What you'll need: Unfinished puzzle pieces (*Note: these can be found in most craft stores. They are originally intended to be turned into invitations and mailed out, so they are often with the card making or cardstock materials. If you can’t find them, you could use pieces from an old puzzle instead.) Red, white and pink craft paint Paint brush Tongue depressors Glue Black marker Photo Valentines picture frame
How to make your Picture Holder CraftIf using the unfinished puzzle, remove the center four pieces. Snap apart the remaining pieces. Paint the pieces red, pink or white. While the pieces dry, assemble your tongue depressors into a frame shape as shown in the photos. Glue them together. When the puzzle pieces are dry, assemble them back together (roughly) and glue them down to the tongue depressor frame as you go. This takes a good bit of glue. When you get all the pieces assembled, use the marker and write “I Love You To Pieces” along the bottom of the frame. Add in a photo of your child. Valentine picture frame
What you'll need: Paper plate Cotton balls White poster board or heavy construction paper Pink construction paper or pink crayon/marker Black and pink pipe cleaners Pink pompom 2 googly eyes Scissors white glue Paper plate easter bunny
How to make your Paper Plate Easter Bunny Craft:Cut out two ears from the white poster board that are each about 5" tall and 2" wide. Cut out two smaller ears from the pink construction paper. Glue the smaller ears inside the larger ears, or color the inside of the larger ears pink. With the paper plate right side up, glue the ears to the top of the plate so the pink part is facing the table. Turn the paper plate over. Cover the plate with glue (tip: using your finger or a paint brush works well to smooth the glue out). Use the cotton balls to cover the plate. Glue the googly eyes, pompom (nose) and pipe cleaners on to construct the face of the Easter Bunny. Bend the pink pipe cleaner into the shape of the bunny's mouth and glue under nose. *Optional: cut a bowtie out of construction paper and glue on the bottom of the face Paper plate easter bunny
What you'll need: Construction paper Crayons Glue stick Scissors Googlyeyes Footprint ghost
How to make your Footprint Ghost Craft:Trace around your child's foot and cut their footprint out. Glue the footprint onto a piece of construction paper. Cut two arms out of construction paper (the same color as the ghost) and glue them onto your ghost. Draw a face onto your ghost.
What you'll need: Brown, Red, Yellow, and Orange Construction Paper 2 Googly Eyes Glue Scissors Handprint turkey
How to make your Handprint Turkey CraftTrace your child's foot onto brown construction paper and cut it out. Trace your child's hand onto the red, orange, and yellow construction paper and cut out multiple handprints. TIP: Trace your child's hand on the three different colors and then stack multiple sheets to make the time go faster. Cut a small triangle out of orange construction paper for a beak. Cut a small peanut shape out of red construction paper for a waddle (we think that's the right term!). Cut two feet out of orange construction paper. Turn the footprint so that the heel is now the turkey's head. Glue your handprint feathers to the back of the body. Glue on the googly eyes, beak, waddle and feet
What you'll need: Fruit Loop Cereal Rainbow Template White glue Construction paper (lightweight cardboard would work well here)
Print our rainbow template and trace it onto construction paper or cardboard. Pour some cereal onto a paper plate – we found it was easier for our daughter to see and sort the colors if we used a plate instead of a bowl. Put a line of glue around the outside edge of the rainbow. Have your child place red fruit loops on the line. When they are done with the red line, put down another line of glue just to the inside of the red row and have them put down orange fruit loops. Repeat this process for the remaining colors (in order: yellow, green, blue, purple.
Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup honey 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt FROSTING: 6-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Assorted liquid or paste food coloring Christmas cookies
Directions In a bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in the honey, egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour and salt. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll to an 1/8-in. thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters dipped in flour. Transfer cutouts to ungreased baking sheets. Using a straw, make a hole in the top of each cookie. Remove the center circle of dough. Bake the cookies at 350° for 6 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the cookies to wire racks to cool. For frosting, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Tint the frosting with liquid or paste food coloring in desired colors. Place each color of frosting in a pastry or plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the tip of each bag. Spread and pipe frosting onto cookies as desired. If desired, create stitch marks on a stocking or veins on holly leaves by dipping a toothpick in food coloring and painting on the lines. For hanging loops, cut forty 8-in. strips of 1/8-in.-wide ribbon. Thread a ribbon strip through the hole in each cookie and tie the ends into a bow. Yield: 40(3-inch) cookies Christmas cookies
Ingredients 1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt Colored sprinkles, colored sugar, ground nuts and/or chocolate sprinkles Decorated butter cookies
Directions In a small bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar; sprinkle with sprinkles, colored sugar or nuts. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4 dozen. Decorated butter cookies
Ingredients 1/2 cup shortening 1-1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk 4 egg whites Frosting of your choice Candy corn or other decorations Candy corn cupcakes
Directions In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the lour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the egg whites. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Frost cooled cupcakes; decorate as desired. Yield: 2 dozen. Candy corn cupcakes
Ingredients 1/4 cup shortening 1/4 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup sour cream GLAZE: 5 cups confectioners' sugar 3 to 4 tablespoons water 2-1/4 teaspoons light corn syrup 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Red, yellow, orange, green and brown gel food coloring 3-3/4-inch hand-shaped cookie cutter or scissors, pencil and a piece of cardboard for tracing a child's handprint Handprint turkey cookie
Directions In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg: add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. Use a floured hand-shaped cookie cutter or trace a child's hand onto a piece of cardboard with pencil and cut out for a pattern. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/2-in. thickness. Either use a sharp knife to cut around the cardboard hand pattern in dough or use cookie cutter to cut out hand shapes. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 425° for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients and beat until smooth. Set aside 1 teaspoon of white glaze for eyes. Place 1/4 cup of glaze into each of four bowls. Tint one red, one yellow, one orange and one green. Place 1 tablespoon of glaze in another bowl and tint dark brown. Tint the remaining glaze light brown. Frost the palm and thumb of each cookie light brown. Frost each finger a different color, using red, yellow, orange and green. Place the remaining yellow glaze in a pastry or plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of bag. Pipe a beak on each thumb. Repeat with dark brown glaze to pipe a pupil in the center of each eye and to pipe wings in the center of each cookie. Use remaining red glaze to pipe wattles on each thumb. Let dry completely. Yield: about 3 dozen. Finished size: Cookies shown measure about 2-3/4 inches across.
COOKIES: 1 1/4 cups sugar 1 stick Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks or 1 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening 2 large eggs 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour plus 4 tablespoons 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt FROSTING: 1 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons milk Food coloring (optional) Decorator frosting Frosted Easter cut outs
Directions Combine sugar and shortening in bowl of electric mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, corn syrup and vanilla; beat until well blended and fluffy. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl; gradually add to shortening mixture, beating at low speed until well blended. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; shape each into disk. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Heat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place disk of dough on floured paper; flatten slightly with hands. Turn dough over; cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. FROSTING: Combine powdered sugar and milk in small bowl; stir until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Stir until blended. Spread on cookies; let stand until frosting is set. Decorate as desired. Yield: 6 frozen 2-inch cookies. Frosted Easter cut outs
Indoor Treasure Hunt Game Materials Small toys or snacks Treasure map (optional)
Indoor Treasure Hunt Game Directions This is a great way to liven up a rainy day. Have an indoor treasure hunt by hiding several small toys, books, or special snacks around the house. Give your child clues or draw a map that leads to the treasure
Bottles and Lids Materials Collection of bottles and lids of varying sizes
Bottles and Lids Directions Save small plastic bottles with screw-type lids. Your toddler will have lots of fun matching lids to bottles, putting the lids on, taking the lids off, and starting all over again. A bottle collection is also great fun for the bath, or for water play outdoors
Homemade Twister What you need: colored construction paper (at least 4 different colors) scissors tape
Homemade Twister Cut out four circles of each colour and tape them to the floor. No need for a spinner—you can choose Left Hand/Foot and Right Hand/Foot commands for the different colours to get them twisted up. Or if the kids want to be involved (and you want a turn to twist yourself), put some pieces of paper in a hat with the different commands on them. It’s a great way to expend some energy and get the giggles going.
Clean-up Scavenger Hunt What you need: paper markers 1 old pillow case (or a fabric carry-all bag) 1 "treasure" item
This is a perfect way to get two things done at once: cleaning up and keeping the kids entertained. Choose an item to act as the ‘treasure’, such as a cookie, or some cardboard circles wrapped in tinfoil like silver coins. Find a place to hide the treasure in advance. Scan the house for items you want back in one place—a sweater left in the living room, a toy truck in the hallway—and using the markers, create a colourful ‘list’ of items that need to be found in order to get the location of the treasure. Once the kids have run around the house collecting all the items, you can share a clue to help them find the treasure!
