Sign up for a subscription for Artventure. This is an wonderful online art class, with lessons ranging in level from ages 5 - 12. All you need to supply are basic art supplies like paper, water colours and crayons etc. We use this as part of our homeschool art curriculum and my kids ask to do it every day. I am actually completely impressed with what they manage to turn out. It will definitely keep you arty farty kid busy for hours and your not so arty kids will probably still love it too. You can use the free trial for a day then a full subscription is $29 for 3 months. Awesome for those days when the sun refuses to shine or you just need a quiet day in.
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How about sending the kids off on a scavenger hunt? Auron and Lili are forever off on some kind of adventure with their carefully designed maps, in search of hidden treasure. A scavenger hunt is right up their ally. Just to make it easier for you, I will add a website with links to 30 different hunts so all you have to do is print one off and let the kids loose.
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The next time you are out at the shops pick up a box of sidewalk chalk. This has the benefit of harnessing kids creativity and imagination with virtually zero clean up, especially it it happens to rain that afternoon. It will likely send you hurtling back to you childhood hopscotch days, which depending on how many children you have had, may not be a good idea for your precious pelvic floor....
You can find an assortment of different ideas for chalk play to get the kids started at:
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ICE CREAM! Ice cream is always a winner during summer, so how about making your own. It is not as messy and complicated as you may think. Using a "ice cream in a bag" recipe clean up is a breeze and the kids can practically do it with out much supervision. My one bit of advice would be to double bag and invest in some decent ziplock bags. This time it pays to steer clear of homebrand. You can also get creative and add different flavours or fruit.
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Build a secret hideout or treehouse. I remember spending hours upon hours carefully designing and executing complex hut building plans as a child, often complete with rope swings and the like. Give the kids some supplies that you can probably find around the house or garage like rope, old bits of timber, old sheets some of the tree branches from all that gardening you did last weekend etc and let them get to work. Be kind and offer to bring them out some icypoles later on as hut building is hard work. Don't be surprised if they think that it is a good place to spend the night too!
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