#36: Shred a Newspaper

Get silly and shred (rip) a newspaper with your hands. (This is really good for getting frustration out.)

Just make sure your parents are done with it first and clean up afterwards. (Ooooh, do I have to?)

This activity promotes eye-hand coordination and muscle control (motor skills).


#35: Decorate a Mug

There are many ways to decorate a mug (coffee cup).

If you have a digital photo you would like to have printed on a cup, you can see if your local photo lab (look online too) as well as your local printing shop does this. If you want to get fancier, you can also add text to the cup or even use computer software to make a 'label' to be printed onto the cup. Make sure you check your local print shop or photo lab before putting work into your cup as they may want you to make it a special size.

If you prefer to paint your own cup, see if there is a studio/store nearby that has special unglazed (doesn't have a shiny finish) cups and paints for you to use. You can paint the cup in their studio/store and afterwards, they will glaze it. (A clear finish that makes your cup dishwasher safe and protects the paint.)

Have fun!

This activity promotes creativity.


#34: Pretend You Are Invisible

Nobody can see you!

What do invisible people do? What is the best part about being invisible? The worst part?

Careful nobody steps into you by accident!

This activity promotes creative problem solving by using one's imagination.


#33: Burst a Paper Bag

All you need for this one is a paper bag (like a lunch bag) and some air in your lungs. Open the paper bag and scrunch the top of the paper bag so you can blow into it. Blow the bag up so it is tight, holding the top of the bag closed. Now bang the bottom of the bag hard enough to break it. It should make a loud 'bang'.

Ooo! You scared me!

This activity promotes learning about cause and effect.


#32: Tin Can Shoes

Tin can shoes were popular during the 1940s. Why? Because they are easy to make and totally cool.

Materials needed: 2 large coffee or tomato cans, 2 pieces of long, tough string or cord (over 1 metre (3 feet) long for each can), something sharp to make holes in the cans (a nail carefully hammered through the can works well), and an adult to help you out.

Have an adult make one small hole on either side of one can. (Two holes, one across the can from the other.) Make the holes as close to the can bottom as possible. Thread the long string through the holes and tie the ends together, making a large loop. The string loop needs to be long enough that you can hold onto it while standing on the can.

Do the same with the other can.

Turn the cans upside down and carefully place your feet on the can bottoms. Hold onto the strings and pull up lightly to keep the cans tight to your feet as you walk. Start by taking very small steps and keep your feet close together. These shoes sound great on sidewalks. (They are tough to use on plush carpet.)

NOTE: Because my daughter is light (40lbs), I was able to use the tough cardboard cans from hot chocolate instead of tin cans.)

This activity promotes coordination and balance.


#31: Coin Imprints

You will need paper, a few coins and a crayon or pencil.

Place the coin under the piece of paper and gently rub your crayon or pencil over the paper. It will be bumpy from the coin underneath. Soon, you will find that the shape and texture (the bumps on the coin) will show up on your paper. Cool!

Use different coloured pencils and crayons to make crazy coloured coin imprints.

What else can make an imprint?

This activity promotes exploring textures visually and kinesthetically.


#30: Make a Terrarium

What is a terrarium?

A terrarium is a small, closed container for plants.

Materials needed: jar or glass container with lid (you can also use an old fish tank if you have one), potting soil, plants and water.

Take a clear jar—the wider and bigger the better. Place some soil in the bottom of the jar. You will need the soil to be about 5 cm (2 inches) deep in the bottom of the jar. You can plant seeds or cuttings from houseplants in your terrarium. (Depending upon the plant, you might be able to place the cutting straight into the soil or you may have to place it in water until roots start to grow before you plant it.) Water your plants or seeds. Then place a lid on the jar. If you do not have a lid, plastic wrap or a small plate will work nicely.

In time, the plants will grow. Because they are in a sealed jar, they will need to be watered only once or twice a year. If it gets really wet and mildewy in the jar, you may have to remove the lid for a day or two to let it dry out a little bit and clean the algae from the jar's sides. Essentially, you are creating your own little atmosphere.

Have fun!

This activity promotes taking care of living things.