5 Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable Activities for bored kids in the school holidays...

We love these activities because it sparks imagination and provides hours of fun with sensory play.

The ingredients are always on hand in the pantry and can be a real life saver for those rainy days or when everyone needs a rest at home or just because mummy might just tear her hair out soon.


These are all easy to make with your kids….GREAT, I hear you cry!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

Sit at the dining table with these and once play starts, you can happily enjoy a coffee/tea or alcoholic beverage in peace and participate as much or as little as you like. But If you weren’t having fun too….i’d be slightly worried….cos this is FUUUNNNNNN!!!!


1. DIY Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable Slime…

Forget buying the smelly toxic slime from the shop in all it's packaging and get the kids busy making their own. You don't need glue or borax either!

Simply mixing the right quantities of corn flour and water, mixed with food colouring and you're done.

Ingredients for Eco-Friendly Slime (yes I really did write this is SLIME GREEN hahaha)

1/2 cup Cornflour

18-20 Teaspoons of Water

Food Colour or Natural Colour (any colour will do but green is our favourite)

How to mix it….


MEASURE OUT 1/2 CUP OF CORNFLOUR

  1. PLACE SOME WATER IN A GLASS DISH AND ADD FOOD COLOURING (GREEN IS BEST BUT YOU CAN USE PINK, ORANGE, YELLOW, PURPLE OR EVEN BLACK)

  2. PLACE THE CORNFLOUR IN A DISH AND ADD 10-12 TEASPOONS OF YOUR WATER MIX

  3. MIX WITH A BUTTER KNIFE OR SPOON (IT SHOULD START LOOKING CRUMBLY)

  4. SLOWLY ADD MORE TEASPOONS OF YOUR WATER MIX UNTIL YOU REACH THAT GOOEY, SLIMEY CONSISTENCY

NOTE TO SELF: iF IT BECOMES TOO WATERY, ADD A LITTLE MORE CORNFLOUR….IF IT BECOMES TOO DRY (AFTER THE KIDS HAVE HAD HOURS OF FUN….OR MINUTES IF THEY BORE EASILY….ADD MORE WATER)


How do you know if the slime is the right consistency?

When you scoop it up with a knife it should slowly drip down like a goopy mess. AND when you grab a bunch of it in your hand you should be able to roll a ball.

While you are rolling your hands together, it will keep its shape and as soon as you stop, it turns straight back to gooey slime and drips everywhere!


2. MAKE BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER


This wont turn out exactly like regular glitter but it's a great option when you want micro-plastics out of your life AND your craft supplies.

It's very simple to make and can be glued onto pictures, craft projects and homemade cards. Get them working on birthday cards and you'll have a handy supply for the rest of the year.

All you need is Epsom salts and a little food colouring


It's super easy to clean up afterwards and can be put in their bath at the end of the day.


Ingredients

1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salts

1 Tablespoon of Table Salt

4-5 drops of Liquid food Colour


>>>> Add the epsom salts to a glass or plastic container

>>>> Drip food colours in carefully and give a little stir with a spoon

>>>> Pop on the lid and give it a really good shake

You can use immediately but I find it best to allow it to air dry for around 30 minutes to an hour.

How simple is that!


3. MAKE HOME-MADE PLAY-DOH!

This no cook play dough recipe will give you perfect soft play dough every time and if stored correctly can easily last up to 6-8 months. This can keep kids busy for hours using their imaginations and is a fabulous school holiday activity. I'm still surprised how many people still purchase playdoh when it is so simple to make and is better quality and longer lasting when made at home. I've made this for my nieces and nephews and it never fails me. Not only does this reduce packaging but you can also use up any over the date oil and flour that are no longer suitable for cooking, and it makes a fabulous zero waste gift for kids of all ages. Ingredients 1 Cup of Plain Flour 1/2 Cup of Salt 2 tbsps. of Cream of Tartar 1 tbsp. of Cooking oil 1 Cup of Boiling Water Food colouring (You can halve or double the ingredients depending on the quantity you want to make) Instructions 1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl or jug EXCEPT hot water and colour. The kids can help measure and mix, but the next steps are best done by grownups 2. Pour the hot water into a jug to add the colour. This helps to get an even colour throughout. Keep in mind that the colour of the water will be much stronger than the resulting play dough. You can always add more colour during mixing if you feel it's not quite right. 3. Add the water and stir. I usually use a butter knife to stir as its easier to wipe off than spoons. 4. Once it is all starting to stick together and looks like dough, tip onto the kitchen counter and knead briefly. Be careful, as the playdough will still be hot in the centre. If you find it is still too sticky, simply add a little more flour and knead through. 5. Wait about ten minutes until it cools enough for Little hands to play with. To ensure it lasts, and to prevent it drying out, store in a closed container when not in use. If it does happen to get left out over night, knead it and place into the storage container and you can add a few drops of cooking oil to it if it's too dry. For other colours try these combinations:

