Charm your kids with these festive St. Patrick’s Day crafts and activities. With a little luck, your kids will be busy for hours!
One of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day crafts are these adorable binoculars made out of simple household products. All you need is a couple empty toilet paper holders, colorful craft paper, kid-friendly scissors and tape. Your kids will be off searching for leprechauns in no time!
Turn Art Projects into an Annual Tradition
Another fun and easy St. Patrick’s Day tradition is to build a leprechaun trap. The best part is that there is no wrong way to create your magical contraption. An old shoe box, an empty jar or even an empty paper towel roll can be upcyled and reused. Don’t forget to add some lucky charms or gold coins as bait for your elusive leprechaun!
Color Crafts for Kids
This colorful art project by CraftyMorning is perfect for all ages. Create a St. Patrick’s Day themed twirling rainbow out of a paper plate. Younger children can use crayons, markers or paint and be assisted with the cutting by a parent or sibling. Don’t stop with just one – create a whole collection for home or porch decorations.
Easy Crafts with Household Items
Reuse an old cereal box to create a fun leprechaun hat with just a few other easy crafting supplies like glue, craft paper and paint. St. Patrick’s a colorful holiday, so make it your own with glitter, stickers or ribbon.
How to make St. Patrick’s Day Slime
Slime can be a fun craft and science project to make at home with your kids. For St. Patrick’s Day slime, add green or gold and glitter for a festive look.
According to Little Bins for Little Hands, “Mixtures, substances, polymers, cross-linking, states of matter, elasticity, and viscosity are just a few of the science concepts that can be explored with homemade slime!”
Hands-On St. Patrick’s Day Activities
If your child is a little older or not really into crafts, check out these 6 fun St. Patrick’s Day science experiments for kids from our friends at ScienceBuddies.org.
The best summertime activities help your kids beat the heat while having a blast. Here are 7 fun ideas to try out!
By Madison Lee
Everyone loves summer: clear blue skies, long days, and the sun shining brightly. But sometimes the heat is just too strong, and what would’ve been a beautiful day to go to the park turns out to be a sweaty, sitting-on-the-couch, blasting-the-air-conditioner kind of day.
On days like these, what’s better than keeping everyone cool and entertaining your kids at the same time? We found 7 fun ways to keep kids cool when summer heats up.
1. Make Creative, Wacky Popsicles
There’s nothing better than a cold popsicle on a super hot day. Instead of just freezing juice, test out these cool DIY popsicle recipes! This one from One Little Project is made of gummy bears and Sprite, and this ice cream popsicle bar from Jacquelyn Clark is perfect if you love cookies & cream. If you don’t have a popsicle mold, try out Got Chocolate’s chocolate covered frozen banana – it’ll be fun for kids to pick out their favorite toppings!
2. Play Water Balloon Baseball
If your kids want a game to play with their friends, this water balloon baseball from Overstuffed is the perfect solution. Fill up water balloons, grab a wiffle bat, and let the game begin! Kids will get splashed and have fun competing to see who can hit the most balloons. A modified version of this, if your kids aren’t baseball fans, would be to hang balloons with string and have the kids play piñata with water balloons.
3. Paint the Fence/Ground With Water
This is a mess free, cost free activity for the artist in your kids. You might have some old paint brushes and rollers lying around, and then all you need is a bucket of water! Happy Hooligans’ version suggests that kids try covering the entire fence before it all evaporates, or they can take a more creative approach with some pictures/words.
4. Cool Off in a Homemade Backyard “Kidwash”
Bless My Weed’s take on a traditional carwash might take a little more setup, but the result will be well worth it. Her backyard kidwash requires PVC pipes, sponges, and tarps. There’s room to be creative with setting it up, and your kids can help build it. This will definitely keep everyone cool!
5. Engineer a Water Wall
If your kids are crafty and like to design/build, this is the perfect summer activity!. Basically, you use zip ties to secure different items to a peg board, and pour water down your path. Teaching Mama made a pool noodle water wall, which is cool because you can race marbles down the noodles. You can also take inspiration from Things to Share and Remember’s recycled-objects water wall. Hers is made of tons of random old plastic containers you might have lying around. It’s totally hands on and there are no rules — just have fun with it!
6. Set Up Water Gun Races
This Grandma is Fun reinvents the classic squirt gun carnival game in her own backyard with these squirt gun races. All you have to do is hang 2 cups from string around your backyard; across the pool makes the race more challenging, and makes kids jump in the cold water. Kids can race each other pushing the cups all the way to the end of the course using only a water gun.
7. Play Angry Birds With Water Balloons
Kids love this popular app, and now they can play it in real life! No Time for Flashcards created this water balloon Angry Birds game with her son. It couldn’t be simpler: draw out some pigs in chalk, fill water balloons, use a sharpie to draw on angry bird faces, and fire away! This game will be entertaining and beat the heat for sure.
Need ideas for indoor summer camps to keep kids busy and cool? Shop ActivityHero to find camps near you now.
