Our Favourite Activities: You Can Do Them at Home with your Kids!

STARSby the STARS After School Program staff team

What are kids into these days?  Who better to ask than our experts here at the club, the staff from our STARS after school program.  Each of our leaders has an extensive library of activities and ideas in their heads – here are a few of their faves!

Computers

Let’s be real, there is no escaping tablets, cell phones and laptops these days, they have become a part of our lives.  Here is one idea that is creative AND educational for those who insist on screen time!

Free Rice

Free Rice is a website full of trivia questions from all categories and levels.  Better yet, you help the fight against world hunger!  For every question you answer right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.  Bet you can’t just answer one question!

Arts and Crafts

Creative ideas using every day household items (or items found at your local dollar store)!

Crayon Art

Crayon Art  Crayon art

  • Canvas/thick paper
  • Crayons (broken ones are great!)
  • Hot glue gun (Dollarama)
  • Blow dryer
  1. Cover surface with newspaper or garbage bags
  2. Glue crayons on to canvas/thick paper
  3. Once glue is dry, tilt canvas on angle and blow dry crayons to create a melted mess

Bubbles

Bubbles

  • 6 parts water
  • 2 parts Dawn (or Joy) dish soap
  • ¼ part glycerin (found at drug store) or corn syrup as substitute
  • Metal hangers, pipe cleaners and cookie cutters make good wands

Example: 3 cups water, 1 cup Dawn dish soap, ¼ cup Glycerin/Corn Syrup

  1. Mix all three ingredients together slowly and let sit for a bit (the longer the mixture sits, the bigger the bubbles)
  2. Pour bubble solution into shallow pan/cookie sheet
  3. Bend a metal hangers or pipe cleaners into hoop shapes or use cookie cutters for wands

Penny Art

Pennies might be useless in your wallets now, but they aren’t useless when it comes to being creative.  This is a great idea for your penny collection that’s collecting dust, courtesy of our Grade 4’s!

Penny Art

 

  • Canvas/thick paper
  • Pennies
  • Hot glue gun (dollarama)

Penny Art

  1. Creative imagination. Colouring optional.
  2. Glue pennies with hot glue gun to canvas/thick paper

Science

Slime

slime

  • ½ cup white glue
  • ½ cup water
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • 1 tsp Borax (found in laundry aisle at Walmart or grocery store)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bowls
  1. Mix together white glue and water in one bowl;
  2. Add food colouring for colourful slime!
  3. In a second bowl, mix together Borax and 1 cup of water
  4. Slowly combine glue mixture to the Borax mixture
  5. Stir and mix. Then ditch the spoon and use your hands for the rest!

Marshmallow Catapult

Marshmallow Catapult

  • 10 Popsicle sticks
  • 4 Elastics
  • Water/pop bottle cap
  • Lots of mini marshmallows (some for eating and some for fun!)
  1. Stack together 8 popsicle sticks and place an elastic band on each end to hold them together
  2. With the last 2 popsicle sticks, place an elastic band on one end to hold them together
  3. Split the 2 popsicle sticks apart to slide the 8 popsicle sticks between to make a “+” shape; secure the “+” with an elastic holding all 10 sticks together in the middle
  4. Glue a bottle cap at the end of the popsicle stick (this is to hold the marshmallows); glue gun works best
  5. Find a friend and have a marshmallow battle!

Balloon Greenhouse

greenhouse

  • Clear balloon (our kids used large Ziploc baggies instead)
  • Radish seeds (our kids used flower seeds)
  • Funnel
  • ½ cup dirt
  • ¼ cup water
  • String

Greenhouse

  1. Place the funnel into the neck of the clear balloon.
  2. Slowly pour the dirt into the balloon
  3. Slowly pour the water into the funnel to moisten the dirt in the balloon.
  4. Drop a few radish seeds into the moist dirt.
  5. Remove the funnel from the neck of the balloon and blow into the balloon to inflate it. Don’t inflate it to its maximum size, because it may pop!
  6. Knot the inflated balloon and tie a piece of string around the knot.
  7. Hang the balloon near a window so the sun will help the seeds sprout. (We taped our Ziploc baggies to the window!)

Cooking

Fruit pizza

Fruit Pizza

For pancakes:

  • Pancake mix
  • Water
  • Or your own homemade pancake recipe!

For toppings:

  • 1 tub of yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  • Pineapple
  1. Have each kid design their own pancake pizza with yogurt as “sauce”, and fruit as “toppings”
  2. Encourage creativity (i.e. bananas are “pepperoni”; make smiley faces, etc.)

Indoor Activity

Alphabet A – Z Challenge

The great part about this challenge is it can be played anywhere or at any party/gathering!

The goal of this challenge is to be the first person to produce 26 items, one item representing each letter of the alphabet.  You can also make it a team effort and have multiple people work together to get it done!

For example, in the house, you may find an Apple, Basket, Cotton ball, Dice, Envelope, Football…

Instead of the house, challenge people to empty their pockets, purses or backpacks and see what they can come up with

9 Men’s Morris

9 Men's Morris

  • 1 piece of fabric/felt/old t-shirt
  • Marker
  • 18 game pieces – pick 2 different colours so each player has their own colour (9 each)
    • You can use pennies/nickels, stones, play dough, paper, etc.
  1. Using markers and the diagram above, map out your game board on a piece of fabric/felt

The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent to only 2 stones on the board, or without any more moves

Game Play (2 players)

  1. Each player receives 9 coloured game pieces (for example, we will use “stones”)
  2. Youngest player goes first
  3. First player places one of their stones on an open “point” (points are where 2 lines cross, interject, touch each other)
  4. The next player places one of their stones on an open point
  5. Each player takes turns to place their stones on open points
  6. If a player gets 3 of their coloured stones in a straight line, they score a “mill”; when a player scores a mill, they get to remove one of their opponents stones from the board, this stone is also removed completely from the game
  7. Once players no longer have any new stones to place on the game board, they can now take their turn by sliding one of their stones to an open point on the game board
  8. Players continue to take turns sliding one of their stones to an open point trying to form 3 of their coloured stones in a straight line to form a mill; remember, if you form a mill, you get to remove an opponent’s stone from the board and game
  9. The game is over when a player only has 2 stones left in the game and/or they cannot make a legal move anymore.

Outdoor Activity

Geocaching

Geocaching

A real life treasure hunt played all over the world!  All you need is a GPS or smartphone with a FREE navigating app.  The goal is to use the navigating app to direct you towards a hidden treasure, also called “caches” in the city.  Caches are typically Tupperware containers that contain little trinkets waiting to be discovered.  Caches can be hidden under city benches, in parks under trees or right out in the open as you walk by every day to work.  Here at the Club, we have played this with our Youth Adventure group in the summers, the kids get so excited when they find the treasure!   Did you know there are actually 5 geocaches within 1km of St. Alban’s?!

Fair warning, it can get addictive, with caches hidden all over the world, you can literally play anywhere, even on vacation!

  • GPS or mobile phone for pinpointing coordinates and navigating
  • A pen/pencil (to write in the log book when you find a cache)
  • Check out geocaching.com to get started for FREE!

This is a 75 second video from the geocaching website that explains it all!

 

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