hands. Simple and long lasting entertainment.
·        Make paper- Easy!! Needs a few days from start of project to end.
·        No cook play clay- Easy to make. Lasts a long time. Feels good.
Nature Ideas
·        Nature Mobile- Save your treasures from your nature hikes...
·        Nature Scenes- Honor the seasons with a nature table and nature scenes
Great Resources- books, web links, etc.

You need:
         A container- get a plastic bin that has a lid- one about 18 inches long and 10 inches wide
         A box of cornstarch- available for about $1 at the grocery store
         Some water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
Now put all of the cornstarch in the plastic bin and slowly add the water.
Now Play!

Homemade Paper
Things you need:
         Paper (toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, napkins, newspaper, etc)
         A container- get a plastic bin that has a lid- one about 18 inches long and 10 inches wide
         Some water
1.      First we (my then 5 year old son and I) had a toilet paper "fight"...  tossing the paper here and there and laughing and laughing until our sides hurt.
2.      Then we picked up all the paper and saved it for later use.
3.      Then we put the paper in the plastic container and my son tore it up into as many small pieces as he wanted.
4.      The next step (which was a day or so later) was to add warm water to the container (enough to make is sloppy and fun)...
5.      Mix it up, break up the paper into smaller pieces. My son then played in the wet toilet paper- water mixture for about 1/2 hour. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE MESS... Pick up the big pieces, but remember it's easy to clean right up as soon as the little wet paper blops dry.
6.      Then cover it and let it sit for a day or so.
7.      Now to make the paper...
8.      Lay out 4 towels with a cotton cloth on top
9.      Spread out the wet paper goop on the cotton cloth. Try not to make it too thick or leave any holes (make it too thin).
10.  Cover with another cotton cloth and 4 more towels.                                                    (NOTE: we just laid out the towels and cloth- covered only one half of the towels/ cloth for the bottom part, then used the other half of the towels/ cloth for the top part.)
11.  Now put something flat and heavy on top- old phone book or catalog, piece of wood, etc.
12.  Now stand on the pile and squeeze out the excess water for a few minutes.
13.  Then lift it up off the cloth and lay it out to dry.  (To save on the waiting for the water to squeeze out enough to lift it up,  we did a neat trick. We lifted off the top towels and cotton cloth. Then we put wax paper on top of the wet mush "paper", next we lifted the cotton cloth up with the wet mush "paper" and the wax paper inside, flipped it and then laid the wet mush "paper" out on the wax paper to dry. We pulled the cotton cloth out from under it.)
14.  Voila! After some hours, your paper should be dry!

No Cook Play Clay
You will need:
         1 cup salt
         2 cups flour (and some extra flour- about 1/2 cup)
         1 cup water
         a medium sized bowl
         a table surface to knead the clay (dough)
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Then when they start to stick well together, knead then on a play table. Have a small bowl of flour around to stop any stickiness. My son played with this stuff for over an hour. By the end, he had flour on every part of his body (even his feet- from making foot prints in the dough). We saved the dough in a plastic ziplok bag for future days of fun.

Nature Mobile
You need:
         odds and ends: sticks, shells, rocks, pinecones, nuts, etc. etc.
Just use your imagination and start balancing a mobile of treasures from the earth. My son comes home from every outing with a new stick, shell, pinecone, rock, etc... just gather them all and use them in home projects (with your child's approval of course).

Nature Scenes
You need:
         to have a regular Nature Table, you need a table specially for your nature scenes. We have set aside the top of a short cabinet on our covered porch near the front door. We make major changes to it every few weeks or so... although we add little treasures as we come across them. We try to arrange the nature table in honor of the season we are in. We also hung a pretty cloth behind it in a haphazard manner to add to the beauty and irregularity of how nature presents itself.
         Or you can make a nature scene and press it into a blob of the No Cook Play Clay to serve as a centerpiece at the dining room table.
         odds and ends: sticks, shells, rocks, pinecones, nuts, leaves, flowers, tree branches, bird nests, painted blown out eggshells, homemade wool dolls,  etc. etc.

Great Resources (books, links, etc.)
Raising Your Spirited Child, the Workbook
by Mary Sheedy-Kurcinka
This book helps you realize that you aren’t insane and neither is your kid if you find him/her feeling the itchiness in the tags in his/her clothes, unable to sit in a room with bad smells, seemingly shy at the first of any new activity but then very active when doing things he/she is used to do, etc… It’s a book about how we all have our own personality traits and all the goading won’t help the afraid to start things kid jump in the pool on the first day of lessons. This is a must for those who want to learn how to get along with the people of the world around them.

Parent Leadership Institute (Patty Wipfler)
Check out Patty Wipfler's approaches from the Parent Leadership Institute: Setting Limits with Children. Wow, did they make a difference for us!  Check out their stuff...
To order Patty's booklets and read more go to
The booklets everyone should start with:
         Listening- A Tool for Caring Parents
         Listening to Children- 6 booklets
         Setting Limits with Children
and if you at all can get the audio tapes or video- you get to hear the stories that I loved to hear when I saw her speak.

Initially put on the web in 1999, last revision December 18, 2010