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I’m not a homebody. As soon as I could find activities for my son, Isaac, I signed us up. It started off as new mom/new baby groups before Isaac could even sit up. Then we graduated to mommy and me playgroups. And after he grew more active, we both loved Gymboree. Living in New England, I particularly grew desperate for classes where he could get some exercise during the winter months. So, I would just pick whatever suited our schedule and sounded fun to me. Easy enough!
But sometime after Isaac turned 2, he started getting opinionated. I signed him up for Soccer Tots through our local community education department. At the time, I thought the idea of 2-year-olds playing soccer sounded adorable. And, yes, it was adorable, but getting my stubborn little Isaac to participate was a challenge week after week. His favorite part was the snack break midway through the class. It wound up being really exhausting just trying to convince him to kick the ball into the goal.
After that, I realized that as Isaac left the baby/toddler stage, he was starting to develop his own interests. It was time to find activities that my soon-to-be 5-year-old would be enthusiastic about. I couldn’t necessarily just pick whatever I thought sounded cool anymore. Activities are supposed to be enriching, but above all, they should be fun — especially at the preschool age. The last thing I wanted was to drag him to weekly classes that he didn’t like. It would just be a waste of time, money, and the stress would suck the fun right out for both of us.
Soon I discovered that many activities will allow you to do a trial class to see what it’s like. That was how we got hooked on Music Together classes when he was 3. Those classes were lots of fun. We’ve tried various trial classes here and there to see what would work. If we find something that Isaac loves, we usually will enroll for a few sessions.
Advice From Friends
We love to get advice from our friends, too. Word of mouth is an awesome way to find out which classes are fun. Ask around!
Looking for Deals
Price is also a big factor. Like many families these days, we’re on a budget. Activities can get expensive, but there are still plenty of options for reasonably priced activities or great discounts. I love to scour Groupon to see what deals I can find. I’ve seen Groupon deals for Gymboree classes, music classes, sports, ice skating lessons, ski lessons, and more. I’ve definitely taken advantage of these discounts. Often there are great sale prices, sibling discounts, and multiple session discounts on ActivityHero, too.
Community Rec Centers
Community recreation departments are other inexpensive places to find fun activities. From art to sports, they’re usually easy on the pocket book. This past fall, we participated in a super fun farming class through a neighboring city’s community education department. The kids got to plant and harvest all sorts of herbs and hardy plants.
I like to keep practicality in mind as well. It was important to me that Isaac takes swimming lessons because of safety issues. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him going off to summer camp or even playing alongside the Charles River without him knowing how to swim. And since we live in New England, I’d like him to learn a winter sport — ice skating, snowboarding, skiing, or something — because it seems like everyone here knows how to do a winter sport except for me.
Look For Activities With Added Value
I try to look for activities with certain perks beyond the specific classes. Places like Gymboree and My Gym also offer open play times, which is an absolute lifesaver in a Boston winter. The open play times give you and your kid an opportunity for unstructured play in a safe, indoor environment, and it’s covered by the cost of your monthly membership.
We also joined our local YMCA. I use it as a gym, plus it deeply discounts activities. So far we’ve done t-ball and swimming there. Many YMCAs are not just for sports; you can find lots of classes ranging from arts to music to cooking. Our family membership is worth its weight in gold. You can also use it for discounted prices on after school programs, summer camps, and camps for school vacation weeks.
As for Isaac? Right now we’re about to head out the door for his final swim class of the year at our local YMCA. These swim lessons have been one of his favorite activities and he can’t wait to start up again next year.
Instead of being entertained and engaged for 5 to 8 straight hours every day, kids are now looking to you with those big eyes that say “I’m bored.”
Here’s some fun and thrifty ideas to beat summer boredom that will keep both your kids and wallet happy.
Make a tire swing
A simple summer classic, tire swings can easily be put up and taken down as often as you’d like. On the days that the park is too crowded or it’s too hot to make the walk, hop on the tire swing and let the fun begin!
Simply hang a tire from a sturdy branch with strong rope and you’ve got yourself a swing.
Have a cooking day
For those days that the air conditioning is more comforting than the wicked heat, rally the troops into the kitchen and come up with some fun recipes to make as a family.
Have a competition in your backyard that will be sure to keep kids busy for hours. Make an obstacle course out of wading pools, tires, and ropes to test kids’ balance and agility. For some great obstacle course ideas visit here.
Keep kids entertained and having fun by sending them on a scavenger hunt. Hide clues throughout the house and yard so that kids will have to follow clues to get to their final destination. Place clues underneath rocks, hide a message in a balloon, or even bury clues in the yard so kids will have to dig for them.
The final destination could be anything from a surprise ice cream cone to a special screening of their favorite movie.
Rainy day fort
What better place to set up camp than in the comfort of your own living room?
Grab some pillows and blankets and build a fort worth writing home about. Shut off all the lights and bring out the lanterns so kids feel like they’re really at camp. Kids can share ghost stories, eat s’mores, and play flashlight tag all just steps from their bedrooms.
Have a boat race
Toy boats can be made out of anything from wood to Tupperware—as long as it floats, it can be a boat!
Go to your local creek or simply fill up a pool in the backyard and let the races begin. Kids can use straws to set their ships sailing and see whose boat is the quickest. For some ideas on how to construct your own boat, check it out.
