Archive: Activities

Creative Picnic Food for Kids

Are you looking to take your children on a summer picnic? Whether you’re munching at the park, in the woods or in your backyard, eating outside is always fun for children. Looking to spice up some snacks? Check out these creative ideas for picnic food for kids:

 

Ants on a log

Stick with this classic favorite. Wash and chop some celery, spread some peanut butter on each stick and drop a few raisins on top. For a fun twist, make fire ants on a log by using dried cranberries instead of raisins.

 

Melon straws

Cut small squares or scoop small spheres of watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. Then, string the melon chunks onto colorful straws. Kids will love the new, fun way to eat fruit.

 

ABC pasta salad

Make your favorite pasta salad, but replace the regular noodles with ABC noodles. You’ll have a lunch that’s both tasty and educational!

 

Sandwich shapes

Make some simple meat and cheese, peanut butter and jelly or veggie sandwiches, but make them in shapes. Use a few large cookie cutters to cut the bread and sandwich toppings. This is also a favorite for kids who don’t want to eat the bread crust.

 

Cucumber cups

Chop a fat cucumber into two to three inch thick slices. Use a melon scooper to scoop the inside out and fill them with a mixture of hummus and chopped bell peppers.

 

Pickle rolls

For a leaner option than the classic ham and pickle rolls, use turkey. Spread low fat cream cheese on thin slices of turkey and roll a pickle in the middle. Then chop into bite-sized pieces. To make the snack even healthier, ditch the pickles. Try replacing them with other crunchy veggies such as strips of bell pepper or cucumber.

 

Water bottles

An afternoon in the sun means higher risk of dehydration so remember to pack plenty of water before heading out.

 

Sources:

-“Picnic Food for Kids: Quick and Easy No Fuss Foods Kids Will Love” Hubpages: http://gabrielwilson.hubpages.com/hub/Picnic-food-for-kids

-“Picnic Food Kids will Love: Pack a Safe and Healthy Basket” parents.com: http://www.parents.com/recipes/familyrecipes/quickandeasy/picnic-food-kids-will-love-pack-a-safe–healthy-basket/#page=1

-“Picnic Ideas Gallery” Spoonful: http://spoonful.com/recipes/picnic-gallery

-Photo courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/freedigitalphotos.com

Water Safety 101: Water Safety for Kids

With sun and summer finally here, what better way to cool off than spending some time in the water? But whether we’re talking about a kiddie pool in your backyard or taking the kiddos in your daycare program to a local lake or waterpark, safety should be (and likely already is) your number one concern. Here are a few tips to making splashing around safer:

 

Constant supervision is a must.

Even a shallow pool is enough for a tragic accident. Keep the kids safe by watching them at every moment, even if they’re not actually in the water.

 

Look for lifeguards.

If you’re after a lake, beach or public pool, head to one with a lifeguard. But remember, just because there’s a lifeguard on duty, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay just as close of attention to your children. Think of the lifeguard as an added water safety bonus.

 

Know who’s most at risk.

Toddlers and teens have the highest drowning rates. Both are exploring their boundaries, but teens may be showing off or messing around without considering the consequences. Toddlers, on the other hand, are also at high risk because they’re exploring new environments and mimicking adult behavior without understanding the dangers involved. Keep an extra careful eye on children from both of these age groups.

 

Keep the kids hydrated.

Sunshine combined with high-energy activities like swimming means children should be gulping lots of water. Grab a few plastic water bottles or fill up some aluminum ones on your way out the door.

 

Remember the sunscreen!

Water isn’t the only dangerous part of splashing around outdoors. Strong sunshine can burn little ones’ fair skin. Plus, water amplifies the UV rays, making the risk of sunburn even higher. Invest in some intense (50 SPF +), waterproof sunscreen.

