I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, which means I heard the phrase, "I'm bored", about 275,000 times...a day. I had to find fun things to do to keep my son and daughter occupied. (There's only so much Barney you can watch without pulling your eye balls out!) But, we pinched pennies to be able to afford me staying home with the kids. So, instead of taking them to the movies or going out to the ice cream shop, I made up cheap and cheerful things to do at home. The kids didn't know we were trying to save money. They just knew we were having fun. And I knew we were making memories.
I've divided these recipes into two groups: Edible and Non-Edible. Let's start with the Non-Edible stuff.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp oil
1 pkg unsweetened Kool-aid mix
1 cup boiling water
Mix everything together. Will keep for weeks in a covered container or zip top bag. No need to refrigerate. Make several batches, each with a different color Kool-aid. Let your kids roll it out and cut it with cookie cutters or make animal shapes to play zoo. Fun!
Mix flour and water together in a bowl with a whisk until you get the consistency of paint, adding more flour or water as needed.. Add food coloring to get the desired color. Make several different colors by dividing the flour and water mixture into the compartments of an ice cube tray and then coloring each. Use as you would finger paint or paint with a brush. This kept my kids occupied for hours and it literally costs pennies to make! You can't beat that!
Purple = 5 drops red and 1 drop blue
Orange = 3 drops red and 5 drops yellow
Brown = 3 drops red, 4 drops yellow and 3 drops green
Turquoise = 4 drops blue and 1 drop grees
Peach = 1 drop red and 3 drops yellow
Lime Green = 3 drops yellow and 1 drop green
1 cup water
4 TBS liquid dish soap (use a good quality brand)
2 TBS clear corn syrup (Karo)
Mix everything together. Use a straw to blow bubbles. My kids and I would always experiment with different things to see which one blew better bubbles. Straws, pipe cleaners, wire hangers shaped into a circle, circle cookie cutters, etc.
Now time for the Edible Stuff:
1 (12oz) pkg chocolate chips
1 stick margarine or butter (equals 1/2 cup if you're using spread)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 (15oz) box Rice or Corn Chex cereal
1 (1 lb) box powdered sugar
Melt chocolate chips, margarine and peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir. Add cereal and mix well. Put powdered sugar in a large paper bag (or zip top bag) add cereal mixture to bag and shake well! The kids love to do this! The end result looks a little like dog food, but tastes like a Reese's Cup! Yum!
If your kids have an Easy Bake Oven but you don't have any of those little cake mixes left (or you don't want to buy them anymore), make this recipe and bake with your kids. This makes 10 cake mixes, so let your kids open their own bakery!
EASY BAKE OVEN CAKE MIXES
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS cocoa powder*
1/3 cup shortening
In a big bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Stir to blend. Cut in shortening with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/3 cup of mixture into each of 10 small zip top bags. Use within 12 weeks.
To make: Empty contents of bag into a small bowl. Add 4 tsp water. Mix until smooth. Bake in Easy Bake Oven according to manufacturer's directions.
*If you want a lemon cake mix, substitute 1 tsp lemonade drink mix for the cocoa.
I got this next recipe out of a magazine and my daughter begged me to make it for her 8th birthday party. It was a big hit!
DELICIOUS GREEN SLIME
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
green food coloring
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Add green food coloring to get desired "slime" color. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Pour this slime on a cake or eat it like a pudding. Boys especially love this one, but girls like to get gross, too. You can even throw some gummy worms in the slime. The grosser the better!
So, the next time your kids say, "I'm Bored!", feed them some Puppy Chow and Slime them! They'll love it!