SUMMER 2024 FREE RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

This summer, the goal is to stay off electronics and pursue reading or creative activities. Here are a couple of ideas. What are yours? Email Info@Joy-Circles.com and we will feature them here and/or in a future e-newsletter!

Activity #1

Original Board Game 

You will need:

  • Legal size or larger sheet of paper. A large piece of butcher paper or poster board is even better.
  • Crayons or markers
  • A ruler or straight-edge
  • Either dice from another game or you can make a spinner with a stub of a pencil and another sheet of paper with a large circle divided into pie pieces, each piece representing numbers 1 to 10 or 1 to 12.
  • Tokens, which can be bottle tops, little army men, small stones, anything unique that you can find around the house!
  1. Create the game board by drawing a path of squares around the circumference of the large paper using the straight edge or like Candy-Land, make the path wind around. Think of a theme for the game. It could be “Pet Store” or Space Adventures” or Summer Travels” or anything you can think of!
  2. Create a START and an END or you can think of it as the Winning Square so that the first game player to reach this Square, wins! Then create Hazards in about every fourth square, some harder than others: go back four spaces, go back to the START, Lose 1 Turn, “Go to the Planet Mars and Refuel” or “Go the the Pet Store on Lincoln Ave. to clean cages”. On some squares, you can create advantages, like Advance 3 spaces, or Take an extra turn.
  3. If you want to create an even more elaborate game, you can create Draw cards and spaces where game players will land and draw a card. They must do what it says on the card. Some cards can be good, others not so good, and some can just be silly, like “stand on one leg for a count of ten”. You may also have penny candy, pennies, or small toys that game players can collect as they advance around the game board. Your imagination and the resources you have at home are the only limitations!

Activity #2

Homemade No-Stain Finger Painting

Children are never too old to finger paint. Allow them to look up some examples of beautiful finger paintings. Allow them to try sponges, old table knives, pieces of cardboard, or fabric to create interesting designs.

Most finger paint recipes stain children’s skin; this one should not, though it might stain clothing depending on the garment. Protect clothing and furniture. The key is using Wilton icing color gels.

Ingredients:

4 cups water

1 cup cornstarch

6 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

Wilton icing color gels

Finger paint paper

Plastic containers to hold paint colors

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients (except color) and whisk until combined.
  2. Cook on medium heat, stirring until the mixture thickens.
  3. Turn off stove and remove from heat.
  4. Separate into the small containers, one container for each color you will use.
  5. Using a toothpick, add a very small blob of icing color gel and use a spoon to stir until the color is fully mixed.
  6. Let stand until cool enough to use or close with a lid if storing for later use.