Catch the Lion by the Tail What you'll need Yellow fabric "tail
Catch the Lion by the Tail How to play Kids sit in a circle on the floor. One party goer, the lion, tucks a homemade tail (a yellow piece of fabric with a knot in one end) into his waistband. The lion begins circling the group, touching each child on the head and saying "Lion." When he decides he wants some action, he touches a player on the head and shouts "Hyena!" The lion then must dash around the circle and take the hyena's spot before the hyena can grab the lion's tail. If his tail is snatched, he remains the lion; if he sits where the hyena was without losing his tail, the hyena becomes the new lion.
Captain's Calling What you'll need Nothing 3 or more players
Captain's Calling How to play Setup: Creating a list of seafaring commands might help the first captain, but it isn't necessary. Some examples: Pull up the lifeboats, Take down the sails, Walk the plank, Mop the decks, Scan the horizon, Cast a fishing rod, Dance a jig. First choose a captain. Each round begins with the players standing at attention, giving crisp salutes. When the captain calls out "At ease," the players can drop their hands to their sides. The captain begins to call out sailing-themed commands, and the players pretend to do them -- but only if the captain has first called out "Attention!" and they have saluted. If a player follows a command when he was supposed to be at ease, it's man overboard for him. The last crew member left standing wins and becomes the new captain
Easter Egg Hunt Send your child on a search for her hidden basket of treats with this holiday treasure hunt.Start by numbering the plastic eggs that will hold your clues (we used scrapbooking stickers and 6 eggs).Hide the basket, then write a clue to its location and place it inside egg number 6.Next, find a spot for this egg, write a clue to its hiding place, and put that in egg number 5. Continue in this fashion until you've hidden all but the number 1 egg, then hand this egg to your child to begin the hunt
Mother, May I? Add a new twist to the classic game of polite requests with this quick-on-your-feet variation. Players line up 30 feet from the designated "Mother," who then tells one player at a time to take a certain number of steps forward or back. The player thinks of a creative way to move and asks for permission. For example, he might say, "Mother, may I take twisting tornado steps?" Mother says yes or specifies other steps, for example, "No, but you may take baby bunny hops!" If a player forgets to answer with "Mother, may I?" he must return to the starting line. The first player to reach Mother becomes the new Mother.
Walk This Way What you'll need 4 bases 4 or more players
Walk This Way How to play Setup: Place the bases in a baseball diamond configuration. Choose two teams and have both line up at home. Before play starts, decide which team will walk clockwise and which will go counterclockwise. On the count of three, one player from each team sets off around the bases, walking heel-toe -- one foot placed directly in front of the other -- as quickly as that strange gait allows. When the two walking players meet on the diamond, they stop and play a quick game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner continues around the bases, while the other player turns around and runs home. The next player in his team then starts walking heel-toe around the bases to head off the advancing opponent and try to stop him with rock, paper, scissors. When a walker makes it home, her team wins a point and two new players come up to "bat.
Baggyball What you'll need 1 Bubbleball (a plastic grocery bag wrapped around a chunk of bubble wrap) 2 plastic shopping bags
Baggyball How to play Players: Two teams of 3 to 11 players Where to play: Anywhere -- on sand, grass, even a basketball court Setup: Standing at opposite ends of the playing area, one player from each team becomes his team's "basket" by holding a shopping bag open; he can move the bag around to thwart the other team but must keep the bag open and one foot in place at all times. The object is to get the Bubbleball into the opposing team's basket. How to play: The game is played like basketball, except that players dribble by repeatedly hitting the ball in the air, palm up. Players can either shoot or dunk the ball into the basket. The team with the most baskets in 30 minutes of play wins.
Marble Launch What you'll need Pool noodle Serrated knife Toothpicks Paper Markers or paint Tape Skewers
Marble Launch How to play Cut the noodle in half lengthwise with a serrated knife (a parent's job). Use toothpicks to join the halves, side by side Cut out paper banners and decorate them with checker patterns and raceway messages. Tape the banners to toothpicks or skewers and set them in place Finally, prop up one end of the track and let the good times roll