 

Sources:

-“Water Safety” Kids Health: http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/water_safety.html

-“Water Safety: Protecting Children” Safety Turtle: http://www.safetyturtle.com/water-safety/child-water-safety.html

-Photo courtesy of chrisroll/freedigitalphotos.net

Making Homemade Ice Cream as a Family

Looking for a way to cool off this summer? Gather the family to make homemade ice cream! Making homemade ice cream can help stifle boredom and satisfy your little one’s sweet tooth. Follow this simple recipe:

 

Ingredients:

-1 gallon ziplock bag

-1 pint ziplock bag

-2 tablespoons sugar

-1 cup half and half

-1/2 cup salt

-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1/2 gallon bag’s worth of ice cubes

 

Directions:

1. Pour sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the pint-sized ziplock bag.

2. Put the salt and ice in the gallon-sized bag.

3. Place the sealed small bag inside the larger bag and seal shut.

4. Shake the bag for 5 minutes or until mixture hardens.

5. Take out the smaller bag, throw in frozen fruit, nuts, broken up candy bars or eat it plain.

 

Sources:

-Photo courtesy of rakratchada torsap/freedigitalphotos.net

Summer Activities for Kids

With warm weather finally here, it’s time to get outside! Kids do best with a little direction and encouragement for their imagination so Mom Trusted put together a list of fun summer activities for kids. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

Decorate the town with chalk.

Chalk is a summer classic that never gets old. Grab a fresh box and let your little ones go crazy. It’ll probably only be a matter or minutes before your fresh sticks of chalk start to snap, but don’t panic. Invest in a giant Tupperware container that can hang out in the garage and be a home to old, used chalk chunks every summer. This will also allow for a collection of colors!

 

Play catch with water balloons and slippery hands.

Fill up a bucket with water balloons and head to the back yard. Then, grease up with something like vegetable oil, lotion or good, old-fashioned soap. See how long you can play catch with the balloons sliding around through slippery hands.

 

Float ice boats.

Make ice cube boats by freezing a tray of cubes with a drop of food coloring in each. Have your kids help you decorate little triangle pieces of paper as flags for each boat. Then, glue the flags to toothpicks and stick one per cube before freezing the colorful ice cubes. Fill up a cheap, plastic pool in your yard and let your kids splash around and float their boats.

 

Have a bubble party.

Fill a plastic kiddie pool with dish soap and water. Then, get creative with different bubble makers. Hunt through your garage. Use hula-hoops, bend wire into fun shapes and dig around in your kitchen to pull out a strainer with extra big holes.

 

Go on a water balloon hunt.

It works like an Easter egg hunt except you’re using very full water balloons. Because they tend to burst when they hit the ground or are squeezed too tightly, the goal is to see who can fill their basket with the most full balloons. Then, have a water balloon war with your new-found treasures.

 

Make your own sprinklers.

Raid your recycling for the biggest plastic bottles you can find. Then, drill holes in them and give them to your kids next time they’re playing in the outdoor pool or running through the hose and sprinkler. Voila! Mini sprinklers!

 

Sources:

-Pinterest: Summer Activities with Kids: http://pinterest.com/melissa_taylor2/summer-activities-with-kids/

-“Water Balloon Games for Kids” Fantastic Fun and Learning: http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/water-balloon-games-for-kids.html

-“Summer Activities for Kids: Ice Boats” Spanglish Baby: http://spanglishbaby.com/finds/summer-activity-for-kids-ice-boats-water-play/

-“Tutorial: The Human Bubble and More” U Create: http://www.ucreatewithkids.com/search/label/bubbles

-“30 Summer Activities for Kids” Lil Luna: http://lilluna.com/30-summer-activities-for-kids/

-Photo courtesy of chrisroll/freedigitalphotos.net

Bug Crafts for Kids

Express some critter creativity with this bug crafts for kids:

 

Fuzzy caterpillars

Glue different colored and sized pompoms to a popsicle stick. Then, glue on two googly eyes and one pipe cleaner smiley mouth. You’ll have a herd of fuzzy friends in no time.

 

Paper inchworms

Cut green construction paper into three-inch strips. Tape the end to a sheet of paper and loop it around the first 1/5 of the paper strip (almost like a paper chain). With the remaining 4/5 of the paper, bunch it up, making waves and gluing the paper down at the bottom of each curve. Stick on two googly eyes and two pipe cleaner antennas. Draw on a smile and you’re good to go.

 

Painted butterflies

Grab some gigantic, white sheets of paper and a variety of paint colors. Have your children go to town. Show them how if you place a blob of paint on a piece of paper and fold it in half, it can come out looking like an abstract butterfly.

 

Styrofoam spiders

Take a three-inch Styrofoam ball and paint it black. Stick three pipe cleaners out of each side for the legs. Paint on a red smile and stick on two googly eyeballs. We’ll bet these little guys turn out to be the friendliest spiders you’ve ever seen.

