Hyattsville’s Magic Mandy’s back and she’s sharing even more fun, creative, low-fi & low-cost activities perfect for Route 1 kids! Fairy Hideaways, Face Painting, Sunflower Houses – This lady’s even packed this post with plenty of how-to tutorials for the visual learners among us. (Many thanks, Mandy!)
As Ms. Curated Play Spaces shared in this post here: In my past life I was an early childhood teacher/director. I also homeschooled my oldest child for a year. In my current business, I help families create/revamp play spaces for their small humans – inside and out.
Read on for fun ideas you can do with your kids, taken from things I have done or plan to do with my boys (aged three and seven).
Face/Body Painting with Watercolor Pencils
This is a favorite and is as simple as it sounds. I just wrote a blog post on it here.
My oldest was the kind of baby/toddler who would eat anything but food (and I literally mean anything). I imagined doing all kinds of arts and crafts activities with him, but found he was more interested in eating the crayons or sucking all the ink out of the markers (who knew that was possible?). But something I could do with him was make slime with cornstarch and water.
He could eat it to his heart’s content and still have fun playing with it. I would mix it up in a big bowl (start with cornstarch and add a little water at a time until you get a consistency that looks like liquid, but when you pick it up it feels solid before melting away). Give your kids the bowl with spoons and scoops and other containers to pour it into (warning, it is messy). The slime will start to harden up over time, but you can just add more water. Pro tip: do not rinse it down the drain. Let it dry up and then knock it out into the trash. Also don’t store out of the fridge – it does not keep and smells terrible quickly! I have never had the chance to store it because my son ended up wearing most of it. 🙂
Create a Fairy Hideaway
We did this at Easter a few years back for our oldest and it is still bringing magic to our days. I bought a little wooden door on Amazon and painted/sealed it (make sure to seal both sides so it doesn’t rot from getting wet). Find a tree in your yard or nearby your home that has a flat low space you can attach it.
Very carefully nail the little door into the tree and paint over the nails. Then landscape – find what you can around you to make a little path, add some flowers etc. And then say nothing and let your little human find it! My oldest still tends to his fairy garden and keeps it looking tidy and nice for them. 🙂
Create a Sunflower House or Bean Teepee
Create a Sunflower House: Tutorial here. Create a bean teepee – tutorial here. We used locally-sourced free bamboo for our poles last year. Reach out to neighbors/on the listserv – I guarantee someone will have bamboo growing in their yard that they would be happy to part with.
We are doing this at the moment and my kids are enamored. It has helped quell the fear my little one has for all bugs, and there is heightened excitement and interest daily as we watch the caterpillars grow. It’s also another really lovely way to connect with nature and learn more about what caterpillars/butterflies need to survive and why they are important.
Build a Mud Kitchen
Or even better…buy one from me! (Shameless plug – haha) It looks like we’re in this quarantine thing for the long haul, which means no more in-home play space consults for me for a while. But this is also the prime time folks could use help creating spaces to keep their kids entertained, so we’re building and selling mud kitchens as a way of bringing a little extra fun to your yard without the need to actually socially interact with me.
Community COVID-19 Resources
Fun, FREE kids activities? Mandy’s bursting with ideas here.
One-Stop Shop guide to educational resources during these times? UMD’s COViD-19 Family Resource Guide is very helpful.
Need some sunshine today? Check out the latest Furry Friends of Route 1 – featuring University Park’s Ollie and Masha.
Need a break from coronavirus info? Read up on Lakeland, the Historic African American Community of College Park.
Please know that these stores provide seniors-only and immunocompromised-only shopping hours. (Just updated to include the Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket and Pharmacy.)
Here’s a list of local businesses providing alcohol-delivery and curbside pickup near the Route 1 corridor.
Thought it was too late to get a library card? No worries! You can get a PGCMLS Virtual Library card today! Audiobooks, music, movies galore!
Here’s a way you can help our local baristas, bartenders, servers who are out of work right now: SoHy Co-op Virtual Tip Jar.