10 Fun Ways to Play Outdoors

Spring is here.  Which means it is the perfect time to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with your kids.  Last week we had a number of fun outdoor activities linked up to the Weekly Kids Co-op that I can’t wait to share with you.  Check out this exciting list of 10 Fun Ways to Play Outdoors that your Kids that you won’t want to miss.

10 Fun Ways to Play Outdoors

If you were featured this week, feel free to grab a Housing A Forest button.

Come back every Thursday to see if your creative idea were featured and link up any new ideas! (I will be using one image and a link back to your blog.)

If you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun we are having at Housing A Forest, make sure to follow us on PinterestFacebookGoogle + and Twitter.

Weekly Kids Co-op



Rainy Days, Clouds and Puddles

Spring is here and the perfect time to learn about clouds, rain and puddles.  There is nothing better that watching the expression of pure joy on your kids face as the jump in a puddle.  Your kids will love these fun activities all about Rainy Days, Clouds and Puddles.

Rainy Days, Clouds and Puddles

Observe and Imagine:

Observing is one of the best way kids learn, and we all know kids have the best imaginations.  Here are a few fun cloud games that your kids will love:

  • Find a grassy spot  to sit together and look for fun shapes in the clouds.  My kids love making up stories about the imaginary creatures they find.  It is a fun way to spend time together giggling and laughing.
  • “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” is always a hit.  Ask your kids what they would wish for if it could rain anything from the sky.  This is a silly game, but great for lots of giggles.
  • Give the kids a blue paper with white and black paint squirted on it.  Head outside to observe the clouds and paint them.  Finger painting is always fun, but a brush is less messy.  Have them look closely at the clouds.  They might be surprised to find grey in the clouds on a sunny day, often we only think of grey stormy clouds.  Remind them that black and white mix together to create grey.
  • Of course there is always glue and cotton balls:)  While outside, have the kids observe the clouds and then recreate what they see with the cotton balls.  They may need to pull the cotton balls apart gently to get their cloud just right.

Experiment:

To create your own Soap Cloud, you will need:

  • Bar of Ivory soap ~ As far as I know, Ivory soap is the only bar that will work
  • Microwave
  • Plate to contain your soap cloud.

Ivory Soap Experiment

Place the bar of soap on a plate, place in the microwave and “cook” for 2 mins.  Your bar should begin exploding after 20 seconds.  For full instructions on how to do this experiment and why it works, check out our Ivory Soap Experiment post.  There is also a video showing a bar of soap exploding that your kids will love!  Our simple Fluffy Bath Tub Paint is a fun recipe that uses the soap cloud you just created.

Play:

Dig out the rubber boots, raincoats, umbrellas and stomp in a few puddles.   No matter where we are, my kids always seem to be able to find a puddle or two to jump in.

Puddle Jumping ~ Learning about weather

 

Talk to your kids about how the rain and melting snow will help to make the grass green and garden grow.

Puddles are a natural magnet for kids.  Try these other simple activities your kids will love:

  • Bring out the sidewalk chalk and draw in and around the puddles.  Chalk colors become twice a bright when wet.  Plus wet chalk is just fun to draw with it almost becomes a paint like consistency.  Yes you will go through the chalk quickly, but it is lots of fun!
  • Play follow the leader, yes you too.  The kids will be giggling as you splash, jump and twirl through the puddles with them.
  • Hold hands and simply jump in a shallow puddles together.  You will be both soaking wet when you are done, but it will produce the best smiles from your kids.
  • Set up a mud kitchen.  Your kids will love creating rain cakes and mud pies.  Find a few spring flowers to add to the mix and you will have the perfect dining experience.

Rainbows always come after the rain:

Have your tried any of the about rain activities before?  I would love to hear how you play in the rain with your kids!

 

Spring Cherry Tree

Spring Cherry Blossom Tree ~ Beautiful Kids Art

I love cherry trees and any tree that blossoms in the spring.  I can’t wait for our street to be lined with beautiful blossoms, but until then the kids made these beautiful Spring Cherry Tree Paintings.

Spring Cherry Blossom Tree ~ beautiful kids art

They were so easy to make, and I have to say the kids really enjoyed making them!

To make your own Cherry Blossom Tree, you will need:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolors, brush and container of water
  • Black acrylic paint thinned to a watery consistency
  • Eye dropper
  • Straw
  • Various shades of pink, purple and white acrylic paint.