This is a great outdoor craft as it can get pretty messy!
Grab some white pieces of clothing such as socks, t-shirts, or dresses, and get ready to dye! Tie dye kits can be purchased at any craft store, or simple fabric dye will work just the same. Be sure to follow all the instructions provided to avoid too many stains.
Kids love to pretend, and what better way to create a living story than with costumes.
Raid your closet for old bridesmaid dresses or bedazzled jean jackets that you knew would come in handy one day. Most thrift stores are a gold mine for dress-up boxes. Fancy hats, heels, and costume jewelry can be found at a fraction of their cost if you know where to look!
Backyard water wonderland
This is a great activity for those unbearably hot days. Drag out the inflatable pool, sprinkler, water guns, and even water balloons and have an all-out water blast–bored kids no more!
For an extra cool dip, float some ice cubes in the pool and call it the “cool off zone.” When kids get overheated from running around they’ll get a quick chill of relief.
Fly a kite
Check your local forecast and plan for the next windy day. If your kids have never flown a kite before, I recommend picking up a cheap starter kite. You can find them at any super store or even some dollar stores.
Keep in mind they probably won’t last long, but it will teach your kids the basics of kite flying. Once they’ve mastered it, consider purchasing a good kite that will last all summer.
Looking for something to do in the bay area this weekend? There are plenty of happening (or should we say “hop”pening?) events all around the bay with Easter just around the corner!
First Thursday Free Admission Day – come check out the Pez Museum in Burlingame, which includes plenty of oddities the older kids will love. When: April 5, 10am. Free.
Moonlight Hike – head on over to Oakland for a hike through the redwoods at twilight. Perfect for adults to experience with older children. When: 5pm at Chabot Space & Science Center.
Hands-on Art – this drop in activity is ideal for kids aged 18 months and older. Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland – members are always free. When: Tues-Fri, 10am-3pm.
Zeum’s Lil Z Program – For kids 5 and under, your little ones will enjoy exploring music, stories and creativity-based activities in this one-hour educational play session. When: Fridays 10-11am.
Friday Night Pajamarama Storytime – come in your favorite jammies and enjoy a storytime designed for kids of all ages. It takes place every Friday evening at the Eastridge Mall in San Jose. When: Fridays at 7pm. Call 408 270 9470 for details.
Baby Storytime – The littlest ones of the family can enjoy a baby storytime just for them each week at the Campbell library. There are also special storytimes for toddlers, preschoolers and families. When: Times vary – see website or call 408 866-1991 for details.
Easter Weekend (April 7-8)
Union Street Spring Celebration & Easter Parade – local restaurants will roll out their best eats while kids enjoy everything from a climbing wall and bounce house to costumed characters and a petting zoo. When: Sunday, April 8, 10-5. Free.
Beach Chalet Easter Concert & Egg Hunt – After a yoga session for the adults, stick around to meet the Easter bunny and enjoy an egg hunt. This is followed by the JamBand Family Festival. When: Sunday, April 8, 3-5:30pm. Hunt begins at 3:20.
San Anselmo Children’s Egg Hunt – Enjoy the hunt and then a modest fair and puppet show. It’s all happening at Memorial Park. When: April 7, 11am. For ages 7 and under only. Free.
Easter Bunny Breakfast – A $5 donation per person benefits Special Olympics Marin at this special breakfast
happening at the Cheesecake Factory. Children’s music and balloon animals will accompany the breakfast. When: April 7, 9-10am. $7 admission. Reserved seating only – 415 924 8921
Strawberry Recreation District Spring Faire – designed for children aged 1-8, you can make your own Easter basket, enjoy carnival games and take your photo with the Easter bunny. When: April 7, 10a-12:30p. Children: $8.
Children’s Fairyland Bunny Weekend – check out Tap Dancing Easter Bunnies and then meet plenty of other seasonal bunnies and storybook characters. Mother Goose will also be in attendance to show the kids around. When: April 7. Tap dancing at 11:30am. Meet bunnies 1pm, Arts & Crafts 12-3pm. $8 for all ages.
Eggster Hunt and Learning Festival– UC Berkeley is hosting their self-described “largest free egg hunt in Northern California” on the Valley Life Sciences Building lawn. Educational activity booths round out the day. When:10am-3pm. Free.
Los Altos Recreation Department Egg Hunt – find them at Hillview Soccer Field. Four different hunts are divided up by age groups and each include post-hunt activities. Hunt at 10am, Activities run 9:30-11:30am. Ages 1-8 are free.
Gamble Garden Children’s Easter Party – This Palo Alto event features arts & crafts, an egg hunt and even a mermaid-themed puppet show. When: April 7, 9:30am-1:30pm. Members: Adults $10, Kids $20. Non-members: Adults $15, Kids $25.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Santa Clara – located in Central Park, the hunt takes place in the softball field at 10am. The field is divided into 4 age divisions, and also features an area for those with special needs. Bring your own basket and stay for post-hunt events that run until 4pm. Call 408 615 2260 for details. Free.