Purple = 3 parts red + 1 part blue Orange =1 part red + 2 parts yellow Aqua = 4 parts blue + 2 parts green Lime = 3 parts yellow + 1 part green Dark green = 1 part red + 1 part yellow + 4 parts blue To make it even more fun….though, it’s not edible you can make ice cream colours that SMELL just like ice cream…. You will need the usual ingredients for homemade play-dough (flour, salt, water, cream of tartar & oil). But instead of food colouring, use cocoa powder, real strawberries and natural vanilla essence.

4. MAKE SALT DOUGH Making salt dough is a really fun and easy activity for kids and the chances are you will have all of the ingredients in the cupboard ready to go on a rainy day. Children will love using their imaginations to create all sorts of exciting objects (although simple shapes do seem to work best) and hours of fun painting their creations, but do take care to remind little ones that the salt dough is not edible. Makes 1 ball Prep 10 minutes Cook 3 hours

  • 1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)

  • half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)

  • half a cupful of water (about 125ml)

Method 1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. 2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until it comes together into a ball. 3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into your chosen model. You can roll it out and cut out shapes, numbers or letters using biscuit cutters, or make any kind of model you can think of. We made some fruit and veg shapes plus cupcakes for a teddy bear’s picnic. 4. Put your finished items on the lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hrs or until solid. 5. Leave to cool and then paint.

5. MAKE CHILD FRIENDLY, COLOURFUL & REALLY FUN…..BATH BOMBS

Making bath bombs is a great indoor activity that will keep the kids busy on a rainy afternoon – and they're also a lovely gift for friends and family. Experiment with colours, add flowers from your garden and use different shapes.  Once you have the main ingredients, it's really easy to adapt this recipe to what you already have at home.

These ingredients are safe to use in the bath, but it's important to note that bath bombs are inedible. We recommend this craft for children aged eight years or over. Makes 4 half-balls Prep 30 mins, plus 2-4 hrs setting

  • 100g bicarbonate of soda

  • 50g citric acid

  • 25g cornflour

  • 25g Epsom salt (optional)

  • 2 tbsp oil – such as sunflower, coconut or olive oil

  • ¼ tsp essential oil, such as orange, lavender or chamomile

  • a few drops of liquid food colouring

  • orange peel, lavender or rose petals, to decorate (optional)

You will also need

  • mixing bowl

  • whisk

  • plastic moulds (see below for ideas)

Method 1. Put the bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, cornflour and Epsom salt in a bowl, then whisk until fully combined. 2. Pour the base oil, essential oil and food colouring in a small bowl. Mix together well, combining the oil with the colouring as much as possible. 3. Very slowly add the oil mixture into the dry ingredients a little at a time, whisking between each addition. When all the oil is added, add a few tiny drops of water and whisk again (it will fizz when you add the water, so mix it in quickly). You're looking for the mixture to slightly clump together when pressed in your hand and keep its shape – it shouldn't be too wet. 4. If you're adding peel or flower petals to decorate, drop them into the bottom of your chosen mould. Pack your mixture tightly on top, pressing down and smoothing out the top with a teaspoon. 5. Leave your bath bomb in the mould to dry for 2-4 hrs, then carefully remove it. It's now ready to drop into the bath – watch it fizz away! What can I use as a bath bomb mould? You can use anything flexible as a mould for your bath bombs, so have fun looking around your home for things you could use. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Yogurt or pudding pots

  • Christmas tree decorations (we used a star)

  • Plastic packaging from toys

  • Easter egg packaging

  • Silicone ice cube trays

  • Silicone cupcake cases

  • Plastic biscuit cutters (place them on a tray)


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