Spring Cherry Tree

Tips for working with watercolors:

  • Start with a wet paper.  They can brush their paper with water, spray it or quickly run it under the tap.  Either technique works.  If you start with a wet paper, the colors will blend easier and go further.
  • Load the brush with water before dipping in the paint.
  • Keep a spray bottle handy for re-wetting the paper.
  • Have fun!

Spring Cherry Tree

Using different shades of green watercolors to create the grass and varying shades of blue for the sky.  Cover the entire background with color and set aside to dry.

Spring Cherry Tree

Water down the black paint so it has a more ink like consistency.  Using the eye dropper, add a small dab of paint to the paper and then gently blow it with the straw to create your tree and all the branches.  Add more paint as needed.  We tried it on a practice paper just to get the technique down.

The kids loved this part!  Blowing straight down makes a splatter of the paint.  If you angle your straw slightly and “chase” the paint up your page it will look more like a branch.
Spring Cherry Tree

Once they got the technique down, we moved onto their cherry tree.  We found that since we were working on watercolor paper, the paint absorbed into the paper quicker than on our practice sheet.  They had to work a little quicker to blow the paint into a tree.  Set aside to dry.Spring Cherry Blossom Tree ~ beautiful kids art

Squeeze the various shades of paint onto one pallet.  Encourage the kids to load their finger with a few different colors and then dab it onto the paper.  By using more than one color on their finger at a time you will create more realistic looking flowers.

We used a similar technique to create this simple Spring Tree.
Spring Cherry Blossom Tree ~ beautiful kids art

Continue dabbing flowers until your tree is covered.

I love how they turned out!  What a fun Mother’s Day gift.

Spring Cherry Blossom Tree ~ beautiful kids art

For more Spring Art ideas, check out our:

Spring Oil Pastel and Water Colors 

Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers

Spring Fairies 

Spring Tree

Minecraft Nerf Gun Target

Minecraft Party Games ~ Make your own Nerf Gun Target

Looking for some fun Minecraft party games?  Check out my kids unplugged Minecraft Nerf Gun Target.  They used simple household items, and a few Nerf guns.  The kids had a blast and entertained themselves for hours.

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun Target

If you are unfamiliar with Minecraft, it is a fun game about breaking and placing blocks building anything that you can imagine.  You are placed in a 3-D world where you have a large amount of freedom to create.  It is basically made up of pixelated or textured cubes that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern.  Each of the cubes represent different resources such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks.  You are encouraged to build a shelter and then explore the world avoiding the creepers that come out at night.

Minecraft Nerf Gun TargetTo make your own Unplugged Minecraft Target, you will need:

  • A piece of cardboard cut to approx 5″ x 5″.  We used a white cardboard box.
  • Colored tape ~ We used colored electrical tape
  • String
  • Nerf gun and bullets (or something similar)

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun TargetCut the electrical tape in to squares and place them in a pixelated pattern on the cardboard.  We used 3 shades of green tape.

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun TargetSince our cardboard was already white, the kids just placed out black tape squares right onto the cardboard.  If you are using regular brown cardboard, paint it white before placing the tape.

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun TargetTape the string to the back of your cardboard and your ready to hang it.  The kids tied theirs in the hallway to 2 door knobs.  Quick, simple yet effective!

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun TargetThe string allowed the targets to swing when hit.  No mistaking when someone hit the target:)

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun TargetThe kids had so much fun shooting at their simple targets. You could add a simple twist to this game and set up a whole mission for the kids.  They would have a blast running through out the house finding all the creepers.

Minecraft party games ~ a DIY Nerf Gun Target

Your kids may also love our simple:

Elastic-band Launchers

Water Bottle Popper

Tin Can Howler

Wii Birthday Party

Spring Activities for Kids

Spring is here and we are so excited!  Check out this fun list of Spring Activities for Kids that was linked up from last weeks Kids Co-op.

Spring Activities for kids

If you were featured this week, feel free to grab a Housing A Forest button.

Come back every Thursday to see if your creative idea were featured and link up any new ideas! (I will be using one image and a link back to your blog.)

If you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun we are having at Housing A Forest, make sure to follow us on PinterestFacebookGoogle + and Twitter.

Weekly Kids Co-op