The kids are home for the Decemeber holidays and what could be more fun than making slime? Image: @istock
It is break-up day for a lot of schools in Mzansi on Friday 10 December. However, some private schools have already closed while other public schools are only set to close for the holidays next Wednesday 15 December.
2021 has been a long year for all of us, especially for the tiny souls whose lives were turned upside down due to the pandemic, with very little understanding. They have been absolute CHAMPS, and deserve the best December!
School holidays can be stressful for parents, even more so now with the Omicron variant. But don’t fear, The South African is here to give you some cool, inexpensive activities that you can do at home with your children.
FUN, INEXPENSIVE ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
The coronavirus has hit us all hard in the pocket. So, not only are these activities fun, safe and inexpensive… the finished products make for a lasting toy/activity that will keep the fun times rolling!
These activities make use of recyclable items that you would normally throw away, as well as everyday items you generally have laying around the house and in your cupboards. You can thank us later…
This has been a hit for a couple of years now and still going strong. Making slime with your child will teach them how to mix components together to create an ooey-gooey ball of endless fun! Home Science Tools gave away the secrete slime recipe.
What you need:
Glue: Clear glue, School glue, White glue, or Elmer’s Glue
Borax (Sodium Tetraborate)
Food coloring (optional)
How to make it:
Pour ½ cup of the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution into a beaker, jar, or bowl. If you want colored slime, add food coloring to the PVA solution and stir with a stir stick.
Add 2 teaspoons of the Sodium Tetraborate (Borax) Solution into the PVA solution and stir slowly.
Try lifting some of the solutions with the stir stick and note what happens. Once the slime has formed, you can play with it. Just don’t eat it!
Your slime will last longer if you seal it in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge, otherwise it will dry out or mold.
BLAST-OFF! COKE BOTTLE ROCKET
Using all things recyclable, this nifty rocket makes for a fun summer activity. Turning trash into treasure is what all the young eco-warriors are about! We got this cool one from Science Sparks.
What you need:
1 empty plastic bottle
A pump with a needle adaptor (bicycle pump)
How to make it:
Push the needle adaptor of the pump through the cork, it needs to go all the way through so you might have to trim the cork a little bit.
Decorate the bottle with the cone and fins.
Fill the bottle one quarter full of water and push the cork in tightly.
Take the bottle outside and connect the pump to the needle adaptor. Ours wouldn’t stand up on the fins so we rested it on a box, but if you make some strong fins it should stand up by itself.
Pump air into the bottle, making sure all spectators stand back, the bottle will lift off with force after a few seconds.
Every child loves play dough… even the big kids who claim they no longer do! This is a fun activity for an older kid to do for their little brother or sister, or for a little one to help their parent with and reap the rewards at the end. I Heart Naptime provided this awesome recipe.
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
Food coloring, optional (I like Wilton gel food coloring or AmeriColor gel)
Quart sized bags
How to make it:
Stir together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large pot. Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, stir in the the color now.
Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a bowl, gallon sized bag or onto wax paper.
Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands.
Once it’s all mixed together, you’re ready to PLAY. Store the play dough inside the bags to keep soft. If stored properly it will keep soft for up to 3 months.
This is definitely one for the younger ones, but fun for an older sibling to get involved in the making process too. Making these paints at home will give you peace of mind that they are 100% nontoxic and the ability to whip up some more when your little ones favourite colour runs out. TinkerLab cooked up this colourful recipe.
Stir the ingredients over medium heat until it comes together like smooth, thick paste. The mixture will be lumpy along the way, but it all comes together.
When it starts to pull away from the pot, remove from the heat.
Add a pinch of salt. This helps keep the paint from spoiling if you don’t use it right away.
To reach the desired consistency, slowly add cold water to the mixture. I added about 1/4 cup water to our paint.
Divide the paint into bowls.
Squeeze food coloring or liquid watercolors into the flour mixture until you reach the desired color.
Store in a covered container in the fridge if you’re not planning to use this right away. It will keep indefinitely.
Tie-dye is SO in! Get out some old clothes and spunk them up whilst having some fun with the kids. This is a safe activity for all ages. A perfect activity to let the older kids do with the little ones while you wrap some gifts or do that December cleanout… or even just chill for a second. Happiness Homemade provided the deets on this.
What you need:
White or light coloured fabric items to dye – 100% cotton white shirts work best
Tie-dye kit or simple fabric dye (you can get these at DisChem, Click, pharmacies and some supermarkets)
Rubber bands – lots and lots! You’ll need between 2-8 per item.
Gloves – latex gloves work the best and are much better than the thin and oversized plastic gloves that come in the kits.
Old clothes to wear while making the magic.
Plastic bags – at least one per shirt plus one large trash bag to hold all of the shirts. Recycled plastic grocery bags work well too.
Wire cooling rack.
How to do it:
Pre-wash your items and leave them damp from the washing machine.
Fold and rubber band your shirts as desired (see video below for clearer instructions).
Mix up the bottles/bowls of dye.
Put wire cooling racks on top of a bucket as to catch the excess dye.
Place your banded up item on the rack and get creative!
Spay, squirt and pour the dye where ever you would like the desired colours to show.
Leave to the excess drip off for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Put your item in the plastic bags and set aside for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, carefully cut off the rubber bands and rinse the excess dye from the items with cold water.
Giving them a quick wash in the machine is not a bad idea… helps get the excess dye out and makes the items fresh and clean.
Hang to dry and you’ve got yourself a homemade tie-dye fashion statement!