Kids' Fun in the Sun

There's nothing cooler on a hot day than some good clean water fun. With just a little water and a lot of imagination, the kids will be busy all afternoon. Let them toss water balloons, run through the sprinkler, or chill in a wading pool. Try these wet ideas to keep them refreshed and busy during the hot days of summer.

Splat! Fill balloons with water (all about the same size). Take them outside in a plastic laundry basket. Two children stand about two feet apart facing one another. They toss the balloon back and forth, taking one step backwards after each successful catch. See how far apart they can go without dropping their water balloon.

Cold Feet: Fill a child's wading pool with cool water and a bunch of ice cubes. The kids can sit around the edge of the pool. When you say "go", the kids race to move ice cubes out of the pool and into their individual bowls using only their feet! The player with the most ice is the winner.

Crafty Kids
Encourage your budding Picassos by setting aside some time for their artistry. With a few materials you have on hand and a little creativity, they'll be crafting away. Some of these ideas are good enough to eat!

Jell-O Funny Faces: The kids will love making their own silly characters from jiggly jelly shapes and they'll have a snack to munch on after they're done.

DISSOLVE 2 pkg (85g each) Jell-O Jelly Powder, any flavour, in 1 1/2 cups boiling water or boiling juice, stirring until completely dissolved. Pour into 8-inch square pan*.

REFRIGERATE 20-40 minutes or until firm. Cut out funny face shapes. Refrigerate until ready to decorate.

USE a paper plate as the head, mix and match shapes on plate to make funny faces. Try using licorice for hair. Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for eyes and Lifesavers Candy for a nose.

*Or pour into Jell-O Funny Face Jigglers mould kit found at your local grocery store. Lightly spray inside of mould with non-stick cooking spray before pouring to ensure easy lifting.

Yummy Jewelry: Thread cereal and goodies such as Lifesavers Candy onto a piece of shoestring licorice. Tie the ends to desired length to make a tasty necklace or bracelet.

Natural Art: Look around the backyard for natural materials like bark (on the ground, not the trees), moss, leaves, grass, wildflowers, or small pebbles. Using white glue, arrange and attach these pieces to construction paper to create a scene or animal.

Cookie Pops: Insert a wooden stick into end of a Newton Full Fruit Bar. Spread each side with Kraft Peanut Butter and dip in coloured sprinkles or peanuts.

Little Greenthumbs
Kids love getting their hands dirty! Summer is the perfect time to introduce little hands to the magic of seeds, soil and sunshine. For junior gardeners, you just need a few tools and a little patience. Give them some pots or a section of the garden so they'll have their own space to be creative.

Tools for Digging

  • Kid-friendly potting Mix (Always check the labels - many mixes come with fertilizer in them that may be toxic.)
  • Watering Can
  • Child-size Trowel or Shovel (These come in plastic as well)
  • Ruler
  • Seeds (Herbs, veggies and flowers are fun to grow. Try parsley, carrots, beans, marigolds or impatiens.)

1-2-3 Gardening

  1. Use a garden trowel or a stick to make a shallow trench. (The recommended planting depth for each type of seed is written on the back of its packet.)
  2. Spread the seeds along the trench and cover them with soil to fill the trench.
  3. Lightly pack down the dirt, water the soil gently and watch your garden grow.

Growing Ideas If you don't have a garden, line a glass jar with a damp paper towel between several medium seeds between glass and towel. Place lid on jar and leave on the kitchen counter. In a few days, the seeds will burst to life. Use acrylic or oil-based paints to decorate terra-cotta pots to make homes for the newly sprouted plants.

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