 

Paper plate ladybugs

Staple two paper plates together, creating a small pouch. Paint it black. Next, take a third paper plate and cut a pie-slice-shaped chunk out of it, the remaining portion will be the wings. Paint the plate with the missing piece red with black spots and staple it onto the black pouch body. Cut legs and a round head out of construction paper and glue or paint on eyeballs and a smile.

 

Sources:

-“Bugs and Insect Activities for Kids” Pinterest

-“Kids Bug Crafts” All Kids Network

-Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/freedigitalphotos.net

Beat the Heat: 5 Ways to Stay Cool this Summer

Looking for a way to stay cool this summer, even with little ones running around? Mom Trusted put together a list of ideas for how to beat the heat and they’re ways that the kids will love:

 

1. Squirt Guns

Invest in a few squirt guns and let your kids go wild. You don’t need to drop the big bucks on the super deluxe toys either. Head to your local dollar store or thrift shop and see if they have any squirt guns.

 

2. Cool Ice Cubes

Buy a few ice cube trays with fun shapes. Fill and freeze them. Then fill up a kiddie pool in the yard and plop them in. Let your children splash around in the pool and play with the fun shapes.

 

3. Make Use of the Shade

Don’t have AC? In that case, it’s extra important to take some down time so your kids don’t get overheated. Set up quieter activities in the shade. Try coloring, fun books or finger painting. This way they can settle down and regroup while a breeze cools them down.

 

4. Freeze Juice Boxes

Stick a pack of juice boxes or Capri Sun in the freezer. Take them out about an hour before you want to eat them. Then, have the kids help smash them, breaking up the big, frozen chunks. When they’re nice and crushed, cut off the tops, grab a spoon and you have your very own slushies!

 

5. Ice Chalk

Make a batch of ice chalk! Mix half-part water with half-park corn starch and pour the goo into a regular popsicle mold. Then, mix a different color of tempura paint into each section. Freeze and be sure to explain that these aren’t the edible popsicles that your children are probably used to! The ice chalk will help the kids stay cool, colorful and creative this summer.

 

Sources:

-“Frozen Popsicle Chalk” Reading Confetti: http://www.readingconfetti.com/2013/05/frozen-popsicle-chalk.html

-“How to Keep Kids Cool in the Summer” eHow: http://www.ehow.com/how_2050040_keep-kids-cool-summer.html

-Photo courtesy of hyena reality/freegitalphotos.net

Fun Fourth of July Activities for Kids

Looking for fun Fourth of July activities for kids? Look no farther. Mom Trusted knows that, while ooing and ahhing at fireworks is a blast, you’ve got a whole day to fill before hand. We’re here to help you plan your day. That’s why we’ve put together this creativity-packed list of fun Fourth of July activities for kids:

 

Giant Tic-Tac-Toe

Buy a painter’s drop cloth and use red or blue colored duct-tape to create a tic-tac-toe board on it. Then, either make or buy red and blue colored beanbag sacks. Make by sewing three sides of two 5-inch by 5-inch pieces of fabric. Then fill with uncooked beans and sew up the final edge. Kids can spend all afternoon playing their new, life-sized tic-tac-toe game.

 

Finger paint a flag

Invest in a giant piece of white poster board. Then, set up camp outside with some red and blue finger paint. Have your children craft their own version of the American flag. Creative and patriotic!

 

Have a watermelon-spitting contest

Kids are always fans of this summertime game. Buy a couple big watermelons with plenty of big, black seeds. Then take turns seeing who can spit them the farthest. Little ones aren’t usually encouraged to spit out their food so this game is a fun way to break the rules a bit.

 

Get out the glow sticks

Leave the dangerous fireworks to the adults. Remember, even sparklers can burn little fingers. Instead, break out the glow sticks when the sun goes down. Purchase packs of bracelets, necklaces and wands in a wide variety of colors. Snap them to get them glowing and let the kids go wild.

 

Sources:

-“Go for the Glory” Parents.com: http://www.parents.com/parents-magazine/tic-tac-toe-toss/

-“July Fourth Extravaganza” Parents.com: http://www.parents.com/parents-magazine/pin-to-win-july-fourth-extravaganza/#page=1

-“Fourth of July Kids’ Activities” Martha Stewart: http://www.marthastewart.com/359178/fourth-july-kids-activities

-Photo courtesy of bulldogza/freedigitalphotos.net

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