Cheap (I mean innovative) spring break activities

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by Linda Davis

azfamily.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 22 at 12:47 PM

I have to be totally honest here. Even as a former teacher, who loved the week off, as a working parent, I dreaded both spring break and fall break. What do I do?! I have to work, yet keep my kid busy. And, I was one of the lucky ones, I worked at home so I could tuck my son into bed and get back to work despite having missed the whole normal workday.

Enter day camp options. But along with that came some pretty high price tabs. And, even though my son is way beyond spring break activities, I know your anxiety. So, here are some of my favorite do-it-yourself projects that allow you to say - hey kids, we're camping out at home this year, but we can have fun with what we have on hand.

Watch the segment now

I made many of these as a struggling teacher trying to make due with an educator's budget and a class full of kids who want to learn. And, they work equally well for all you moms and dads trying to fill long days with limited dollars. Plus, it teaches your kids that it doesn't take money to make a day fun - just some imagination!

Here are the "recipes" you'll need; others that are just a process can be watched again and again in the segment connected to this article. Enjoy the fun and trust me, your kids may some day be doing these same things with their own kids. Fun never gets old.

Homemade Stickers 2 Tbsp. hot water 1 Tbsp. flavored Jell-O (any)

Pour Jell-O into a small glass bowl. Add hot water and stir until blended. Brush the mixture onto the back of mall pictures, drawings or magazine cutouts. Allow it to dry for 30 or so minutes. When ready to use, just wet the back and stick it on. Make a sticker book with several sheets of paper.

Juggling Balls These are great! Plus, your child could take the entire week to learn to juggle with them. All you need are medium sized balloons and rice, or salt or beans and some small snack sized plastic bags. Fill a plastic bag with salt or rice or beans about the size of a juggling ball. Then take 2 balloons, cut off the stem, take one and put it around the filled plastic bag. Then in the opposite direction, put the other balloon. Voila! Juggling balls. Fun to practice with two or three.

Sponge Flyer (aka - homemade Nerf ball) 3 sponges 1 cable tie 1 rubber band

Cut each sponge into thirds lengthwise. Stack the cut sponges on top of each other in three stacks of three each. Put the twist tie through the rubber band. Take all the sponges and twist once. Secure with the cable tie/rubber band and pull as tight as possible. Trim the cable tie as closely as possible and get ready to "fire!"

Sidewalk Chalk Paint 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water 6-8 drops food coloring

Mix all together and paint onto any sidewalk. Have fun and remember it can easily be washed away with water!

3-D Sand Paint 1/3 cup water 1/3 cup flour 1/3 cup salt 2 1/2 Tbsp. paint 1/2 Tbsp. sand Squeeze bottle or pastry bag

Mix dry ingredients. Add water and paint and stir. Put into a squeeze bottle or pastry bag and have fun! Let dry 24 hours or until hard.

See. Fun can be easy! Plus, you're giving your kids a gift. You'r e teaching them that a day can be fabulous by innovation and creativity! Have fun and enjoy the time you have with them. It goes by way too fast.

Live and Learn.

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