Arts and Crafts
BabyZone has some great ideas for creative art projects you and your kids can do together. Art and craft books in your local library also offer all kinds of ideas and simple guides on how to make fun crafts with your kids, such a simple sock or paper bag puppet. To make an easy paper bag puppet you'll need:
- Small paper bag
- Paint, brushes, crayons, or markers
- Paper, scissors, glue
Finger painting is another great and inexpensive way to spend quality time with your child; not only will kids have immense fun, but you can also use this time to make a few keepsakes. My sister and niece made some colorful handprints and footprints which they put into cards and sent to a few friends and members of family. I was thrilled to receive my copy and have had it framed. Parents can either purchase a finger painting tool kit (available at most art supplies stores), or make their own edible paint using a variety of ingredients such as chocolate pudding or gelatin.
In the Garden
Gardening with your child might seem a daunting prospect, but children are natural gardeners—they adore digging in the dirt and making mud pies, are fascinated by looking at (and trying to identify) bugs and worms, and love watering the garden.
To get started, try planting easy-to-grow vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, radishes, and carrots, which you can plant together in a small space. Vegetables are a great choice because they germinate quickly and can be eaten once ripe. Flowers that are easy to grow include marigolds or sunflowers.